Some undergraduates live with the opposite sex in schools, but become single after graduation. Saturday Times looks at the many sides of this growing phenomenon in schools.
BY ADA DIKE
Campus couple didn’t start now and will not end now. Some of the graduates that are criticising it did it, but when they realized that most people that did it, didn’t marry themselves, they try to advise undergraduates to focus on their studies, graduate and have a job before thinking of getting married. Moreover, it has been discovered that students cohabiting does not guarantee marriage because while the man is still job hunting, the girl may want to settle down since their biology clocks are not the same.
A public relations expert, Mrs. Bose Agbese, narrated a case of a ‘couple’ (Patrick and Yemisi) in the University of Lagos (Unilag) at the Faculty of Social Sciences from 1998 to 2002. “The man is from Delta State while the lady is from Ogun State. The won Best Campus Couple during their undergraduate days, because they were inseparable. They sat together during lectures, ate together and went everywhere together. Though, they did not live together because girls have their hostels while boys also have their hostels in UNILAG, they ensured that their hostels were close to each other at the beginning of every session. Patrick and Yemisi ater got married and are blessed with children after they left school. They are still together till date, Agbese explained.
Just like a saying that some people may do something, it would not be regarded as problem, but another person may do the same thing and enter into a serious problem, there was another couple at the Postgraduate section in the University of Lagos in 2005.
Both of them, according to Bose, were media practitioners when they went study for their Master’s degree. “They lived together in the man’s room. Meanwhile, the man’s roommate had to be sleeping in the afternoon and leaving the room for the couple because of their noise while having sex at night, which made him uncomfortable.
Agbede said, despite some ladies’ moves to scatter their relationship, it blossomed and waxed stronger till they graduated from the school. “They continued to see each other but not like when they were in school. The bubble burst when the lady went to collect something from her friend in the office the man works. The first thing she saw in that company’s notice board was the man’s wedding invitation card. She said she read it like five times to ascertain whether it was really the man’s name that she saw.
“She went to that office’s rest room, cried for some minutes, cleaned her face and entered the office. Her mood became worse when she saw ladies sharing uniforms (aso-ebi) for the man’s wedding. She imagined if she was the lady getting married to her campus lover. She said the man invited most of her classmates, but didn’t inform her not to talk of inviting her. She said she moved on with her life and later met and married a man who she has four children for.”
It is verifiable that many parents do not know what their children do on campus. They toil and try to ensure that their children are comfortable in school so that they won’t be lured by old men (aristos) who go to higher institution campuses after the day’s work to pick ladies for relaxation. Some of the ladies have ended up being killed and their body parts declared missing. Some ladies are also missing without any trace of their whereabout.
While some ladies are neck deep into having ‘aristos’ for financial help, some others befriend some male students they help, or that are intelligent or handsome or a bit comfortable in school while the men help them academically or satisfy their sexual urge. While they do all these things in school, their parents don’t know that they have dual lifestyle (the good girl at home and the wild girl on campus).
There was a story a young lady shared that a woman visited her daughter in school unannounced and met her breastfeeding a baby girl. The woman called her husband and they took the girl home. The woman was blamed for their daughters’ waywardness, and this led to the couple’s divorce.
“In almost every tertiary institution in Nigeria, you find ‘undergraduate couples’ living as husbands and wives,” says an athlete with Table Tennis Association of Nigeria, Tosin Oribamise.
The graduate of the University of Ado Ekiti (UNIAD) penned down this short note criticizing young people involved in cohabiting in schools.
She went on to say that: “You find a lot of these misguided people in virtually all schools. It’s so bad that, often times,they are duly recognised and acknowledged as couples by lodge neighbours, classmates and even leaders of various students associations. Little wonder there is such an award as “The best couple of the year award” shamelessly and thoughtlessly received by students.
“Like I said earlier, I really don’t know the particular gender to address, but let me just keep typing. The rate at which girls live with their boyfriends in their various off campus hostels is painfully alarming.
“Most times, these young girls are very beautiful, with bright and promising future.They cohabit with boys who are their fellow students as roommates. The lugubrious part of it is that the silly girl would always introduce the small boy as her fiancé.
“Our society is really sick courtesy of those that live in it. These girls collect either hostel fees or house rents from unsuspecting and sometimes, struggling parents and end up in the house of a boy.”
Oribamise said the girls struggled possibly for several years to gain admission. Then they suddenly became prayer warriors posting and shouting ‘Amen’ at the slightest provocation. They fasted, had one prayer point filled with promises of their loyalty and devotion to God if only He would answer their prayers. “Now that He has fulfilled His part by answering and granting you admission, don’t you think He is expecting you to fulfill your own part, to keep whatever promises you made to Him?” She queried.
“Many of you just got admission and once you settle down, especially from your second year, crazy thoughts will begin to creep into your minds. Yes by then, the heat of the rush would have been over; If God didn’t capture you (possibly through the various campus fellowships), boys would have caught you.
“In my school we even have an unrecognized, unregistered but well offered course (Moz101. ‘Moz’ being the short form for Mozambique hall, were fresh female students are accommodated). For the guys its a course that shouldn’t be carried over,” she explained.
“Soon, they would persuade you to move in with them. Of course, they’d give you one thousand reasons to make you give in to their prodding.”
Tosin warns: “Before you agree to move in and live with a boy on campus, consider the reason why you are in school in the first place. What image would you be creating about yourself?
“Can this boy marry you in case you get pregnant for him as it is always the case, or will you resort to series of abortions like many other girls before you do?
“What advice will you give your children in future concerning this kind of things? After school, what next? Will the relationship really lead you anywhere?”
She further said her write-up finally addressed the female folks. “I didn’t plan it that way. Maybe it’s because they are the worst hit by the grave consequences of illicit sexual relationships. They are the ones that turn out to be the sore losers in the end. They call it school life, but they don’t realize how idiotic they have been till it’s too late. You are not in school to get married. Part of the reasons why you are in school is not to get the husband-and-wife experience, to see what it feels like for the boy to provide the money for food and for the girl to go to the market for food stuffs and cook. That’s pure misplacement of purpose!
“One guy told me that he was practically learning how to be a caring and romantic husband. Such shameless! Then you hear the girl say, “We are not doing anything, we are just roommates”. Yet she commits countless abortions before graduation.
“Yes, your admission has given you unlimited freedom. Yes, your parents are not there to tell you what to do or what not to do. There is even no blood relation around, so there’s no fear of someone reporting you. But what about giving your womanhood respect and protecting your dignity?
“What about living in such a way as to have a positive story to tell the next generation (including your children) without your conscience pricking you?
“What goes around will definately come around. Why not exercise a moment of thorough thinking?” She enthused.
A counsellor, Arije Temitope, asked students how they intend to build a Godly home when they are cohabiting in school?
She said she found it disheartening to see young people who are not married living a family life, especially, the students. “They already see it as a norm. My dear, cohabiting is a sin. It hurts God seeing you in that state.
It violates God’s plan for marriage and can lead someone to confusion in choosing a life partner. It can negatively impact the children’s well-being.
“Cohabiting gives you headaches, and I know you don’t want that for yourself. If you are involved in this act, quit now so that it won’t affect you in the future,” she added.
“Co-habitation is wrong no matter the reasons you may give it,” says a preacher, Apostle Swereki.
“The act of living together by two mature adults of opposite sex, which involves an emotional and physical intimate relationship which includes a common living place, and which exists without legal or religious sanction.
“You’re not married until you marry, cohabitation is an association between two people without “commitment” and “responsibility”. They then to live illegally without minding the consequences of their association.
“Cohabitation is a grand plan of Satan to water down the sacredness of the marriage institution, whereby people think that once they agreed with themselves, they’re free to live together without performing any marital rite.
“Cohabitation is more common among young people, especially those in higher institutions of learning, this doesn’t mean that adults and non-students don’t cohabit. Whatever your age, cohabitation is wrong and shouldn’t be encouraged,” he advised.
He gave reasons why people cohabit as: Poor Economy. “Many people that cohabit blame it on the harsh economy or paucity of funds. They see the other person as a cushion to rest upon. This is wrong and should be discouraged. Poor economy shouldn’t make anyone tow an ignoble path.
“Secondly, problem with accommodation.
This is one of the major reason that people who cohabit give, especially students. You hear things like, she is so broke she can’t afford to pay her rent so I choose to help and accommodate her. Brother, must you be the one to accommodate a lady if you don’t have a “plan B”? Aren’t there fellow kindhearted ladies she can put up with? And sister, must it be only male you’re comfortable to share your burdens with?
“Thirdly, We are trying to study ourselves whether we will make a good couple.
“This singular factor has made many people to loose out completely from the divine plan for their lives.”
Swereki in a nutshell, said cohabitation is legally, morally and religiously wrong, that it ought not to be encouraged by any sane person.
It is verifiable that many parents do not know what their children do on campus.