The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of being a fresher in FUTA

When I think back on my first year at FUTA, the one word that immediately comes to mind is “Frustration". From the jump, you’re constantly on the go from Obakekere to Obanla, thrown into an entirely different environment and expected to know — or, at least, pretend — to know what you’re doing. Our so called CTY(Catch Them Young) will be at work around the clock and you are left with no choice than to just answer them because you don't want to sound rude. My registration was easy thanks to the unwavering support and direction of church fellowship scouts especially the sisters.

There are so many first experiences that create and shape the person you are by the end of your first year on campus. I didn’t know all of this when I first stepped into Futa. I mean, I’m not going to lie, I literally thought I was going to a village at some point. If I could talk to myself back from coming to FUTA maybe I might have. But the experience so far as been mind-boggling.

The Good

The friends you’ll make and the people you’ll meet, jump to the top of your list. I love FUTA because everywhere I go, I see someone I know. It’s insanely comforting to know you could go out or stay in with friends, and either way, you’ll have a good time. Going out, especially in FUTA, is just experience after experience because you could be doing anything from the variety of food vendors -- Chapters to Mandate and the new ones that have sprung up lately like Chicken n Tinz-- with some friends. Strolling for sightseeing inside school especially during the variety nights of various departments and faculties is also interesting.

I never stayed in the hostel but my friends who did had a lot to gist me about each passing day. The first day I had the opportunity of entering the revered Savour, I noticed it was not just about eating but a show of class. I wasn't so keen on eating outside since I was a girl who is obligated to cook at home, but once in a while, I had to visit Savour just to catch a glimpse of the "who is who" in Futa. One major activity I can never forget is the Ewa Day organised by the Akindeko boys. I had never seen anything like that before, It amused me that some people could have fun in a certain way I couldn't have imagined.

Another part of “the good” of your first year in FUTA is the person you become. You won’t realise it — it comes in bits and pieces — but you will start to see by the end of the year how much you’ve grown. For me, I felt much more certain and confident with my personality. Last but not the least, your first year paves the way for you to find your true passion in life — the work that drives you and makes you want to get up in the morning. This is your best opportunity of setting a good grade and thereafter building on it till you graduate.

The Bad

I remember going home for my first major break after the semester, I got back and stumbled on some high school friends of mine. We got talking and I was asked what school I attended? I told them FUTA and the next question was where was that. I felt embarrassed and learnt my lesson not to mention my school in public. The whole "Futa is a secondary school mentality" was evident both externally and internally. We could not be compared to other Federal Universities like OAU and the likes. But things are getting better as Alumni from Futa are doing great, especially in the tech space where we dominate.

I am much more confident now but the rate at which those in higher level look down on you and start advising you to chase grades can be frustrating at times. You begin to wonder if they truly have your best interest at heart. You’re trying to figure out who your people are, and deciphering people’s actions along the way. You’re also bombarded with the social media of everyone from high school, and wondering why you haven’t found your best friend after a week on campus like they are actually selling best friends at South gate. Let me tell you: it’s all fake. No one finds their best friend that quickly. Don’t get too caught up in how things appear in your first year: it’s cliché, but just go with hinge guts, life throws at you and attempts to make the best of it.

I never had issues with registration, maybe because I had a sister who put me through several steps I needed to take. However, I heard tales of what my friends were going through at different times, especially when it comes to registration. Even up till now, we still go through a very ambiguous process that in my own opinion is not necessary. My major bad experience was lecture theatres, lecturers who care will be shouting on the top of their voice but you can hardly hear anything. Those who don't care never even bothered to try and most of them were taking important courses. The only way out was to read on you own.

The Ugly

The workload. The lack of sleep. Getting sick the first time…and the second and third. And honestly, you’re going to miss whatever you hold dear. Don’t even get me started, is it the 7 am classes or juggling for the shuttle bus when I have an 8 am class. I used to wonder what happens to buses at that time, they are never there when you need them the most. The most annoying times are when the bus driver is wasting your time because of change. Another point is the fact that I have had to sit far away from the lecturers often than I can count even when I got to the lecture room before the time for the class. And though a lot of these things are unavoidable — or in some cases, totally, TOTALLY avoidable — you’ll see that the difficulty of your first year on campus is exactly why it is so amazing. You’re consistently being challenged, whether by academics, new friendships, or just trying to find a companion to the hostel. It’s an incredible experience I wouldn’t change. It might seem rigorous at first, but it is safe to say that nothing good comes easy. You had better get your acts right and swim to the tides of the ocean in Futa if you plan to see the shores of being a graduate some day.

After fives years, you will realise you never made so much use of your freshman year, but it will pass. Wherever you are, try to embrace it and make good use of your time. How was your first year on campus? What did you learn from it? I will like to read from you down the comment session.