Welcome Class of 2023 to Korle-Bu campus!
Disclaimer: Korle-Bu campus is almost nothing like Legon campus, and probably nothing like anywhere else you’ve been before here.
Sorry! I know I probably should have started with sugar-coated nothings and frilly introductions; then gone on and on about details of life on Korle-Bu campus, then finally settled on the above realisation as a befitting conclusion instead of hurling that fact at you in such a fashion.
Then again, that’s what it is; a fact. Good news though is that, it is everything that Legon campus isn’t, too. Time for a big sigh of relief and a wide smile now, right?
The idea of a manual for living on Korle-Bu campus has always occurred to me, more in a way that tickles me, because it sounds funny to imagine an article called: ‘How to Live On Korle-Bu Campus’ or better still: ‘Guidelines for Surviving on Korle-Bu Campus’. No matter how strange it sounds, it’s not a bad idea, because once again, this place is everything and nothing like where you’ve been. So here we go; this article is mainly a form of mental and social preparation for you, and to try coaxing you into accepting to live your best life here!
First of all, you have to realise, whether suddenly or gradually, that you are here now. Sounds like the obvious, but you actually need to recognise that this will be your new home for the next 4 years, as eventually more time will be spent here than with your family back at home.You need to embrace this fact! You do not necessarily have to like this, but the earlier you’re able to at least cope with that as a reality, probably the better life will be for you.
It’s very normal to miss your friends, roommates, and the bustling life of Legon campus. What is even more tempting is to constantly compare the two campuses, because things like the unavailability of your favourite fast food joint around here can set you ticking, but just remember to keep calm. You don’t have to lose contact with your friends back there. Use social media to your advantage to keep in touch. You could also visit from time to time, but don’t get too caught up with all the Legon campus activities that you forget that you belong here. Yes, that’s right, you belong here now. They don’t.
Second on the list, which doesn’t even need reiterating, is the amazing sense of community and family here. I believe this helps a lot, because the academic demands here are tough and draining. It is comforting to know that there’s one big family of friends, mainly your senior colleagues, who have gone through the same journey before you . You might be a loner, but you should try and know some two or three senior colleagues on a personal level. Their mentorship, genuine concern and infinite help will get you through this.
Life is made even easier, with the various fellowships on campus, and personally, I know of Christian and Muslim ones. You could join one or two, and not only will your spiritual life get better, but you will also make new friends and mentors for this journey. Permit me to be biased here as a member of a Christian fellowship on campus. Literally one of the hallmarks of Korle-Bu campus that I cannot exclude from this piece is the strong Christian network here, the numerous programmes and activities of the churches, and the sense of neighborhood. You could take advantage of all these opportunities here, and it starts from finding a fellowship and joining it, no matter what religion you may be a part of!
With time, the pressure of academic work tends to take a toll on everyone here, and as newbies, it might just feel worse. Do not take all this in and suffer in silence. Apart from the above suggestion of older colleagues and fellowships, you could consider making a date with the School Psychologists/Counsellors. They are ever ready to listen to you and help you out. You could also see a lecturer you are comfortable with, and talk to him or her about any peculiar problem, especially academic.
You should also try to build a good network of friends from among your own classmates. It’s a good idea to form study groups with your hostel mates or your sitting partners in class. This will help you to sail easily on this campus, because you all share the same problems and frustrations and can relate to each other very well.
Lastly, there might be a tendency for the stress of your academics to cancel your social life entirely. Don’t get this wrong, your academics is the paramount reason you are in school, if not for that you wouldn’t be on this campus anyway. However, if you can, you could do one or two other things on campus, after all it’s supposed to be a holistic education right?
There are a million things you could get involved in, and they should be beneficial to you. You could get involved in student leadership or politics, and the UGMSA is a good place to start! That said, here’s to looking forward to seeing you at the General Assemblies on specific Fridays😌.
You could get actively involved in your fellowship’s activities: from Christian, Muslim to all other fellowships. Speaking for the Christian fellowships again, there are so many committees and subgroups in the various churches you could join as a Christian and serve with joy. There are also inter-denominational Christian fellowships like CMF, Straitgate and EYO, and the umbrella Christian body: The Korle-Bu Christians’ Network (KCN), which organises many vibrant programmes.
You could get involved in your class sub-committees as well, if you have the chance: the Academic Board, Welfare Committee or the Chaplaincy Board.
The UGMSA has sub-committees such as the Editorial Board, the Sports and Entertainment Committee, and also special committees such as the Judicial Board and the Audit Committee. You can ask any UGMSA executive for more information.
You could take advantage of the library at the Charles Easmon building to try both good academic and non-academic reads, you could have the UGMSA/DVLA special driving classes, you could learn to play an instrument at church, you could join the theatre arts (drama, dance and poetry) section of the KCN, you could explore food joints in Osu, you could join a gym in Dansoman, you could do just about anything! This campus may strike you as un-exciting and plague you with scenarios of a happier campus elsewhere, but the interesting possibilities here are actually endless.
The thing is, do not be content with just surviving here without participating in any extra activity, especially if you can make room for one or two.
I could really go on for a long time, but I must end somewhere.
Every day on this campus is a new day, and you will learn new things all the time. Yes, you might feel different, maybe even out of place; or you might settle in quickly and live like you’ve been here your whole life. Whichever side of the coin you fall on, do make the most out of it. Your first year on this campus should go well if you are mentally and socially prepared to take every challenge in your stride, and hopefully this piece has taken most of the burden off you.
Once again, welcome to Korle-Bu campus🎉. We’re super glad to have you. No matter how this campus may seem, get a grip on yourself, because after all, you belong here!
PS: I’ve spent just one year on this campus. I still consider myself a newbie, but then again, I hope you find this piece in place!😊
Written By: Afia Kwabiaa Baah (Class of 2022)