• Sunday, June 23, 2024
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BusinessDay

Passing through a ‘religious’ university…

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The university according to the dictionary is a tertiary/higher institution designed for learning and impacting higher forms of knowledge to help you secure a solid job in future and solid foundation for self-actualization. The university finds a way for also preparing you for the future hurdles that come along the way by giving you a raw experience at life. It allows you to interact with people from all ethnic groups, races, religion and have a feel of the various characteristics of people like the geeks, self-absorbed, funny, extremist and so many others. These people can either create a path for you or give you moral lessons to take along the way. Coming from a Christian secondary school like mine has its advantages and disadvantages. You see things from a Christian and sometimes naive point of view mostly by those who allow themselves to be fully rooted in the school doctrines while others have a different view. When entering into the university, the teachers kept ringing it into my head to remember the child of whom I am and if anyone wants to draw me astray from the right path I should flee from them.

On resumption, I was quite shy, not knowing what would be in store for me and harbouring so many thoughts and ideas gotten from movies and stories told didn’t look helpful. My first shocker was the clothes I was asked to return because they were not permitted by the school and this gave me an idea that this was just a glorified secondary school. Also, you know how people keep on saying the world is a small place, truth is, it really is, and on arriving into my room I met a senior of mine who had at some point in my secondary school, sent me on errands for her and on seeing her I just thought “could this get any worse?”. Since it is a university, there is this idea of equality among everyone, since everyone is struggling to be the ‘perfect’ adult therefore, the onetime bully in my life didn’t send me on errands as before “what a relief!” I said to myself.

On starting classes and mixing up with different people, I found myself beginning to see things from different points of view and seeing the difference between our lives formed by the difference in secondary schools attended and homes we each came from. I preferred staying indoors and keeping to myself…it was weird though for me initially how some of those I was around could talk to boys freely or give them a hug because I was coming from a school which separated boys and girls when eating and reading, I didn’t know how to relate openly without girls being present and I gave out handshakes instead of hugs. But with time, my perception changed as exchanging pleasantries either through handshakes or hugs wasn’t awkward if done in personal respect for each other. Talking about privacy invasion, it was weird when a ‘friend’ kept stealing from me or when boys constantly pester me for a date …I look back now that I have just a year to go in the university and I laugh at some of my naive thoughts and actions.

Entering into the university was bit heart-wrenching for me as I had resumed later than everyone else and had to change my course due to some minor issues which I will later find out were a lead to some positive issues in my life and like the saying goes, everything happens for a reason. After changing my course to English, I thought my dreams and plans of studying Mass Communication in the University so as to get a job as a news reporter was totally gone and since it was the next best thing besides History and International Relations, I went for it and was told that if my first semester grades were good I could request for a change of course. Having that in mind, I was just working to pass and change course later on but I remained there and I am enjoying it. I am glad I made the choice of moving to the English department because it has enlarged my understanding. The course gave me a new form of fiery passion that could be applied in all areas of expertise and allowed me to form a reading habit which is really necessary for our everyday life.

Being in a Christian university, I expected most people to be from Christian homes or would have gone to Christian secondary schools but that wasn’t the case, there were people from Muslim homes, from different churches with different doctrines and diverse character traits. You wouldn’t expect to see law breakers, thieves, early misguided relationships and other habits but guess what? We have these and more in abundance! Religion is indeed a thing of the heart not an outward pretence of the title ‘religious’.

Being in a private Christian university is really different from public state Universities in a lot of sense. For example, You have more supervision by the lecturers who constantly watch us 24/7 and help chart our lives on the right path. Private Christian schools and universities are like cocoons, it allows you to know only what happens inside the school and keeps you away from everything outside that can be distracting. Too much of everything they say is bad so you find people living a life of pretence living in a certain way on campus and another at home. Christian schools are great platforms highly considered but all the same they should not be made so expensive so that people who are intelligent but without enough funds can also enjoy attending a good university.

RUTH UDEM