After a long break for the festive holidays, higher learning institutions reopened for the 2018 academic year. The Daily Vox spoke a few freshers at the Durban University of Technology to find out what they were looking forward to and what their fears are.
Siyanda Mthembu, 21, student, Durban
I’m excited to have had this opportunity. I know many people are still trying to find spaces but I’ve already secured mine. I’m more excited because I am enrolled in my first passion, fine art. I’m aware that this is a totally different environment and I have the fear of the unknown regarding my studies. I’m more concerned about failing and letting down my parents, that’s why I’ll make sure that I study hard.
Despite the ongoing staff strike at the Durban University of Technology, some students have been able to register and looking forward to begin the 2018 academic programme.
Phumlani Mathebula, 23, student, Waterloo
I’ve always wanted to enrol in fine arts and this is my dream coming true. I had applied in the previous years but got rejected, I didn’t give up. That’s why I’m here today. I’ve spoken to an old friend from high school and he told me how challenging our course can be, but I’m prepared now that I’m aware what I’ll be dealing with. I’m worried though about not doing well and that’s why I want to work twice as hard. I promised my parents I am going to give it my best. I just can’t wait to meet all my fellow classmates and make friends.
Thabiso Mkhize, 20, student, Marianhill
I’ve worked so hard to be here. Last year I spent the whole year doing piece jobs because I couldn’t find a space anywhere. I was disappointed but I couldn’t let that get me down, I’ve always wanted to pursue a career in drama studies that’s why I never stopped applying. I’m looking forward to all the experience, hard work and achieving my goals. I’m so thrilled to finally make it to campus, I’m also excited about getting to know residence life. I’m here to make things happen.
On January 15, staff downed tools at the institution demanding wage increment of 10%, causing disruptions to the registration programme.
Tukiso Nketha, 24, student, Clermont
I’m not completely new to a university environment but this feels like it’s the first time. I’m excited to finally get a chance to do something I’m passionate about, video technology. I grew up with pressure of being told which best course to do and ended up doing logistics management. When I realised that it wasn’t my passion I dropped out, applied for video tech and got rejected. I did not give up because I really wanted it and persistence got me here. I’m looking forward to begin the journey to my dream. Although I’m a bit concerned about being the older guy in class, I will make it work.
Mhlengi Zondo, 20, student, Durban
Last year I couldn’t study as I had applied late, it was not easy but I had to accept it. I’m finally here now and going to make the best of it. I am afraid of not doing well but I’m willing to work hard to achieve good results. I’ve always wanted to study information technology and I’m grateful that I got accepted. It’s hard seeing people going to university while you sit at home and do nothing.
Voxes have been edited for clarity and brevity.