This blog post is written by one of Arise Africa's students who is on scholarship to Africa University in Zimbabwe. Read about Joseph's first year at university to be inspired by God's love and provision.
First year is officially coming to an end. It has not been easy but I really thank God for His grace and love. As mentioned in my reports, there are a lot of things I learned in my freshman year. Despite the challenges faced at many different times, I look back and see how I have grown spiritually, physically, emotionally and socially as well. What I have learned about college this freshman year is;
1. College courses will challenge you on a new level. Most likely, you won’t get the sorts of marks you earned in high school, even if you’ve taken several AP and honors courses. It’ll take some time to adapt to new expectations and distractions. You may have the sharpest mind in any one class, but college life will test your concentration with constant social opportunities, roommate issues, and assignment overload.
2. The relationships you have with your lecturers is very different from the ones you had with your high school teachers. Lecturers may not always know your name, or remind you that your assignment was due yesterday. They will give you more independence over your education than your teachers did; they expect you to handle that freedom with responsibility and maturity.
3. The social scene will beckon you, no matter how much of a wallflower you were back home. There will be plenty of activities other than schoolwork that will draw you in, from joining a club to attending a student performance or from going to educational and social trips to hanging out with your friends on the quad. Exposing oneself to a new experience even once is a great way to combat the feeling that you are missing out. Our school keeps an up-to-date calendar of social events and lectures on the webpage. You may very well feel that you are missing out on social opportunities by hitting the library, but you just have to be very good friends with the library. It is hard to raise a low GPA so you always have to be on track.
4. Even students eager to live on their own find themselves missing home. You may feel a pang of homesickness when you miss your sister’s birthday, or your roommate is being noisy and you are longing for your old room. It becomes worse when they eat your snack without permission.
5. Not everybody is having more fun than you or doing better in their courses. It’s always advised to resist the temptation of comparing oneself to others. Your friends may be editing their social media accounts and telling all their followers that they’re having a blast and that they’re successful in all their endeavors. In reality, they likely share the same transitional challenges that you’re dealing with.
Even though I encountered these challenges in my first year of college, I have come to know also that all those confident upperclassmen we see on campus have gone through this transition before and made it to the other side. With time, and with the knowledge that I could reach out for help whenever I needed it, I made it through my freshman year, too.
I am currently in the middle of exams and they have not been so easy. This semester had a lot of challenging courses and the exams are coming in handy too. But I know for sure I have studied quite enough for all the courses. I will be writing Statistics on 27th April and I am so nervous. This course has really been hard for me but I am still hoping for the best. Please pray for this test.
School will be closing on 5th May. I am so excited to go home but unfortunately, I will only get to go home after 10th June. This is because I will be working on a project with my other classmates. We intend to do an HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness program with children between the ages of 12 and 18. This project will focus on how well children know about HIV/AIDS before we run them through a series of interactive lessons.
The topics we wish to cover are:
2) Peer pressure
3) HIV attacks
4) Juggling My life
5) HIV limbo and many more.
At the end of this project, we will carry out an assessment to see the difference on how children understand HIV – post learning. I am excited to do this project and I have high hopes it will be a success.
I have a lot of things to be thankful for, I just want to make mention that y’all have made a great impact on my life. Having this scholarship is such a great blessing to me and my family. I also keep believing it will have such a great impact on my community as well. I do not have to worry about funding for school or food or anything else. That allows me to focus on my school work and I am forever thankful. Thank you so much for every prayer made for me and showing me God's love in many ways. I love you all.
Arise Africa would like to thank Highland Park United Methodist Church who generously provided four scholarships for our students who currently attend Africa University. We are humbled to partner with HPUMC to help support the future leaders of Africa who are committed to the Lord's work.