The first experience in college is really important, because it determines how one perceives and leads college life. My first experience in college was fantastic. After the registration, there was a student orientation. This is where all new students were to meet with the college team and some student leaders to familiarize them with the college environment. This was the official student orientation organized by the college administration. There was also the orientation that occurs naturally, where new students learn what happens in college through interacting with the other students. The official orientation was systematic and organized; I learnt much about college life and knew how I should behave from the way all speakers said. The other orientation was embarrassing, since one had to go through humiliating moments trying to prove their worth to some power groups in the college. This encounter was equally important, since it acted as an eye opener, through which I was able to see college in another light. It helped me understand that one can get spoilt in college or get molded in the same place. Through this experience, I knew I had to choose my friends wisely and learn how to co-exist with everyone to avoid getting in trouble with others.
As soon as I was through with the registration, I went into the hall where the official orientation was scheduled to take place. I had my expectations of what will be said during this orientation. I thought the administration and student leaders would act superficially, making us feel minute and unimportant. On the contrary, when they began addressing us, I realized that they were all humble and people that one could run to for help. One could hardly differentiate between the senior administration team and the student leaders. They all behaved so friendly to us, as opposed to what I thought they would. During this experience, I had a chance to interact with a few of the new students who were also as ambitious as I was. We all had one goal – to make the best out of the college life ahead of us. Interacting with fellow new students gave me another view of what life is. For every new student, their ultimate goal was to study and leave college a better person than before. As the orientation progressed, some members of the staff talked of how students get to college and are discontinued before they can complete their course. They also spoke of others who get to college only to leave with very poor grades, which is equivalent to not attending college. In relation to what my fellow new students had spoken to me about their ambition, I realized that one can come in ambitious only to lose focus and the ambition and end up following other unimportant things in college.
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During the orientation, many speakers spoke about the dangers of drug and substance abuse. They also spoke concerning the significance of discipline in college life. Thus, when leaving the orientation hall every mind was on how to avoid the influence of substance and drug abuse. To my surprise, as soon as I left the orientation hall, I met with a group, or more appropriately, a gang of around five people. They talked to me about “good” college life. From their dressing and mode of speaking, it was clear that they were up to something fishy. I felt terrified, since during high school life I had never had such an encounter. The followed me to where I was heading to and told me that if I wanted to be respected in college I should join them. They said they protect new students who join their group. They spoke to me on the things they do, which were all against what I believed as a religious person as well as against what the administration of the college wanted. For example, they said that if I wanted to be a real person, I should do drugs and everyone will fear me. In my mind, the advice of the speakers in the orientation hall was still lingering. So, whatever that they told me was a total contradiction to everything that I knew. I knew that in order to be a respectable person one must be decent, and according to them decency is cowardice. This was all so confusing.
After the encounter with this gang and several others, I was left wondering, whether this was real college life. I could hardly tell what I should do or what I should not do. My day ended with a confused mind. I needed to take time and analyze the day’s occurrence to be in the position to choose which path to follow and which one to ignore. Some of the groups tried to lure me and other new students on the basis of religion. While resting and sleeping over the day’s events, I concluded that started with a religious group would be a better way to start college life before gaining ground. I felt that it is hard for a religion-based group to lead one in the wrong direction. The day’s experience helped me decide quickly what camp I wanted to join. Without the experience, it could have taken long to determine what could have led to problems later. Through the experience, I was able to start my college life in a decisive manner.
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