1. Uni is one big party that never stops
It really is. Believe the hype. From the house parties, the illegal hostel parties, the clubs, there was always someone somewhere drinking and making merry. You learn to appreciate cheap liquor. Also, Whiskey is not smooth, and you will black out like a light. Once in a while, a legendary night out is more important than a few meals in a week. FOMO (fear of missing out) is real. No one wants to hear they missed out on the best party with the cutest guys. F2, if you know you know wink

2. Drink from the fountain of youth, or Smirnoff
Make mistakes. Make good memorable mistakes but never live with regrets.Take a leap of faith, start that business, ask that girl for her number, steal a kiss in public, go on that road trip, take a sexy photo, skip that class. You really don’t know what you are missing. And no, I am not encouraging recklessness. There is however a lot to learn and appreciate from taking risks, embracing the excuse of youth and learning to laugh at ourselves. I learnt that 20 year olds are really just a bunch of idiots looking to have fun, don’t fight it. Go through the motions. Live in the moment. Give love another chance, and always, another chance. Run boldly towards what sets your heart on fire.

3. ‘Nisignie’ as a form of currency.
I can’t tell you just how many times I asked someone to sign for me the attendance sheet in class or add me to their group in absentia due to a wild night or general laziness to get out of bed. I understand maybe guys in private universities can’t relate, sorry guys you missed out. I honestly don’t know how we (class of ’14) managed to get out alive. I just want to thank all the friends who would sign for us and update us on assignments, you’re the real MVP’s.

4. You can do that cat at 7, just one more episode
One more episode is the biggest lie we tell ourselves in life. One episode usually leads to three to five and before you know it, the sun is back up. This together with, ‘ lemme see what’s happening on Instagram’ which always somehow leads you to the longest stalking fest in your life where you even find out the cousin’s sister’s uncle’s neighbor’s pet dog is called Biscuit.

  • Whatever you do, Exams start at 8. Don’t miss an exam. It’s not worth it.

5. 5 years a slave
Haha this is one of life’s greatest disappointments if you school in a public university in Kenya on the government sponsored programme, my fellow alumnus can attest to it. You get your calling/ acceptance letter from one of the big five institutions and you’re gripped with the excitement of a newborn playing peek-a-boo. It doesn’t take you long to realize this is not your average fairytale and the beds displayed in the online hostel booking portal were photo-shopped.
Orientation week doesn’t quite prepare you for the countless number of underpaid lecturers’ strikes that extend for months on end, or the long holidays that give people just enough time to get pregnant and give birth without anyone’s knowledge.
There you are, doing a course that could take 3 years but forced to sit through 5 years. There are no guarantees.

6. Friendship
No man is an island. In university I met many people and got acquainted with many. It was a wild experience. I have made lifelong friendships from people I only met in university. The literal ‘ride or die’s’. Girls I know I can count on for anything. It’s important to make the right kind of friends too. The ones who inspire you, challenge you, call you out on your bs, support you, celebrate you and occasionally get blackout wasted over wine with. You need your tribe to get though university, not too many just the loyal ones. Quality over quantity.

7. Let’s face it, we’re all broke.
Don’t be fooled, everyone is broke. It’s important to live within your means. Most guys are getting an allowance from their parents that’s just enough for their survival. Don’t blow a week’s allowance on the first day on drinks, it will be a tough life for you. Guys who used to get HELB would stunt on everyone for one week then fall off the face of the planet for the rest of the semester. Don’t be like them. haha. Learn to navigate through brokenness. You can eat meat a few days in a week, but be assured ‘ugali skuma’ is the only constant.

8. Call your mom
When you go to university, it’s easy to misuse the newly acquired freedom, and I encourage it. But you soon realize that family is really everything, no matter the distance. I schooled in a different county from home, a good six hour drive. The homesickness hits you when you least expect it. Embrace it and call your mom. She’s probably worried sick about you anyway. Living away and going through the motions is not always a bed of roses, it’s a scary bumpy ride and you need someone who always has your back to survive. You’re never too grown to need your mom, you too son!

9. Thieves
Oi my friend, if your things never got stolen from your room or clothes from the hanging lines, must be nice. The rest of us kawaida wananchi got stolen from left, right and center. I remember mine got so bad when they broke into my room and almost stole my laptop only I got back in time before they actually could. Long story short that’s when I moved from the hostels to rented apartments. That peace of mind goes a long way. By the way the thieves are usually students, beware. You will also get mugged at night if you’re not careful. And of course we can’t forget about the guys who steal your heart only to crush it. hehe I just had to, sorry not sorry.

10. Chemelel in Kalenjin means lightskin
Well I went to a school deep in Kalenjin land for almost six years so it would be improper of me not to learn the language. When in Rome…

11. Sex, just loud enough for the neighbors to know your name
I think when you first join university and live in the hostels, this is the first culture shock that hits you. In my case, I went to a high school where everyone was conservative and sex was talked about in hush hush tones. Little shy me was in for a rude surprise; the reality is that everyone does it. In my opinion, primary and high schools could do with an improved sex education curriculum. I wish someone prepared us earlier for what we were to expect. From the creaking of beds down the hall, and muffled moans at add hours of the day and night, sex is like a sport or hobby for guys in university. One piece of advice, always use protection. You’re health and safety is more important than any few minutes of pleasure. It’s called the candy shop for a reason, and they’re just 50-60 Bob. Trust-Kuwa True?

12. Niggas eint sh*t
I can’t say I dated much in uni. I was determined to steer clear from the boys around and their reputations. It’s funny that despite all my efforts, I still got to experience a little bit of all the stereotypes there are of men, either directly or indirectly. I can’t relay to you the number of times my girlfriends and I had been cheated on, lied to, PLAYED FOR A COMPLETE AND TOTAL FOOL. In the same breath we met men who would romance us til we drop. The thing about these campus guys that one needs to be prepared for from the jump, is that they’re just as young and trying to figure themselves out. They’re also really poor at communication but have just the right words to get what they want. They will do just about anything to get in your pants. Boys will be boys, I learnt to be smarter.

  • You probably won’t get married at 25

University is supposedly the place to meet our future spouses and many people waste their time on this fruitless endeavor. Very few actually get lucky but for the rest of us, issa lie. Don’t focus your energy trying to find mr/mrs right. Chase good grades and happiness. The rest will fall in place. Trust your timing and the process.
Its okay to break down while walking on the academic highway- a story for another day.

13. Meet hitler (your dictator roommate)
When I joined university, my roommate was a 4th year student. I didn’t have the worst experience with her but later on, down the road, nilijua sijui. From the pregnant roommate releasing atomic farts from the beans she ate and you have to stomach it since she could pop at any time; to the dirty roommates who have absolutely no sense of hygiene. We have the ‘ushago’ roomy who comes from home with all the maize cobs to be ‘syagwad’ and fish stinking up the room. There’s the loud ones with like 10 friends she’s always cooking for meaning you have no peace or quiet time and you have to endure painfully through boring stories. I have to say the worst ones are the ones that exile you out of the blues and you have to find an alternative place to sleep for a night, or a week if you’re lucky. I know guys who refused to get exiled would have to endure people getting it on, on the top bunk with them asleep. People have absolutely no shame. Let’s not forget the guys who got completely chased out of their rooms due to cohabitation. It’s a man eat man society out there. Survival is indeed for the fittest. You have to be mjanja to navigate through these demon roommates.

14. That ‘What you doing’ text, at 12 midnight is a bootycall
We have all gotten this text at one point or another. Sometimes you’re cozied up in your room binge watching reruns of friends, sometimes you’re at the club with your girls having a good time. I don’t exactly know what goes on with guys who send these texts, shamelessly, but I can assure you, ignore! Ignore! Ignore that text with every fibre of your being. Text them back in the morning and chances are, they won’t even remember sending it to you. Dodging bullets sis. You’re welcome. But you know, occasionally maybe you’re up for bad decisions. lol. Don’t let me stop you.

University really does prepare you for life outside campus and adulthood, but at the same time doesn’t. Don’t get too caught up in the bubble, always strive for growth. Be kind to yourself, and give yourself time to bloom.

#Blooming_Unapologetically ❤️


  1. First of all you are toooooooo beautiful ???? second this post is so relatable I cannot at all!!! The accuracy….F2 if you know, you know

  2. I can relate to practically everything in that article.

    Rosey says:
  3. ??? relatable in all campuses in the +254, nice writing Shirlyn

    Dennis says:
  4. Lol,who can relate? Me that’s who¡ Good job,I think you just captured 5 years(it really was 6) in a 5 minute read. Love you boo

    Teffy says:
    1. Aki tell me about it!! We have literally seen it all in those almost 6 years. I’m glad you could relate ma’. Love you more ❤️❤️

  5. awesome writing. true we have to always strive to grow wherever we or do. great lessons.

    kevin kipkan says:
  6. Girl! You are so beautiful ?and this hit the spot

    Mitchele says:
  7. Ukweli isemwe,
    Watu wa indomie wako wapi??

    Kevin says:
  8. The good old days for allowances ??
    Ukweli isemwe
    Watu wa indomie wako wapi??

    Kevin says:
  9. Haha.. Am already nostalgic.. I these 14 ways makes what university life is… You forgot one.. Strikes hahaha

    Hassan Farouk says:
  10. Woooooow this one is amazing dear,i remember i was ur neighbour when the thief got into your rum,sema kungangana na mwizi kwa mlango waaaah nguvu nazo heh

    fay says:
    1. Waaah babes that day was sooo traumatizing aki. Siwezi ombea mtu experience kama hiyo ever. But we live and learn. Uni was an adventure for sure

  11. You know, you can always resit an exam, but you can’t relive a party ?

    Also, you are beautiful ??

    Joey le Twin says:
    1. First of all, those retakes are usually harder than the exam everyone took. No dhennx. Anddd thank youuuuuuu. ??? You make me happy❤️

  12. I’m yet to discern since when you turned to be such a talented writer. I can relate to almost every single aspect in the story. Kwanza kuibiwa, they stole my laptops twice. Anyway you doing great keep it up. Plus it goes without saying av always been a great fun of your mesmerizing beuty.

    Kamaar says:
    1. Awww my Kamaa! You always have just the right words? thank you soo much for this heart-warming feedback. Those thieves in school had no mercy, pole Sana. You’re amazing, I appreciate you ?

  13. OMG!!!
    and as I read through this piece, I kept saying, dammit! This girl is talking about me.
    if there was a chance for hate I would probably hate myself.
    Thank you ma. To learning, and growing. ?

    Edith says:
    1. Omg darling tell me about it,!! We have literally gone through it all! Don’t hate yourself ma’, life is about making mistakes and learning from them. Our experiences shape us. To learning and growing??

  14. Mmh…. Niggas really ain’t shit, … Great work Shirlyn.

    Joseph Rungurua says:
  15. Waah you guys!! ? theft in campus is on another level! Do you remember the antigen? ? That basic need everyone laughed at you about as a fresha if you didn’t secure your door with one?
    Heeeh, i should meet someone who lived out their entire campus life in the hostels bc DAMN?

    Delle says:
    1. Haha antigen was another lie. Those thieves had master keys even for those. It was survival I tell you.
      They’re quite a number who braved it out. Haha I couldn’t, it was too much hustle

  16. 5 years of my life in a nutshell, 13 lessons I can relate
    Quite the good read

    Zoe Kasyoka says:
  17. first of all, you are sunshine itself and i have missed seeing you in a while. secondly, you have captured Moi in all its light. and third, all the best.

    tinah says:
  18. Well written ..I can relate and you looking Soo good

    Gloria says:
  19. Well written and relatable…you looking Soo good girl

    Glo says:
  20. nice piece.. campus vibe… no doubt??

    Irungu_Migwi says:

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