As the first year in college, I was so enthralled by the various activities that took place in my vicinity. I never thought at any given point that I would have so much freedom during my school life like the one I had then. Unlike high school, whereby one had to live abiding by an ant-hill of rules, the campus was a place where nobody was concerned about anybody’s affairs. As an individual student, I decisions and implement them by personal wants and needs. It was so unfortunate that some students decided to prioritize ‘the wants’ and ideally forgot their primary purpose of being there and indulged in other activities that misled them on the road to academic excellence. As a result, of course, they had to face the repercussion of not graduating as their counterparts did so we could see them distraught pleading with the lecturers to be merciful to them and probably add them to the graduating list.
At first, I was quite naive the first few days because being a young girl I was not used to seeing so many people and sometimes wondered whether they were all students. But indeed they were. I vividly recall how I made my first friend. As a first year, being confused was the order of the day. To locate different halls in the college was a problem because there were so many and I reported late after the other students had undergone some orientation, so I always had problems. To cut the story short, Kylie was the first friend I made. She was a dark mellow-voiced girl. She didn’t know where the courses were being registered and it’s like we were swimming in the same boat. When she greeted and tried to inquire that from me, I realized I was not alone in the pool of confusion. Certainly, I had found a partner. I don’t know why I liked her from the first sight, but I contemplated it could be because we shared similar character traits and I confirmed that months after the friendship flourished. We, therefore, strolled till we found the hall where registration of courses was taking place and registered and luckily we were doing the same course. For sure, fate had knocked on our doors.
Soon classes began, and a lot of socializing took place. I was now quite conversant with all the places in the institution. The naivety was replaced by elegance and poise. I became the most social person in our class and loved as well and was made the class representative. This was a high point in my life because I felt honored communicating with our professors on behalf of the students. This contributed a lot to building courage in me and bringing out the leadership aspect in me. I became the love of the people and soon pulled off other roles like being chosen as chair lady in several clubs like Enactus and wildlife. This was just but the beginning of my journey of leadership.
The height of my quest for power reached when out of pressure from my friends I decided to vie for a post in the college’s student’s body. I knew I was risking, but sometimes the waters have to be tested to know how deep they are. From the research I did, it was certain that from the inception of the institution there never appeared a female student in that body. It was simply a male dominated field and any lady who tried the dirty game of political leadership was always humiliated. I asked myself whether I was ready for the task or not. I bet I was not yet sure, but one thing was outright; I would not be fazed by any bleak situation that came my way. I was determined more than ever fight the fierce battle. I was vying for the seat of secretary general. I wanted to be a true leader who would fight for the student’s rights, unlike the former leaders who embezzled the student’s funds. I wanted to advocate for improved infrastructure in the institution because some of the facilities were quite dilapidated.
I knew I had to come up with a strategy that would help me battle out the other aspirants who were male. My first step was to come up with an excellent campaign team that would act as my ambassadors and does the door-to-door campaigns for me. I also came up with very nicely printed posters with my manifesto listed there clearly. Campaigns kicked off, and it was time to tie and tighten the belt in an attempt to seek votes from the fellow students and trying as much as possible to persuade them to vote for me. As much as I didn’t have money to give out like the other aspirants, the students seemed to love what I had to put on the table for them, and it appeared that there was the likelihood of me clinching the position and this sent a red light to the other aspirants. They started plotting how they would pull me down without my knowledge. I started getting threats on the phone which said should step down or else I would face the music. I ignored the threats but one day the unexpected. A group of paid goons was paid to torch my room. All my documents and other items were reduced to ashes. I was a troubled soul. I felt as if I was broken into pieces, and that was not all they threatened to assault me farther if I reported. My dreams were shuttered, and I had no choice but to step down. This experience created a negative perception about trying out leadership positions even at my current place of work because am pessimistic about what would unfold. And indeed, this was an experience that affected my life profoundly. Will never forget it.