Campus Life

The Dark Side of Lit: Party Pressure & Drugs in Kenyan Universities

  • May 23, 2024
  • 3 min read
The Dark Side of Lit: Party Pressure & Drugs in Kenyan Universities

University life: a time of freedom, exploration, and (hopefully) a killer education. But let’s be honest, the party scene is a big draw too. However, that carefree atmosphere can take a dangerous turn when peer pressure creeps in, pushing students from casual drinks to hardcore drug use. This isn’t just a hypothetical worry; it’s a harsh reality facing many Kenyan universities.

The Pressure to “Fit In”

Imagine this: freshers’ week. You’re surrounded by new faces, all eager to make friends and have a good time. Maybe you’re a little shy, unsure of what to do. Suddenly, a group invites you to a party – “the place to be” they say. But the music is loud, the drinks are flowing freely, and there’s a certain substance making the rounds that you’ve never tried before. Here’s the dilemma: do you politely decline, and risk being seen as a buzzkill, or cave to the pressure and join in?

From FOMO to Full-Blown Addiction

The fear of missing out (FOMO) is a powerful force, especially during those early university days. You don’t want to be left out, so you take a sip, a puff, or a bite – whatever the “cool kids” are doing. This seemingly harmless experiment can quickly escalate. Partying becomes a regular thing, the pressure to keep up intensifies, and before you know it, casual use morphs into dependence.

The Devastating Consequences

The story of Kimani Mbugua, a former Kenyan media personality, serves as a stark reminder of the dark consequences. His father publicly blamed peer pressure and a toxic social circle for introducing Kimani to drugs, ultimately leading to mental health struggles. This isn’t an isolated case. Countless Kenyan university students fall victim to the vicious cycle of peer pressure and addiction, impacting their academic performance, relationships, and overall well-being.

Mike Sonko Sounds the Alarm

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko wasn’t wrong in his social media message. “Watu wangu” (my people), he cautioned, “most of your so-called friends hawakupendi” (don’t really like you). True friends will respect your boundaries and celebrate your choices, not pressure you into risky behavior.

Building Resilience: It’s Up to You

University is a time of self-discovery, and that includes building resilience against peer pressure. Here are some tips to navigate the party scene without compromising your well-being:

  • Know your limits: Don’t feel obligated to do anything that makes you uncomfortable. You are in control!
  • Find your crew: Surround yourself with people who respect you and support your decisions, not those who pressure you.
  • Communicate clearly: Learn to say “no” with confidence.
  • Seek help: If you or someone you know is struggling with drug abuse, don’t hesitate to seek help from university counselors or national hotlines.

Remember, the “lit” campus life doesn’t have to involve substances. True fun comes from genuine connections, laughter, and shared experiences – not the pressure to conform. Make your university years memorable for the right reasons and choose your crew wisely. Don’t let FOMO control your future. Stay strong, stay safe, and party responsibly.

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Kelvin Kalama
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Kelvin Kalama

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