Survival tips for Kenyan University First years-“Freshers”
Every year thousands of students join various universities in Kenya. The interesting thing is the radical change that some of these students face within a short period of time. Many are unaware what awaits them. The first years are commonly known as ‘freshers’ and everyone in the campuses may first appear friendly only to realize that some had hidden agenda. In order to come out victoriously at the end of 4-6 years below are some of the important things to keep in mind.

1. Understand your Identity
Universities bring together people from different background. Some are well exposed to the world while other are reserved. To those who are easily influenced most of the time they are carried away easily and may end up with the wrong group. It’s advisable to enjoy the freedom that comes with campus life, but first understanding whom you are is very important. As you mingle with new people you will be able to understand what boundaries to cross and what to avoid.

2. Your friends define you
No man is an island and with time friends will come along. It’s advisable to have friends that you hold same value. However, this does not mean you shun away people just because they are different. In most cases your friends in campus will play a major role even after the end of the training. Be slow when choosing the friends and if the friendship requires a lot of self sacrifice then it’s good to just let it go. Take advantage of orientation week to meet and observe people. Have deep meaningful friendships that provide support and openness where you can be yourself cannot be taken for granted. Don’t live another’s person life just to please them

3. Join club or society

Joining a club or society is very important. The clubs/society exposes one to different experiences. They usually offer non academic training, involve in exchange program, organize conferences in addition to providing students with chance to develop their leadership skills. Sometimes signing to one club is not enough, one can sign up to a number of them as long as it doesn’t take up the study or class time.
 
4. Don’t forget your family
 If this is your first time away from home you can guarantee that your parents will worry about you. Are you making friends? Are you enjoying it? Are you keeping up with assignments? These are things your parents want to know. Don’t forget to check in with them every now and then and let them know what you’re up to – though you can probably leave out the bit about waking up in a bin.

5. Check out your course reading list 

Look at what sort of things you’re expected to read. But don’t buy all of them! Some of them will be useful for different modules and some will only be useful for one. If in doubt, your tutors will be able to tell you which books are absolute must-haves for the course. It’s not expected that you’ll read them during fresher’s week, but it’s good to be aware of the content you’ll be studying.

6. Look after your stuff
Fresher’s week is a daunting time and as such it’s pretty much a free-for-all for thieves as students wander around in a daze. Make sure you shut your windows and lock your doors before you go out. It gets crowded at the fresher’s fair, so use closable bags and keep valuables out of sight. If straying away from campus, plan your routes and avoid the more dodgy parts of town.

7. Go to the fresher’s nights
The ball is one of the highlights of your first year – everyone will be there, so it’s a great chance to go out with your; club mates, room-mates, flirt mates, course mates and any other forms of mates you make. Not to mention that some fresher’s nights have some excellent sources of entertainment – think, dance parties, fancy dress, bowling, all sorts. Some Unis even have entertainment committees, you could join that to see what spice you can add!!
Look out for part 2 for more survival tips