“I want freedom. I cant wait to enjoy my freedom”. This was the chorus on the lips of many in high school including me. We simply could not wait to enter into the university to start the REAL LIFE. Guys who were already dating were planning on dumping their girlfriends for new ones, girls were also ready to graze on greener pastures; it was totally about fun. Ideas like the club, the pub, the possible relationships we could just jump in and out of raged in the hearts of the ‘lover boys’, and simply the thought of being able to do what you want drove us crazy. We simply could not wait to smell freedom. We never really spoke about studies; it was a side issue for us.
My parents were excited as I was being admitted into the university to read something I have always loved; sociology. Well probably not exactly as excited considering the difference in motives. He hired an expensive hostel of two in a room. I loved the idea! I simply could not help but think about all the possibilities of being in that hostel with FREEDOM. He gave me a car for school as well. “What a world of possibilities!!”, I remember shouting out loud in my room after my dad had left me with the car keys in my hand. I simply could not pause for a breath. I was so excited considering what I could possibly ‘achieve’ with this new found life of mine. I can still feel the chills and fidgety that went through my body just by thinking of leaving for school.
Few weeks passed, after so many nights of dreaming about THE UNIVERSITY LIFE, it was time. I remember packing my bags and insisting on going to my hostel alone in my car without an escort. That morning when I sat in my car, when I looked back at my luggage and drove out of my home, it was like a different personality took over. It was such joy to leave home and taste FREEDOM. I tuned in to the radio. A Christian station was tuned in by default because that was all I listened to but this time I changed it to a hip-hop track. Increased the volume to the max;for the record, I hate loud music. I had no idea the lyrics of any of the songs that were being played on that radio station but I sang along anyway. I was simply not ME that day. That was FREEDOM to me and I had to make good use of it. I drove for hours to my university but it felt like ages on the road. I must confess, I got tired of the sing along and turned down the radio. All I wanted was to get to campus as soon as possible.
When I got on campus, it felt like it was my first time of being there considering the fact that I have been there severally in my lifetime for visits and seminars. It was such a refreshing feeling to see the university students especially the girls who walk funny in the name of catwalk, the ‘wassup’ guys who act weird as if there is a rolling camera fixed on them waiting to hear “action!”. The tension, the thirst to make an impression, the hunger for a partner, being fake was written all over them . The truth is, that was what I loved about THE UNIVERSITY. As I drove to my hostel, I hated to see the people we call ‘the mowers’-geeks. I didn’t need a lecture to know them. It was evidently clear that they were different from the rest of the students. They simply did not care about their appearance. Multicolored clothing and a pile of books was their banner for identification. I love them because they don’t care . At least they are being real, aren’t they? I simply wished they weren’t at my hostel .I felt they were going to be ‘kill-joys’ and ‘fun – quenchers’. As I approached my hostel, it felt like I was approaching ‘Canaan’. I could smell freedom; but now that i think about it, I was smelling weed and expensive perfume emanating from the rooms of students. It all just smelled special to me; I didn’t know exactly what it was but i liked it anyway because i was in the ‘land of freedom’. There was a confirmation of this reality when i saw the ‘high time ges’; girls who dress to seduce and drain boys of their little pocket monies they have managed to save over a long period for a kiss and a hug. This isn’t a lie but I knew better than to let that happen to me – in fact I wish I knew better.
I got to my hostel and went to the potters lodge to ask for the key to my room. He thought I wasn’t going to show up for the room because school had reopened many weeks ago. I just knew there and then the typical lodgers in universities; inquisitive . I explained to him. He then decided to give me the keys to my room. There were so many foreign faces- international students. I was happy considering how much I adore cultural diversity. I heard loud music every where in the hostel as I climbed upstairs to my room. I got to the door of my room and that was the first time in the day that I paused for a sigh. I unlocked my door. I was stunned at what I saw and learnt the first rule for the university ; ALWAYS KNOCK BEFORE ENTERING ANY ROOM INCLUDING YOURS.
I saw a naked girl in bed whilst her boyfriend- my room mate smoked marijuana(weed). For a moment, I asked myself if I was ready to be free.