At the end of last year a friend of mine and I toasted to “new beginnings”. We were bight-eyed and bushy tailed as we excitedly fantasized about … (cue drum roll) being a UCT student. “I just want to stand on Jammie steps! Like seriously as an official student” I remember saying. Ah! How young and naïve I was.
Six months later my friend and I sat slightly dishevelled and vey broke (financially and mentally)… Where had the big dream gone to? No doubt we made it to Jammie steps but now the biggest problem was finding a way to not run down the iconic stairs like a complete lunatic to get to my politics lecture on time.
When people say that going from high school to university is “a big jump” they don’t realise how much of an understatement they are making. In my eyes it is like an obstacle course on Ninja Warrior, except this one has pigeons attacking you, loads of textbooks and thousands of students.
An obstacle course that takes place in the library and computer labs occurs on a daily basis…Ultimate Computer Fight. Players in this game stand around waiting for an unoccupied computer and when they spot one they sprint towards it. If you get there on time well done, if not… well wait another hour till you can try again.
The much-loved: Ultimate Deadline. Yes you guessed right! In this obstacle course players camp out at computers typing away feverishly minutes before a deadline, followed by racing to every possible printer because “THE DAMN THING KEEPS SAYING I CAN’T PRINT!” and then finally stuffing the creased papers into a box.
From deadlines to feeling brain dead, UCT can take its toll on even the most annoyingly positive person (no seriously look at me!). It can drive you to throttle a pigeon (true story, but I won’t disclose the name of the perpetrator). It can leave some of us wondering “What the hell am I doing?”
One semester later, I don’t have it all figured out and that has been the greatest lesson for me. University is not a straight cut road. Its road with potholes, empty petrol stations and a couple of speed bumps.
But If you look up every once in a while you appreciate the journey. For every speed bump there’s beautiful views, amazing opportunities and hard work that pays off. University is a road travelled with amazing people along your side and if you lucky enough they’ll give you a push to carry on the journey to your destination.
Perhaps the key to surviving every semester at UCT is not always knowing where we going and what we doing. The key is to keep journeying on and know that we have nothing lose except the ink in our pens and a few ours of sleep.
We all like little blue Jammie shuttles winding up a road towards the bigger highways of life to get to the destination we want.
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