Maintaining In Maintenance (Episode 1)
Well, anyone who knows OAU better would know I was wrong. "Maintenance", in OAU, is a collection of hostels only for female students. Geographically, Maintenance is maybe the most proximal residential area to the OAU campus after the school Halls of Residence and this is probably why many ladies seek to live there. However, female students stay in maintenance for some other reasons like; inability to get an accomodation on campus, privacy, aesthetics, being identified with the financially buoyant students (aka "forming") amongst other reasons. Maintenance can be quite homey, relaxing and comforting and one certainly enjoys the calm of having almost no sense of insecurity or danger.
As ostentatious as it may sound, Maintenance is also not as rosy, living there can be like living in any other place in the world, with people and their different tastes, life-style, personal beliefs, e.t.c.
Maintenance is a place where "the big girls" and the "aspiring" try as much as possible to live a comfortable life, even if their family background and finances say otherwise, where guys come shopping for "babes" with their cars or "Leggedes Benzes".
Once I heard that one can even get low self-esteem in Maintenance, and if not careful, the desire to be more like others may tend to start to influence a person. And just as hostility and animosity tends to exist wherever one may find himself, it is also not far-fetched among some female students who live in Maintenance as an individual may feel superior to another in terms of intelligence, financial capacity, achievements, and other impressionable things which makes life in maintenance private and reserved for some people. Last session, I heard about a fight that ensued over a gas cooker in one of the hostels between a then final year student and one of her roommates who was then in her Second year, the fight led to the destruction of some personal property which belonged to the second year student. And on eventually leaving the hostel, the graduate did more havoc by removing the padlock on the girl's wardrobe and replacing it with another, and she also did the same with the padlock at the entrance of the room.
I'm still trying to wrap my head around why the place is called Maintenance but I can assure you that just as there is a good and bad side to life, so is there to Maintenance. As whilst many are the popular benefits of living there, there are also many other things that can be detrimental to one's pursuits as a student. However, Maintenance is an enjoyable place if one as a student can set his goals and priorities right. Till next time, I'll be maintaining in maintenance...
Ayo Sulaimon is a Student of the Arts and Social Science Education Department of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-ife and also a member of the OAU Peeps Team.