To some students or first time compusers commonly known as freshers, leaving the confines of their parent’s homes is like a dream come true to either woman hood or man hood. This means freedom to do whatever you want at any time of the day with no monitoring. Freshers of Makerere University and other various campuses are welcomed by a one week event called ‘Bazaar’ where sales of different items that a fresher will need to buy and start their own temporary home takes place. The essence of ‘bazaar’ is to save some students traveling from upcountry and overseas to do their shopping easily after attaining a hall room, rental or hostel where they will be spending nights for a one whole semester.
Dress codes of all kinds are not prohibited, from long dresses to skimpy short skirts, see through leggings name them all that would entice someone sexually are seen hovering everywhere as bargains are being made. I don’t know whether it’s a Trojan horse trick for some students to easily get what they want with little hustle. Latest gadgets like IPhones, Samsung tabs that we dream of holding one day once our savings accumulate, some of these freshers easily get them by the help of their rich parents. One can tell that a fresher speaks the coolest English or what they call slang by simply looking at the phone they are holding. If it’s a kabiriti or any phone of that category then automatically you will be put in the category of those who don’t speak slang English. A true compuser is defined by the ability to speak slang and put on disfigured jeans that advertise his underpants.
When night falls, loud music, sales of spirits and beer set into action at the Bazaar, tempting those with their little pocket change to give it a try as one bottle leads to another, eventually getting high and when they realize that their quest for more grows high so is the money reduced to zero. Michael, who hails from Mbarara district will never forget the experience he went through when he joined university for the first time. He came from a family of a humble back ground, and his father sold a piece of land to raise tuition and pocket change. But when he entered the gates of the university, peer pressure welcomed him. Together with a bunch of his old friends that night they set off for a club and enjoyed a few hours of fun. In the morning it was misery as he noticed that he had blown up 400,000k just in one night. To him, the definition of fun was misinterpreted. I believe many others went through the same experience that night.
Poor discipline for finances and other vital issues have been passed down from one generation to another and many parents and children are suffering because of poor financial management. It’s the reason why Michael fell flat down into this trap. As these first time students leave for university, little or no counseling is given to them. What some parents want is to feel proud that their children too can be recognized in society as having raised the bar in education. When God created every animal and small living creatures, he did not forget to give them unique traits. Take for example baby snakes. Once they hatch out of their eggs, they immediately begin to fend for themselves. This too should be practiced or taught to compusers whether they commute or reside in hostels. And guardians should take the time and teach financial discipline that will positively affect their children hence saving them the regret if they didn’t use money wisely for their first time at the university.