Campus Gist


By Oluwasegun Caleb Anuoluwapo

Campus marriage otherwise called cohabiting on campus is now a growing trend in Nigerian universities. This involves students residing with one another as if they are married.

Considering how hard it is to get hostels on campuses due to the large number of applicant, some students are left with no option than to get apartments around the school environment. Some others especially the male students rent off-campus apartments just for comfort, prestige and a bit of privacy as some would say. Living in those apartments with friends of the same sex is now not so common as some students wants to experiment marital life (even though some are not necessarily ready) before leaving campus and getting married proper.

This “couple life” as it is being referred to in some schools makes the male student assume the role of a husband and his girlfriend- the wife. This relationship has every attribute of a real marriage except that it must be devoid of pregnancy and the consent of the parents of both parties. As it is with most marriages, the male assumes the role of the breadwinner as he provides money for food, date nights and other expenses while also catering for the needs of his female partner like a husband would.

The female student on her part assumes the role of a housewife by cooking, cleaning up the house and satisfying her man’s sexual appetite. In some of these relationships where the couple is still dependent on their parents, the female student’s accommodation fee is directed towards other household expenses that the male might not be able to meet up with. This two are known by neighbours and people living around as they are seen going to and coming from school together almost every day. For some, the only time they remember that they are actually students is when examinations come knocking as they spend a better part of the semester practising family life.

It is not uncommon to find most of them sleeping during lectures due to the vigils they keep at night. This trend is even more stressful for the husband who in most cases does not have any source of income and has to tell every form of lies to his parents in other to get money for himself and the demanding relationship. At times of lack, maybe when the money they expect is not forthcoming or when they must have exhausted their allowances before time, these male students are seen running from one friend to another trying to borrow money just to please their girlfriends because as we all know, money plays a vital role in relationships.

The relationship as enjoyable as it seems from the outside, has dire consequences as some results in emotional crisis as well as pregnancy which in turn leads to one or the two students dropping out of school or abortion of the pregnancy in some cases. Most often, the male student gets into debt or squander their school fees in the process which kicks off their problems in school as some spend more than the normal 4-5 years span of schooling.

Although relationships formed in school sometimes lead to marriages, most cases of cohabitation rarely does. This is because the economic situation of the country does not permit marriage immediately after graduation as most people have to work for some years to save up.

In view of this, parents, more than the school authorities, have plenty work to do. Schools have little or no authority to exert on students because this cannot be happening in hostel. Parents should as a matter of urgency form the habit of paying unscheduled visits to their wards in order to know the kind of life they live in school as this can to a great extent curtail this trend.

Anuoluwapo is a student of University of Lagos, Akoka. 

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