You’ve made it to university? Great, here is a reality check

Mercy Akinyi, university courses

Mercy Akinyi (right) of Presbyterian University speaks to Doreen Kathure on her course option during the My Network Tertiary Education and Careers Fair at the KICC grounds on January 26, 2019.

Photo credit: Francis Nderitu | Nation Media Group

Getting an admission to university is a big deal for many young people.

From the recently released 2020 Form Four exam results, more than 143,000 candidates qualified to join university after scoring grade C+ and above.

Many are in the process of choosing and revising their course choices, with the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service set to open the online application portal this week. But it is during such a time that things go wrong because many are not keen as they bask in their own glory. As one already in university, I have some advice I would like to share with my brothers and sisters preparing to embark on this journey.

Let’s start from course selection. I know your career teacher and coach already told you to choose a course that you are most passionate about. Many never take these words seriously only to regret later.

They chose the so-called marketable and well-paying course and they are struggling in class.

I have seen students struggle with courses they are not passionate about— including the famed engineering, aviation, medicine, law and accounting. Some were forced by their parents and guardians. To any parent reading this, please keep your biases out of your child’s career choices.  University students have fallen into depression because of the pressures you put on us after choosing careers for us.


We have students who took courses only because their parents had “connections”. Please, before you fall into that trap, keep in mind that your rich relatives owe you nothing, and circumstances change. The era of godfathers is long gone; be your own man or woman.

The other issue is the famed freedom. Yes, compared to high school, there is a degree of freedom in university.

However, that freedom comes with responsibility and if you fail to bear this in mind, you could ruin your life. There are real struggles in university, including inadequate finances and a high cost of living. Aspiring comrade, prepare and prepare well.

 Are you aged 10-20 and would like to be Nation’s young reporter? Email your 400-600-word article to [email protected]


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