It is that time of the year when 2015 KCPE candidates are joining high schools across the country. It is a defining and transition moment. Many of the students who are now monos, as Form 1s are commonly know, will make or break their future in the next four years. In the next few months of high school, they will no longer be as innocent as their faces. They will learn a lot on their own and wonder why no one, including parents and guardians never hinted them anything about the life of a mono. Here are some of the things that parents never mention to their sons and daughters as they join F1.
- F1s are there to be seen, not heard
Save for the freedom that is slowly creeping in high schools today, form 1s have no say. Their seniors represent them in every aspect. Most of the time, they will only see without daring to open their mouths.
- Githeri Porridge is the official meal
Adjusting to high school life can be hard. For students from high-end families joining public schools, it can be quite unpalatable especially when it comes to meals. The number of times you feed on githeri and porridge will always exceed mathematics lessons on your timetable. You will however wonder why no one prepared you for the teeth-grinding exercise.
- Kerosine is sweet
Every Kenyan who has been to high school remembers the taste of paraffin in almost every meal, more so githeri. While many people have different reasons explaining the kerosene culture, one of the most accepted theory is that the hydrocarbon tames the sexual libido of students. This peace of mind allows them to concentrate on their studies without undue pressure down there. Nonetheless, never expect this from any parent out there.
- Top layer is for form F4s
From day one of high school, freshas will appreciate the caste system. Here, senior students have the highest say. They eat first and could choose to eat everything. While the young ones are likely to be served first at home, parents never want to disclose to F1s that the inverse is also true in secondary school.
- Bread is a medium of exchange
In high school, a quarter bread means a lot. You can have an assignment done for you or cloths washed if you can offer that piece of yeasted wheat flour.
- Avocado equals Blue band
Form 1 is a time of discovery. You will eat what has never been served home. In particular, avocado transcends many schools, not as a fruit but as a substitute for blue band. Once a form one gets into the system, they will add pieces of ‘avo’ in githeri, porridge, vegetables, and smear on bread.
- Cooks make the best friends
For high schoolers, cooks are the best cluster of friends. But how do you befriend one? Wining a school chef as a friend will guarantee you a sizeable share of meals whenever he/she is on duty. Senior students agree that it is always safe to have at least two cook friends who have different schedules. For parents, form ones ought to make teachers their best friends. This is where they get it all wrong.
- What you own is public property
This may sound like bullying but the truth is everything a form 1 owns ends up serving the entire school community. A form 1 will start reclaiming what belonged to him on day one, when they get to F3.
- This is the last shopping for you
When joining Form 1, it appears like life is gonna be rosy, at least from your loaded suitcase. What parents never tell the ambitious chaps is that they might never have some of the items bought for them until they clear school.
- Kijiko kwa mfuko
For form ones, life is always on the move. You have no idea what you will be doing and where you will be when the bell rings for lunch or supper. You want to redeem time, be among the first to be served, lest you miss out. Strategy…have your spoon with you at all times.
- Drugs, alcohol and sex
Parents should really prioritize this. Many do not, leaving the world to teach and model the teenagers into hardcore sex and drug addicts by the time they leave school. At high school, form ones are also at a higher risk of being introduced to gayism, and ‘kukatiana’.