The Adulting Bridging Course
In varsity there is an introductory year for students who do not automatically qualify for first year, which is referred to as the bridging course. It is designed to allow the student to phase into the said course after completing their secondary education. This course generally consists of subjects that formulate the foundation for the career path they choose to follow and will pursue in their first year of varsity. The bridging course is not the first year of the course, as it is possible for well performing students to skip straight to first year without the need for a bridging course. Lucky for some, they can launch straight into varsity without the need for an introduction and will excel well. Whilst, another may need to do the introductory course to not only build on the knowledge from secondary school to ready them, but they too use this year as a time to phase into varsity. The transition from secondary school to varsity is dramatic, it comes with its own set of challenges, and I can say that I was able to navigate the change in environment fairly well, what I did not anticipate is phasing into the working world. It has been the most dramatic, most challenging, most stressful phase of my life. I have nothing to compare it to, that could come nearly close, so yes.. without exaggeration, it has been THE MOST CHALLENGING.
So here are a few things off the top of my head as to what they do not tell you at school about stepping into the adult world;
You need to get your OWN medical aid – Yes, it was bound to happen, this was bound to be the first thing that I have on this list, because I kid you not, it has been the most stressful. One would think, getting a job ought to top the list, but no. Medical bloody aid kid! You have to firstly come to understand that upon completing your tertiary education, your medical aid could not care as to how you will cater to your health needs, they are kicking you out in exactly three months after the close of your tertiary life. They could not care to send you a farewell message or a package on how to go about getting your own medical aid. NOPE, not in the least. Then you go about having to compare medical aid prices, benefits and packages all in just three months! Three whole months before which you were oblivious to the stop order on your parents account that paid for the LUXURY that is medical aid. Well, it is that or go spend hours in a state hospital. Your choice.
You need to get a paying job – No, not the freelance work you did that allowed you to uproot yourself at will with a simple, "I have tests this week", but a REAL ACTUAL PAYING 7-5 JOB. The kind that has you waking up as though for a seven thirty class Monday to Friday. The atrocity that is waking up every morning. I almost want to thank the Namibia University of Science and Technology for the mere two seven thirty classes I had weekly. To think I used to complain, when I did not know that for those two days out of five days, I could wake up early and go back to living my very best life. Now, I have someone who accounts for my day, for 9 straight hours, 5 days a week, four weeks a month and 12 months a year. Now, I am not complaining, because God forbid I hear about having to be grateful I even have a job, as there are people out there struggling to get jobs, but Jesus! 9 hours a day is a lot of time, seated in front of a computer and drawing structures all day! No wonder people hate their jobs, it’s not that they are not passionate about what they do, it’s the inflexibility that creates the dislike. If I could start work at 10 o’ clock every morning, I would be so much more productive. Anyway, getting a job.
Going back home – From living in your dorm room, able to do as you please, to going straight back to your parents family home. Now, I love my family, I really do, I just love my space equally. What they do not teach you at varsity in that 8 month bridging course I spoke of into adulating, is that you will never be ready to move back home after having had 5 LUXURIOUS years of freedom and hella space. You will never be ready to go back to washing dishes at set hours and days. You will never be ready to have a curfew yet again. You will never be ready to not own your time again. Like I said, you will never be ready.
Your money is all YOUR money – The money sources you had which included mum, dad, aunty 1, uncle 2, becomes you, you and you. You become your sole provider. You no longer have multiple incomes from all spheres of the world, but you have you as an income source. Meaning, you do not get to squander your money on that cute Mr. Price shoe that you simply couldn’t leave behind and make a phone call telling whichever source of income you choose (as you know it can vary from parents to relatives) pleading you are broke and need money for food or a school book (don’t play me, we have all claimed to need a textbook that was never bought, nor needed because no one buys textbooks anymore because.. soft copy). You have to become responsible with your finances, which means for some reason, you ALWAYS feel broke. After spending on all the necessities, there’s hardly anything left.
Your dreams are all that matters - you are now forced to live out your dreams and no longer live in the comfort of the phrase ‘when I grow up I want to’, because now you are grown and it’s time to execute.
I never did realize how much of a comfort school was till it was no longer there. I always spoke of wanting to complete school, yet hardly knew or understood what it meant to have to stand on your own two feet without the crutch that is parents. School has been all one knows from primary, to secondary to tertiary. That equates to an impeccable 7+5+5=22 years of your life. At age 24, that is equivalent to 92% of my life. A large majority and if anything it is all I have known. It is not the same as working on a part time basis and going to school, it means completely letting go of the one to focus on the other. It means you have reached and crossed the finish line that is school and found yourself smack at the centre of the beginning of yet another race. Without so much as a chance to breathe or recap. You are thrown out of the nest and told to fly, because education is your wings. You simply have to learn how to use them. You have been theoretically taught how to fly, you have watched many fly before you, and now it’s your turn. It has been done before you, and it will be done after you, but you too have to get into the air and fly, without the bridging course.
With a tad bit of crazy