Ragini Khattar, 18, has secured admission in Economics Honours at Delhi University. In preparation for the first day alone, she has already spent around R30,000 — on a phone, a new wardrobe and personality first day, first show-off. “I want to make the best first impression but I’m not very confident. A group of us joined grooming classes so we can learn how to dress and talk to new people,” she says.
Khattar is only one among the thousands of freshers who’ve shelled out big bucks to appear as ‘cool’ as they can, on the crucial first day in class. From consulting personality grooming experts and going for nip and tucks to hiring personal stylists, youngsters are doing it all. “This is one of our peak seasons. We have been getting queries from a lot of youngsters, and their main concern is confidence building for the first day of college. In the last one month, we have received about 10-12 such queries,” says Sangeeta Monga, a grooming expert based in GTB Nagar.
A four-week course here costs R5,500. And, it’s not just the girls who’re splurging to spruce up. “Boys are very aware of what they want and get groomed in terms of dressing up, makeup and of course lessons in speaking the right stuff," says grooming expert Meyhar Bhasin, who charges R15,000 for a week’s session.
Diet experts and cosmetic surgeons, too, say their clinics are choc-a-bloc with college newbies. “I’ve got 12 to 15 requests from teenagers who gained weight during the board exams and are now heading to college. But all they care for is weight loss and not health,” says Dr Amandeep Kaur, a dietician based in Mukherjee Nagar. If that doesn’t work, there’s the scalpel.
“Teens are coming for surgical treatments such as laser hair removal, chemical peeling, scar removals and male breast reduction,” says Dr Anup Dhir, Cosmetic surgeon, Apollo Hospital. The cost: R3,000 to 15,000. Poonam of Vedic Spa Mantra says the demand for makeovers, hair colouring, nail extensions and organic facials, especially from college students has gone up this month.
That’s not all. The designer wardrobe is ready too. “Students have already started planning for the freshers parties. I already have bookings for Louis Vuitton bags, which are rented at R1,400 for 2 days,” says Cookie Singh of Bag For A Day.
Day one vanity
Not just new clothes, freshers are signing up for personality grooming sessions @R5,000 upwards
They’re also getting surgical treatments done @R3,000-5,000
Weight loss and professional dieting help @R6,000 and above
Makeovers, hair extensions, nail art, organic facial @R4,000