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How Will it Be like After My 3 Years at University?

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Bright Amanya

This is a question that lingers in the minds of every University student in Uganda.

Growing up, I witnessed a truly unforgettable spectacle that has remained etched in my memory for over a decade.

It was a scene that captivated my young mind and continues to amuse me to this day. I recall a man vigorously hitting basins on the ground, spinning in them like a Formula One driver, and stomping on them with all his might.

He was on a mission to prove the durability of these basins, chanting melodically, ” wefunire e’baafu kaliba, mpangazi nge’nfudu nze mengo.” literally implying, get yourself a durable basin.

His voice pierced through the air, entertaining the crowd that surrounded him. The mothers couldn’t resist the allure of his sales pitch and ended up purchasing the basins, enjoying the bonus entertainment.

It was a win-win situation for everyone involved – the basin salesman earned some money, and the public got their basins and a memorable show. That day will forever be etched in my mind.

However, as I grew older, the harsh reality of life began to unravel before me. I eventually discovered that the man spinning basins in that memorable scene was, in fact, an unemployed graduate.

He had completed a 3 year university course, endured the hardships of academic life, and faced the challenges of paying exorbitant tuition fees.

Pondering the irony of it all, it struck me deeply. They say, Education is the key to success, my question is, was his academic strides out of reach for a white collar job or his degree had expired?.

It was a tragic realization that left me disheartened. I later heard of a friend who, after graduating, decided to return to studying for another course.

She confessed that the streets were too cold and unforgiving, prompting her to seek refuge back within the walls of academia. As if the streets would miraculously transform into a warmer and more welcoming place within the next few years.

The truth is, as campus students, we revel in the joys of university life while simultaneously fearing the uncertainty that awaits us beyond graduation.

Unless one is fortunate enough to have a planned path, the future seems daunting and unfavorable. We, the “baantu b’awaansi” or “ababulijjo,” risk finding ourselves stomping on basins, experiencing the full weight of disappointment and despair after having invested numerous years, money, and effort into our education.

The fear of wasting our precious time, energy, and resources without achieving our desired goals looms over us like a dark cloud.

To combat this looming uncertainty, we engage in contingency plans during our time on campus.

Some delve into trading, others aim to establish themselves as influencers on social media platforms, and a few excel in sports.

We also seek out valuable contacts and connections that might offer us opportunities to escape the harsh realities of post-graduation life. However, it is inescapable that time flies in the realm of academia.

In just a fleeting 3-4 years, we find ourselves thrust into the real world, juggling multiple responsibilities and seeking means to survive.

It is ironic how we boast about our hustle while claiming that we are out there “looking for lunch” when, in reality, we could simply call our parents and have them wire us a ka 10k. The undeniable truth is that life is hard, in case anyone was oblivious to this fact.

The worst nightmare of a Ugandan campus student lies not in the age-old fears of contracting HIV or facing an unplanned pregnancy, but rather in the fear of investing years into education only to find ourselves spinning in basins to make ends meet on cold and unforgiving streets.

We cherish our time on campus and all the experiences it offers, but deep down, there is a lingering anxiety about what awaits us once we step out into the real world.

As we navigate through this challenging journey, we realize the importance of seizing every opportunity, building networks, and developing contingency plans to secure our future. For us, the struggle is real, and unless we are prepared, we may find ourselves trapped in a never-ending cycle of disappointment and unfulfilled dreams.

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