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Graduate Spotlight: Stacey Oluoch – The most difficult year of my studies

Stacey (first from right) with her friends.


Asumbi Girls, Homabay County was my high school.  My love for how telephones work was groomed there. Well, being in boarding never conditioned me for campus life. Most of my premier semester left me alone and lost. I knew no one and everyone seemed to have a friend but me. Some even had their former classmates in the same classes.  At times when I walked into the class, especially that first month, I questioned if anyone noticed me. I wondered if my absence would be felt and worried about who I would run to to catch up on coursework need be. I may have denied it at first but it became real when that raw feeling creeps and remind you that you do not belong.  It is not a cool vibe at all. Over time, that changed and this is a slice of my campus chronicles.

The making of a music teacher in the second year

Can you hear the mumbled sound of the recorders echo from a distance? Ha! That was me teaching class four students how to play a recorder. It was a terrible experience. I had zero interest in music but had to roll with it. It was a creativity session that allowed the pupils exercise their lung muscles and learn to interpret music.  All I can say is the lockdown saved me as schools closed. But it was not all doom, I also had an opportunity to be a class one teacher. Energy levels in these pupils were at an all-time high. But they truly bought me back to what makes life count. The so-called “kelele” became the story of my childhood. They shared stories about their homes, their parents, the dog they saw hit on the road, and even the sad story of a kid who was beaten up by another during a break; this kept me engaged and alert.  Whatever they had to share reminded me of myself at their age. That is the innocence of a child, we take note and appreciate all that is all around us, good or bad. That is what makes rich memories.

No one tells you about 3rd and 4th year 

Kudos to those who managed to study virtually during the Covid-19 pandemic. This was the most difficult year of my studies. YouTube and Google became my sidekicks. The third-year course work was intense and the projects never seemed to end. Fortunately, I had good friends and this young lady (Nora Oyiengo) just propelled me to keep going. Thank You Nora for being the still small voice. At the close of 3rd year, I remember one of my classmates deferred.

Stacey, third from left, at Huawei

I wished they would have push on but I am glad they stood their ground for it was better for them. They are now finishing their final coursework and hope to graduate next year. Our strengths differ and at times all one can be to another is a constant echo that says you will make it. Take a break when needed but keep going. Be intentional about having a smaller circle of friends who know you, enjoy your first and second year, things get thicker as you get closer to the finish line.

Finally, to all the young Stacey’s beginning their campus journey, hang in there, you shall make it. I have seen a friend defer in the final year and later finish. Be that friend that you want others to be to you.


This article was written by Annete Karanja.


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