The stress of being bullied in campus
The first year of university marks a significant turning point for numerous young individuals, as a majority enter higher education institutions at a tender age.
With the excitement of reaching 18 years old, many perceive this as a chance to embrace newfound freedom and enjoy their autonomy.
Numerous students prefer to apply to universities that are located far away from home, seeking to minimize interference from parents or close relatives.
However, amidst the pursuit of this newfound independence, many young people become vulnerable to predators who lie in wait.
Seasoned students on campus anticipate the arrival of new freshers with great expectations, though not necessarily with the intention of assisting them.
Instead, they often aim to take advantage of the newcomers’ lack of experience. While bullying is officially prohibited in high schools, universities in Kenya host a subtler form of bullying.
Older students continuously remind first-year students of their “fresher” status, exploiting their naivety for their own gain.
Vincent Ang’awa, a current second-year student, shares his encounter with bullying in university.
“My first year was distressing. I recall how an older student misled me when I asked for directions to a specific lecture hall. By the time I reached the venue, I was late, and the lecturer denied me entry,”
“I also remember during admission day how various organizations coerced us into buying T-shirts that I have yet to receive,” he told Nairobi News.
Nancy Achieng, now in her third year, recounts her experience as a fresh student: “During my first year, I ended up sharing a room with a continuing student. It was an extended period of difficulty as she would lock me out for hours while spending time with her boyfriend.”
“What hurt the most was her lack of communication. I would return from class and find myself locked out. Being unfamiliar with anyone on campus, I had to endure the cold until someone finally let me in. After that, I made the decision never to stay in the hostels.”
While many parents assume that their children are self-sufficient upon entering higher education, the psychological challenges these young people face necessitate consistent support. It is crucial for parents to regularly check on their children to ensure their well-being in these institutions.