Dear reader-who’s-going-to-join-university-very-soon, it is time to rejoice. Out with the shackles of wearing a school uniform to class; in with going to class in a durag, heavy jeans, an oversized T-shirt and beat-down flip-flops. A resounding boo to attempting to meet all your body’s nutritional requirements by eating posho and beans, hooray to the miracle that is rolex and Mama Nalongo’s lukumi lukumi food. Goodbye to studying things you can’t possibly see practical use for in your foreseeable future (sines and cosines anyone?). Adios to queuing up to take a shower. The bad days are over. It is time to be on first name terms with every waiter in every upscale hangout in the city. “Hi John, will it be the same today? Shaken AND stirred? Ok. Coming right up”
The reality might be slightly different though. Chances are, you are still going to learn a lot of stuff you may not see practical use for in your foreseeable future (like how to wind a transformer, or what’s the speed of an electron). The point though, I feel, wasn’t really to show you how unsettled an electron is (electrons are very small things that can’t sit still and they are the reason we have electricity) but more to open your mind to exploring; to appreciating the unseen (I don’t see my editor holding a whip and issuing instructions but I know I have to deliver this article). Winding the generator was the scapegoat; what they really were teaching was that sometimes you have to sit through a few not-too-pleasant things (cutting frogs open, climbing a telephone mast) to get to your goal, your promised land. You’d have to sit through the study of manure and its illustrious history (and pass the exam about it) to get to the cooking lessons you love. So it is with life.
You are probably still going to eat posho and beans every so often because being able to battle being broke in secondary school is like being the master at fighting cats in your village not knowing that there are lions out there. Being broke at university is a bigger cat. Leaner, meaner, stronger, more lethal. Still a cat so the lessons you learned earlier aren’t entirely useless but you need a few more tactics before you can stand.
What about living on the edge and shucking all responsibility? We’ll always make jokes the extremes even when we age and grey. Don’t be the butt of all those jokes.