As we enter the second week of this edition, which also coincides with the second week of Delhi University admissions, we present a brief overview of our first experiences at DU.
Our first brush with DU happened while strolling through the north campus. We explored the grounds of some of the top colleges like St. Stephen’s and Hindu. Grabbing a bite at some of the most popular canteens and eating joints and soaking in the energy and zest of campus life is what we really gathered by way of our first experience of varsity life.
Then we focused on some serious issues mostly concerning the perennial debate of what to accord priority to - course or college. We have come to the conclusion that this dilemma can be resolved by simply listening to our inner voices.College life is just like an empty canvas, ready for being painted with the colours of experiences and thus we also talk about our expectations. We also share some anxieties like the fear of clearing the sky-high cut-off lists.
We have to tell you that do not be disheartened if you do not make it to the college of your choice. It is the process that matters more than results and the process of growing and learning doesn’t end here. College life is all about going beyond your comfort zone and embarking on fresh learnings. The mantra to succeed in this stage is to shed inhibitions and go with the flow.
The ideal college for me would be...
In an alternative universe, everything would be different, the student would pick his or her college and not the other way around. However, I am hoping that by the time you are reading this I am enrolled into a decent college. Nevertheless, I still thought how amazing it would be if I got into a college of my own liking and preference. This very thought pushed me into thinking what kind of college would I like the best. Would it have outstanding infrastructure? Would it have the best faculty? Or perhaps the most incredible clubs?
As an answer, I dream of a college with ancient buildings and modern rules, with an intellectually charged environment and fascinating teaching methods, with interesting clubs and people, one where I could make lots of friends and create memories for keeps. College, in India, is synonymous with freedom. Freedom from uniforms, elaborate rules, and every other restriction that defined school. I’m pretty sure most of us are wishing for a better canteen. However, half of us aren’t even sure that we want to let go of all the things we held dear, our school, our friends, for some of us our homes and families too. It would be a difficult voyage, but with hopes in our hearts and dreams in our eyes, we’ll somehow travel through the bridge, braving the cut-off demon.
We all have different expectations from college— some of us want considerable freedom, some are extra discerning about the credentials of the college. I for instance want a college with vintage architecture- something that resembles a castle. Some others might want a contemporary dorm. However, we all want one thing- we all want a new phase of our life to start. We all want new experiences.
We’ll finally have that experience, that experience of being a grown up, and as some Paramore song says “..living in the real world, ain’t it fun being all alone”, and truly we would all be alone and anxious for our future, anxious for our new journey, for we don’t know what awaits us.
We may or may not get the college of our liking. We can’t change every little thing in our life, but we can change the way we experience it, and so I am going to grin either way and I hope you do, too.
Heat of the cut-off fire
It’s not just the weather that’s making me sweat even in this air-conditioned library where I sit today. Another fire has broken out on the grounds of Delhi University — ‘the cut-off fire’.
The passing of each day leaves me more and more anxious. All because of a six letter word that impacts everyone’s lives in ways known and unknown — ‘cut-off’. If someone has scored marks that are slightly less than the established cut-off (slightly being the key-word) in the college of his/her choice then he/she has to brace for another disappointment. For when admission is finally secured in a college that is not of his/her liking the immediate family, especially parents are likely to be more than disappointed. My sincere request to all my fellow aspirants of DU is to not get deterred by cut-offs and take a pragmatic view of learning and life.
Instagram: insta- @m_zaid_h
During our first college visit (as a team of six young journalists), we came across a lot of interesting things — availability of cheap transport, a big settlement of PGs and their big advertisements boasting of every facility a student would want.
As we entered St. Stephen’s College, cracking jokes and talking about life after school, we saw students waiting with their parents in a queue for forms braving the Delhi heat. We then moved on to the inner part of the college, observing the various historical buildings, designed by the Welsh architect Walter Sykes George. After St Stephen’s we visited Hindu College that was lined by nimbu-paani stalls, for the benefit of first-year applicants who had to queue up in the scorching Delhi heat. The day’s experiences made me realise the importance of education and the pride associated with it. All in all, this first campus visit was a memorable experience.
Set for a new phase
With two cut-off lists out now and the admission frenzy in full swing, we are all set to enter a whole new world.... pronounced ‘college’ or ‘the school of the mature’. They say, college will be the best time of your life. It might be. However, the turmoil you have to face, to get into the place where you’ll supposedly have the best time of your life, is quite disconcerting. Everyone’s so anxious and nervous while at the same time, brimming with excitement and zeal.
If entering kindergarten was like entering into a playground, then entering college will be like searching for water on mars, totally unexplored! Even after being 17, I feel like a toddler, yet to learn the rhymes of life.
A new place, welcoming you; new people, to be with; and above all a greater sense of responsibility. I don’t remember my first day of school. My mother says I was too quiet. Am sure this is how it must feel like, this strange feeling of stepping into something new, this feeling that I’m finally old enough. Though it fills me with a sense of giddiness, it is also making me extremely anxious.
The excitement, I’m sure is not just within those who are certain about their college but also for the ones who are still struggling to win a battle against the sky rocketing cut-offs. Everyone is eager to see what this new college life has to offer us.
For my part I’m more than ready for college. Ready to adapt to a completely new environment, to meet new people, to feel moments pass away and to experience that responsibility which comes along with entering college life.
We can all make it
While I see some friends basking in the glory of getting that coveted seat in the most sought-after college, I see others sulking after having failed to jump high enough to touch the skyrocketing cut-off. It is the latter to whom I dedicate this article.
At 92%, I am still without a college. Yes, I have also had my share of tears and tantrums. I have also gone incommunicado, I have also skipped meals.
Yes, it feels terrible. It feels absolutely terrible to be on the other side. However, before you begin to think that you are doomed to a life of failure 10 years from now, and for the 40 years to come, allow me to take you two years down memory lane — your first day in Class 11 when you were told that most of you wouldn’t even make it to Class 12! If you can sail through those two dreadful years converting that 58% of Class 11 into 85% in Class 12, then you have the potential to even save the Titanic from sinking. This should make you smile.
Learn from life
While the high soaring cut-offs have left many of us disheartened and worrying about the future many are still stuck with the age-old fight between course versus college.
In this fight, what we often tend to forget is that while in future what courses you do now and from which college would definitely be of significance, the most important thing will be your learnings. How much you have learned, grown and developed will definitely be the most import ant factor in your assessment. As Steve Jobs rightly said, “To be happier, don’t chase things. Chase experiences.” And I am a true believer of this philosophy. Thus I feel that learning what you always wanted to would ultimately help you develop more. So irrespective of your course and college take time to learn and grow in life.