My first day of college was a memorable experience. It was marked with excitement and a certain amount of fear. I always thought that my first day was going to haunt me for years to come, but oh boy was I wrong. I have always dreamed about a free, independent and exciting college life, which is what I was expecting on my first day.

When my matric exam results came out, I was relieved to find out that I had passed with flying colours. Seeking admission to any public college was one of my first priorities. Submitting admission forms was easy, because soon after that I was granted admission. When I went to register I was quite happy and satisfied. Surprisingly enough, many student organisations were welcoming the newcomers very compassionately, which really made me feel at ease.

Classes were starting on the 23rd. The feeling of finally being in college elevated my hopes to another level. I got up early in the morning, took a long bath and got ready for my big first day in college. I rushed through breakfast and made way to the station to get a taxi.

Surprisingly I bumped into many other college students who gathered around. Being first year collegegoers we decided it would be nice if we walked together to campus because we were afraid of being part of First Year Foolery.

Approaching the main gate, we realised there was a group of senior students waiting. They greeted us then mockingly raised a poster with “First Year fools” written on it. What a joke we thought. Since we were a big group, we decided to ignore them and carry on ignoring the silly practical jokes.

Having to find my way around was challenging. I walked to the notice board to take note of the times. First period was English. It was hard finding the class since it was my first day. I spotted a fellow learner, I thanked my luck because he was going to help, or so I thought. He was innocent looking and so I approached him and asked for his assistance. But just like the usual senior students who liked making fools out of beginners, he directed me to the wrong class, oh what a fool I was for believing him. To my shock when I arrived, I realised it was the seniors’ class. I was out of there as quick as I had come in, filled with embarrassment.

After school I was really glad to go home and on my way I was thinking about what would happen if I bumped into one of the seniors, the thought terrified me as I had heard many stories about how they treated newcomers. When I got home, I told my older brother about my first day.

After our long conversation I realised that it was not because the seniors were bad or hated us or anything, no! They were acting like that simply because it was all part of what they called the ‘First Day Initiation” something which is done annually.

It was quite a relief finding that out soon because then I didn’t have to bring along my pepper spray with me to school anymore. Phew!!! What a relief. Saved me and them from any trouble.

And that is my story.


Tell us: Do you think the seniors were bullies?