It feels good to be out of school! This was an exciting journey, of course with its ups and downs.
I remember joining first year as a very ambitious but quite naïve teenager. I was the first person in our family to join campus and I knew that all eyes were on me. I knew less of campus life, but of course I had heard lots of stories. Stories of the much time one has yet less studies, of more money yet no work and of more freedom yet less responsibilities. These stories seemed exciting and were enough motivation on top of my childhood dream of being a medical doctor. Finally, I had gotten myself an opportunity to test the validity of these stories. A chance to write my own story for the four years.
After registration on day one, my second goal was to know all parts of the big, world class university. I remember spending a whole day going round all parts of the campus with a map on my hand. Spending the next day looking for the swimming pool but to no avail. I can’t help but laugh when I recount how a fellow first year who seemed to know the university better than I did, convinced me that it must be in Ruiru campus and I believed that. Later, I came to discover where it was, and the only time I got in was when I attended a friend’s baptism.
I was not lucky enough to register in the CU during the orientation. I believe I was so excited to see the table. However, I met a friend who was in fourth year and she introduced me to an evangelistic team. This was the Christian union for me and I became a faithful member. All through I had an unanswered question, “how comes all the Christian union members came from the same region and spoke similar language?” I was the only member not from their region. I was also bothered by the small size of this CU but well, I had heard that only a few people are born again in campus so I was more delighted to be part of the remnants in the big institution. I attended all the prayer meetings and fellowships faithfully.
In my second month in campus they appointed me as their prayer secretary. That was the last time I attended the meetings. I had no courage to lead prayers in such a team…they prayed for longer hours than I did and seemed to be more dedicated than I was. I felt intimidated and running away was the best choice. I also felt that being more involved would limit my political ambitions. I had already started campaigning for one of the presidential candidates and I wasn’t sure if the “C.U” members would be impressed to see their leader in such activities. The leaders tried to follow up but I had made up my mind and there was no turning back.
Later, in my second semester I learnt of the Christian Union through a poster. I started attending morning devotions at Nyayo Zone. It was in this group that I met the then worship committee prayer coordinator Shadrack Ndinda who encouraged me to join the ushering team. The team was very welcoming and warm I felt the love and I found encouragement from fellow co-workers. However, I would only attend the Wednesday fellowship since I was still attending my local church.
During the first long holiday I volunteered as a peer teacher in one of the high schools and I loved the experience. When I resumed for my second year, I heard an announcement during one of the CU fellowships about high school ministry. I took the contacts of the coordinator and attended one of their prayer meetings behind the library. I lost contact with the team for some time until one day the coordinator spotted me as I was collecting offerings and passed me a note with his name and contacts. I finally joined and settled in high school ministry and I served there until I was chosen as the vice-chairperson to the Christian union in my third year.
I am highly convinced that joining the CU was one of the best choices I made in campus. As a member and a leader in the CU my life was greatly impacted. Through the various teachings, I experienced a change of view on various social issues majorly on marriage, politics and governance. I actually realised that it was not wrong for Christians to be actively involved in politics. I was also able to see education as a tool of reaching out to the non-believers and to appreciate the role of education in a Christian. It is in these years that I learnt various Christian disciplines such as personal devotions and CBR. I also attended BEST-P classes in which I learnt how to properly handle the word of God. Not to mention the various FOCUS activities that gave me a platform to learn and interact with people a key one been Ezra Conference. The CU gave me an opportunity to grow my leadership skills and to learn to uphold integrity as a Christian.
Other than my involvement in the Christian Union I also had an opportunity to participate in other activities in the university. I was a committed member of KU Economics student’s association (KUESA) and Finance Society in Kenyatta University (FSKU) in which I served as the Finance Secretary in my second year. I was also a university-trained peer counsellor and I also served as the team’s secretary for one semester. In my second year, I got an opportunity to participate as a Panellist in the 13th World Bank Economic Update which was a key national event. In my fourth year I was given a scholarship under Erasmus+ Programme for an exchange programme in the University of Economics Bratislava in Slovakia, Europe. In all these I give God the glory!
I viewed all this as a chance to impact the non-believers and an opportunity for integral mission. I believe it’s very important for all Christian students to be of influence in all areas in the university. This is through excelling in academics, joining clubs and societies and participating in university politics. We can’t influence the secular world when we are locked in our prayer rooms and fellowships. We need to go and meet them where they are and let them learn from our diligence, integrity and excellence.
Striking a balance between my academics, leadership and spiritual life was not easy. In most cases as Christians we may forget our academics. However, I thank God because I managed to maintain a good score through out my four years. This was through:
One, learning to trust in God and commit my plans to Him. There are moments when I would face frustrations in leadership when things failed to work out as I had planned. I would devote myself to try and make things work out and it consumed my time and energy unnecessarily. Until I learnt to do my best and trust God with the uncertainties.
Secondly, is through proper time management. With the many activities the probability of missing a lecture, a group discussion or failing to do assignments was very high. I appreciate one of my lecturers who taught me how to plan for my activities. It’s through his mentorship that I learnt that if I attend all my classes, allocate three hours of discussion and three of personal reading to each unit in a week and sleep for 7hours daily I still had 65 hours unutilised. These are the hours I dedicated to all other activities. I know you may be surprised but this worked!
Thirdly, I had a good system of accountability through my friends in class. I remember one time when I was highly involved in club activities such that I had formed a habit of missing classes. One day I met my classmate from a class at Nyayo gate and he had my CAT paper, I had performed so poorly. He said “Maggy unaona venye unaanguka CAT na kazi yako ni kuzunguka tu KU…”Certainly, those words were enough to take me to class for the rest of the semester. I also remember during my leadership in the CU how my friends would be very tough when I missed a discussion group. These are just but a few of the instances. It is very important not only to have accountability in your social and spiritual lives but also in our academics. It really helped.
Finally, I learnt to prioritize.Among the many things that demanded for my attention, I realized only a few needed my availability. At first I would find myself attending to all events in the CU and barely did I have time for myself. Later, I learnt how to make a list of my priorities giving attention to those that were urgent and important and learning to delegate. Of course, as a student academics should be among the top things you prioritize..
I highly thank God for all the people who actively took part in moulding me during my campus life. I would like to encourage all Christian students to strive and strike a balance in all their aspects of life.It is part of stewardship. Let’s take up our academics seriously for it is our number one tool of influence. It is also important for us to fearlessly engage in the other affairs in our campuses, stop blaming the leaders, the system, the lectures…. get into the play ground and make a difference!
Bachelors in Economics and Statistics. Currently, working with FOCUS Kenya as STEM Staff in Meru CUs.