The ASUU strike is finally off, and all the Nigerian university students will have returned to school by October 24 . We asked nine of them what they’ve missed about their universities in the last eight months away. From Onyi, who misses the easy access to her boyfriend while in FUTO, to Nas and UNIABUJA Friday night parties, here are their answers.
Dindu*, UNN, Male, 19
The ASUU strike took away the financial freedom l had in school. I bought anything l wanted. Lunch was always at Chitis. I mean, my parents would send me money without asking. But during the strike, l didn’t see shishi. My elder siblings, who randomly sent me money, all disappeared. And they don’t believe it when l tell them in the family group chat that their baby boy is broke. My eldest sister would ask me what l need money for since l’m at home. Sis doesn’t know money enhances the baby-boyness so l can remain relevant.
Shirley*, FUNAI, Female, 20
My school is the ghetto. Yeah, I have another opportunity to drag them, and l won’t miss it. The only thing l miss is physically meeting my friends and bantering over mundane things. It’s not like we don’t communicate again, but l miss physically seeing them. My friends are the coolest people on earth; l miss them so much. They’re what l miss.
Onyi*, FUTO, Female, 23
I miss my boyfriend. I live in Anambra, and he’s in Abuja. We communicate every day, but l miss everything about him: his advice, help with my studies, gentle touches, sense of humour… everything. He’s the best thing that happened to me in FUTO. We’ve been dating for roughly a year, but it seems brand new every day around him, and there’s always something new to learn with him. The strike made me appreciate the moments that we shared more. We used to see almost every day in school. I’m happy ASUU has finally called off the strike because l miss that boy.
There’s this lecturer who takes one of the history courses. Once you attend his lectures, you’re sure to learn one or two big grammar. He’ll come to class, spitting grammar laidis, and we’ll just sit listening to him. Man is learned. Patrick Obahiagbon can’t even tie Professor Johnbull’s (that’s what we call him) shoelaces. I low-key miss the man’s “gargantuan crinkum crankum”.
Big T*, UNIZIK, Male, 23
I miss my babes — not my girlfriends but friends that are so dear to me. I got to know them in my first week of resumption through my lodge mate, and we’ve gone on to become great friends. We vibe wella. They have great personalities. But since the strike, our communication via WhatsApp has reduced to little chit-chat.
Frank*, UNN, Male, 20
I miss quite a lot about school. I miss the suffocating green shuttle buses l took every morning. If l don’t board the shuttle, l have to walk, and l hate walking long distances. I miss the wicked bastid sun of Nsukka. See, my skin is glowing now, but l know once l return to that place, it’ll wear off. Not like l love the sun, but l miss it beating me wickedly, especially during afternoons l don’t have a choice but to walk. I also miss the Okpa Nsukka that has been saving lives since the beginning of time.
Justin*, UNIBEN, Male, 20
I miss my beans and plantain plug. I love beans and plantain so much that l can exchange my kidney for a plate, but since the strike, l haven’t had one as good as the one I buy in school. That woman beats anyone who cooks beans and plantain. I don’t know how she prepares it, but it’s so tasty. I have referred countless people, and for every three people, she gives me one free plate. That’s the only thing l miss o, the good food l eat.
Nonso*, UNIZIK, Male, 24
I miss the stress of UNIZIK. Because of how stressful the environment is, we nicknamed it UNISTRESS. Waking early, suiting up in corporate attire and the boring hours l have to sit and listen to lectures, are what l miss about the school. Everything is designed to stress you from dusk to dawn at UNIZIK. For the past eight months, l’ve done things my own way; I rested and caught up on things l missed while in school. I’ve sha been preparing even while l was resting because l knew when the strike is finally called off, we go collect woto woto. UNIZIK always makes up for lost calendars, one way or the other.
Nas*, UNIABUJA, Male, 22
I miss my friends at school. Friday night parties, aimless long walks while gisting with friends and having fun. I’m a certified loner at home.
*Names have been changed to protect the subjects’ identities