Extra-curriculars come to the rescue of DU students

Students’ diaries: DU’s all about struggling to get a seat, but once you’re there, it can be a lot of fun and for some a home away from home

education Updated: Jul 02, 2015 11:59 IST
Hindustan Times
Delhi University,Sri Venkateswara College,Lady Shri Ram College

Delhi University welcomes not only those who are academically qualified but also students who have excelled in extra-curricular activities such as sports and music.

But getting admission in Delhi University is certainly not a breeze, especially if you are applying through the sports quota. This is what Simran Bathal of Sri Venkateswara College has to say: “Admission through the academics quota requires filling a single centralised form, but in case of sports I had to go to each and every college, stand in long queues, fill up the sports quota form and submit it individually.”

The next step was the fitness test, the scores of which indicated the student’s performance standards in the sport through which he/she had sought admission.

“Thousands of students participated in the competition but I was confident of my performance. Then came Judgement Day. I was assessed for both my physical as well as mental ability. Competing for a seat in the college I aspired for was nerve-wracking,” says Bathal.

For Anirudh, getting admission to Hansraj on the basis of ECA quota was also a tough task. He too had to go from one college to another, but he managed to get through finally.

“My hard work paid off when I finally got a seat in Hansraj,” he says, adding “the first audition was something that I still remember very distinctly. The moment I entered the college auditorium, I got positive vibes. My audition at Hansraj seemed more like a jam session where I was performing.”

Trishi Kamboj of the College of Vocational Studies wanted to pursue a foreign language in Delhi University. “Classes were conducted after college hours on campus. As we were new to this language our teacher was extremely patient and explained all the concepts with clarity,” she says.

Chandrica Barau, an outstation student of Lady Shri Ram College (LSR) found herself a new family. “The LSR hostel is one big adventure. You don’t realise when you stopped complaining to your mother, when you stopped feeling conscious of what to say to your hostel mates, when you stopped wishing for vacations to go back home,” she says.

Sasha Malhotra found studying in Janki Devi made her “shed all inhibitions, overcome shyness and encourages one to come out of one’s shell”.

Anirudh Varma,Hansraj College

‘I jammed my way to a DU seat’

It all began in the summer of 2013, soon after the Class 12 Board results were declared. After being relieved of Board exam pressure, I was finally able to devote time to music. Singing and playing the keyboards is my passion. When it came to seeking admission to Delhi University through the ECA quota, I decided to ‘do the rounds’ of the university. I went to at least 10 colleges to fill the ECA forms with the hope that I will get to see my name on the list of shortlisted candidates. Fortunately, I was shortlisted in all the colleges where I had applied, and my first audition was at Hansraj, where I am currently pursuing BA (hons) English.

That first audition was something that I still remember very distinctly. The moment I entered the college auditorium, I got positive vibes. My audition at Hansraj seemed more like a jam session where I was performing. I didn’t feel like going to any other college, but the president of the music society suggested that I should appear for auditions everywhere. I went to Hindu College, Kirori Mal College, Sri Venkateswara College and Ramjas College, but there was something about Hansraj that was a little difficult to express in words. My final audition at Hansraj was on the same day as the audition at Ramjas College, so I was running around trying to fit everything in.

At Hansraj College, my journey began with Swaranjali – The Music Society. I met people who came from very different cultural backgrounds, which was something I was looking forward to. The one thing that really excited me was how the western musicians were blending sensibilities with Indian classical music.

The creative and expressive dimensions of music have been the sole reason why I have been associated with the music society. I learnt more about stylistic expressions, technological advancements in music, and growing creative impulses for many real-world musicians.

I also became friends with other members of the music society, which, I feel, is one of the biggest reasons for our college band, The Hansraj Projekt, to have done well in a short span of time.

This has not only helped me broaden my horizons but also allowed me to me to look at music and other things from a different perspective. Pursuing music along with studying literature is a unique experience. I am proud to be a part of the music society of my college.

– As told to Danish Girdhar

Simran Bhathal,Sri Venkateswara College

Tough knockout in sports trials

The trails for the sports quota had begun and they reminded me that the Board exam blues weren’t over yet. During exams I hardly got any time for physical exercise or for practice. There was no way I could maintain a fitness schedule for almost three to four months.

It is believed that getting a seat in a college in Delhi University through merit is tough, securing a place through the sports quota is tougher.

Admission through academic scores requires filling a single centralised form, but in case of the sports quota application, I had to go to each and every college, stand in long queues, fill up the sports quota form and submit it individually.

The next step was the fitness test which is an indicator of a student’s performance levels in a particular sport. There were hundreds of candidates I was competing with during the sports trials, but I was confident of myself and my ability to perform well.

On the D-Day, I had to give my best performance to get selected in the college of my choice. The basketball trials were gruelling and tested both my physical agility and mental preparedness. At first I thought that judging a player’s performance on a given day was unfair but that was how it was in Delhi University. They select the best of the lot through a single trial. What added to the pressure was the fact that sports trials were held in different colleges almost at the same time.

Finally, my hard work paid off when I got admission in Sri Venkateswara College. I’m a third-year student pursuing BA (hons) economics. Getting into college through the sports quota has its own advantages but it definitely takes a toll on your studies. But the entire experience is worth it. Our coaches guide us constantly. One has to be physically fit at all times. But what takes the cake is meeting students from other states during various competitions. This adds to my experience as a student.

– As told to Danish Girdhar

Trishi Kamboj,College of Vocational Studies

Making of a polyglot

I am a student pursuing English honours at College of Vocational Studies, Delhi University. English literature has always fascinated me and having completed the second year, I believe that it has given me the opportunity to learn a lot. But I’ve always felt that an English honours course is not sufficient for me to get the best out of a graduation degree. I have managed to join the music society and an NGO, but something felt incomplete. I felt that I still had more time on my hands and needed to do something more.

After being told that our college offers certificate courses in French and German, a few of my friends and I planned to join language classes. Considering the fact that I have already completed four levels of German language from Max Müller Bhawan, Delhi, I thought if I could take up the A1 level in French, it would take me a step closer to my dream job as a translator.

Classes were held after college hours on the campus and our teacher was not part of the permanent staff. She was a teacher at Alliance Français in Pune, and was here just to teach us the certificate course. Since she used to teach advanced level French in Pune, teaching beginners was new to her. But she was extremely patient. She mostly spoke to us in French and that was good for us to pick up the language.

In the beginning, studying French was interesting but it was also a tad difficult for me because I would often confuse French words with German. Pronouncing words was also tough but I knew I had to work towards talking like a French local.

Choosing French as an add-on language also gave me a lot of confidence and pushed me to learn more. If I get a chance, I’d love to try Spanish in my third year!

– As told to Danish Girdhar

Chandrica Barau, Lady Shri Ram College for Women

Hostel life and more

Lazing around in the inner quad (the inside lawns) of the hostel in the mid-day afternoon sun, more often than not, we find ourselves reminiscing of a time in our lives when LSR had seemed like the big, unattainable dream; wonderiing how the red walls of LSR that had seemed so very tall from a distance, actually became a snug and warm home.

For us, the outstation students, there were two battles in line. One for admission to the college, and the next for a seat in the hostel. During the admission process, the reality of the fact that sooner or later we would be miles away from home, amidst absolutely unknown people, negotiating every decision of our lives by ourselves, did not really sink in.

The gradual hostel-to-home transition happens in layers in a slow getting-to-know process. The college lingo was what we first familiarised ourselves with. The Dhobi (for the dhobi’s room), the Dingy (dimly-lit), the Ash (exclusively for the third years; I have to yet find the reason why) and the Royal (for those hostellers whose corridor overlooks the huge lawn). Next we discovered the haunted room in the Dingy; the occasional DJ nights when we danced till the wee hours of the morning and the Tuck Shop for the supplies.

The best thing are the birthdays, except for the months when there are four birthdays in a row at the end of which we are financially broke.

We have also learnt to negotiate our way back to the hostel in case we miss the 7.30 or 9.30 pm deadlines. Persuading the guards and the wardens to allow us in, order food after the deadline - the LSR hostel offers one big adventure each day. Amidst all these escapades, you never realise when you stopped complaining to your mother, when you stopped feeling conscious of what to say to your hostel mates, when you stopped wishing for vacations to go back home.

– As told to Danish Girdhar

Sasha Malhotra,Janki Devi Memorial College

Kudos to girl power

Education is the key to the future... you’ve heard it a million times and it is not wrong. But what can be better than a combination of good education and great fun? Delhi University is a popular choice among students. We get exposed to new thoughts and ideas on campus and that helps bring out the best in us. College is all about fun, fashion, college get-togethers, extra-curricular activities, sports etc. The platform that DU provides its students to explore their potential is simply unmatchable.Studying in a girl’s college makes you shed all your inhibitions and encourages you to come out of your shell. The regular workshops organised by NSS and the women’s development cell make you relate to all the problems people around us go through and give us an opportunity to help them.

Studying in a girl’s college gives you almost the same exposure that a co-ed college gives you. College opens a whole new world for you to explore. Being a freshman, meeting new people is also an exposure. Colleges are also hubs for culture and fashion. Every culture from every part of India is represented here.

Being in a girl’s college offers you variety in terms of people and personalities. Classes are usually divided in groups and that is what makes them interesting. Some of the girls in college are real ladies. What I mean is that the clothes they wear, the way they talk and the way they think thrice even before uttering a single word even to their friends makes them stand apart from the crowd. They are in the minority though, may be that’s what sets them a apart and perhaps that is the reason that they are often referred to as “classy chicks”.

– As told to Hemika Kharyal

First Published: Jul 01, 2015 13:22 IST