Tuesday 18 May 2021
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The packed student ‘lunchbox’

They are born, they go to school, they are sent to university and then they need to find a job. Might be worth it, might not be. For more than half of their lives they get to listen to teachings or lectures and many questions whether all this will be worth it? Today, the present era is an epitome of stress. The seventeenth century has been called the ‘Age of Enlightenment,’ the eighteenth, the ‘Age of Reason,’ the nineteenth, the ‘Age of Progress’ and the twentieth, the ‘Age of Anxiety and Stress.’ The student community is also not aloof and thus have fallen prey to this problem. The possible factors leading to this phenomenon among the students are increase in academic competition and lifestyle adopted to cope with the same. These lifestyles in particular lead to stress levels and also inhibit the coping practices adopted to manage the stress. The script about life is such that every level entered comes with its challenges and one has to start all over with a new fight. Many of these reasons point to the lack of proper transition and orientation on the step-up to be taken.

While it is expected of student life to be the best, the expectations attached can be a contrast to the popular belief. For the first time, a young person is close to the responsibility load zone yet far but gets to have a sight of what awaits them. In this period, the character of man is built. So, every student tries his/her best to make the best use of their life. If properly utilized, it lays the foundation of a promising future and great achievements. If misused, defeat is sure to be your portion.  Yet, apart from all the student life perks there are also daily struggles that a student goes through that they often not know how to handle such as waking up to attend class, not having enough money to go through the month, exam pressure and so much more.  Below are a few testimonies from those still in the comfort of the varsity shoe. “My university outlook totally failed me. The way I perceived Namibian institutions had a severe impact on my studies. For 7 years, I repeated subjects over and over. Last year I decided to go back and change my attitude. I believe that it is not about how you feel, but what you do to keep yourself going. I finally graduated this year,” said Randyll Isaacs.

“Waking up early is a problem but I get to keep myself motivated by thinking about the end result, then it keeps me going. 07h30 classes is not a joke and nobody will force you to attend any lectures,” said Jasmin Indongo. “Financial issues make me just want to quit school, even though I am an A student, I can’t seem to change my circumstances. But how I managed to keep going up till my 4th year is by applying for this government loan that really serves us good up till now,” said Michelle Swartz.  “Eish, it is not easy. University life is not for the faint hearted. I usually don’t talk about this, but if it can help anyone out there why not? I used to go through extreme peer pressure and was forced to skip classes to hang out. A year ago I realised that it is not worth it. I got myself friends that are focused in class and ever since I did that my average jumped from 40% to 60%,” said Josef Ekandjo. “If only I knew back then how to deal with exam pressure and all that. Today I know. What I do to cut pressure before exam starts is by taking it day by day. Every day I study a section for an hour or two and get help if I am stuck somewhere,” said Miriam Nakale.

“Keeping my Bible by my side helps me get through school. Whenever I feel weak and drained I open my Bible. It is not fair to go through so many struggles as a student and I hope it will pay off,”
said Christina Jackson.  If you think finishing varsity is a hustle, try finding a job after that with your qualification. There is so much packed to the lunch box than just breakfast. But, Congratulations! University will be one of the most exciting times of your life, full of fun, friends and opportunities for socialization and self-development.  “Young students need to realize that what they do and who they are in university determines who they become after graduation day. Challenges are destined to be part of your journey so crying about them does not change the rate at which they come,” advised a young banker Frans Haimbodi.

Haimbodi spent 3 years without a job after graduating – an experience he said could have been avoided provided that he planned his life after school before finishing. “I was too focused on graduating that I forgot about who and what I will be after that day. I thus advise students to already start harvesting the required skills for the labour market before they become certificated to go out there.” In order to fight the daily struggles as a student, students must continue to remind themselves what the prize will be at the end of the day once studies are completed and most importantly keep their ‘lunchbox’ filled on a daily basis.

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