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Fun, frolic and hard work

HT Horizons caught up with its campus journalists and asked them to share their experiences of one year in college. Here’s what they had to say about the fun they’ve been having and the lessons they learned throughout the year

education Updated: May 12, 2010 10:31 IST

Craig Dominic Pinto Delhi College of Arts and Commerce

College always seemed like the final journey after schooling, the acid test until you are ready to face the world. I can’t believe how wrong I was. Ever since the day I stepped into The Delhi College of Arts and Commerce, I felt it was far from over... the fun was far from over.

College life is probably the biggest playground I have ever played in till date. The restrictions I had in school were all removed, ever since I started wearing casuals every day of my life. Hundreds of new friends, loads of new locations to hang out in and not to mention a vast ocean of opportunity to earn money and gain experience kept me busy and entertained. Exams began to seem like a joke, not to be taken lightly, but compared to the tensions we took for our board exams, these were like solving a medium level sudoku.

More importantly, college taught me a lot of things I doubt I would have been able to learn if I were still living in school-like circumstances. To start with, it taught me to stand on my own feet; it gave me a glimpse of the independent world I was going to step into; and last but not least, it woke me up to reality, a place were you can get seriously injured, if you are not prepared.

My first year is one year I’m never going to forget, and even if I do, the thousands of pictures and the constant calls from friends will always send me swirling back into a world of nostalgia, which will surely put a drunken smile on my face. Friends are probably the most magical creatures on Earth. Each of them equipped with the power to make you laugh, smile and cry. I owe everything I am in college to all my friends for their constant support and love.

Anusri Mukherjee Kamala Nehru College

As I let my feet into the sprawling green campus of the Kamala Nehru College as a student of B.Com, my heart swelled with an indefinable amount of pride and my elation knew no limits. Although I wasn’t a jittery, confused or scared fresher on my first day of college but the more than the ‘warm’ welcome extended by the principal Ms. Chatterjee, the faculty and the seniors must’ve made everyone feel at ease and happy.

Today as I look back and the whole session passes me by in photographic glimpses, I have only one word to sum up the entire experience — exhilarating. Be it the fresher’s party, the annual college festival ‘Ullas’, or the farewell, the entire experience of being a first year student at the Kamala Nehru College has been jovial.

But the glinting rubies that will forever adorn my crown would be being a part of the French Literature Festival’s Indo-French Poetry Meet, and being applauded for my piece; being a part of the Consumer Club of my college (the first of its kind in DU). I’ve been a part of its outreach programme.

The whole year has whooshed past me with the speed of light and I rarely find myself sitting in class! I have been so busy with my extra curricular activities that my attendance has fallen short marginally (just 2 per cent). The days have been busy, and the commute tough. From being the pampered kid at school to the pushed around girl in a smelly DTC bus, life has undergone a massive change. College life isn’t quite the sweet icing on the cake everyone expects; it’s actually a sweeter version of the bitter gourd laced with tonnes of sugar syrup and chocolate shavings.

But to say that college life is all about academic pressure is a complete disgrace to being a collegiate! It’s more about getting proxies, sitting in the cafeteria and enjoying Maggi, visiting the library for assignments and mugging up five minutes just before a class test for internal assessment and yet getting disappointed at not having a chance to cheat. One year of college life is like a lifetime of fun, frolic and serious academic governance. Be it the smile that spreads as soon as you see that your attendance isn’t low or the smile that fades away when you get to know that all the lecturers are present; College life is the roller coaster that has been forever underrated on the fun element and on the academic front as well.

Shashank Gupta Shaheed Bhagat Singh College

Once upon a time, when the DU admission process started there way a guy who vanished in his dreams of Stephen’s and SRCC, thinking about the esteem he will have in his family, and the coolness with which he could tell his buddies “I’m a Stephanian”. But soon after the cutoffs were announced, he ended up way below his expectations into another college less known. He was disappointed and felt he did not belong to this college. Well this story seems familiar (oh yeah! It’s mine), though not complete.

My first day was in mid-August 2009 due to my not-so-good results and I had to wait till the OBC seats became available. So I stepped in the college knowing absolutely no one... But as the weeks passed, I met many people and categorised them as the one who keeps talking, one who irritates, one who checks out every girl, etc. Studies weren’t really my concern, at least in the early stages. Most of the time used to go by in the canteen. Then we got bored of our monotonous schedule and started going out exploring places in the Capital. The whole year went by like this and I slowly but surely felt that I belonged to this place.

There were the usual assignments to submit but we remembered the motto ‘United we stand, divided we fall’ and followed suit. The smart teachers also followed the same in giving marks... Election time also came by and it was one of the funniest periods in college. One candidate printed the line ‘Actions speak LAUDER (sic) than words’ all over the college and I couldn't stop laughing the whole day. I won’t brag about not getting into the best college in the country, rather I am happy that I got a college where I can enjoy my three years along with the studies.

Nikita Ekka Jesus and Mary College

Last year in my blogs I mentioned how Jesus and Mary College was my last and only option, and now my dear readers I am extremely glad to announce that I’m a proud JMCite. Never was it known (at least to me) that I’ll start liking the college so much. Not just the college but also the various other things and aspects related to it. I thank God for making me a part of the JMC family.

My college has given birth to a new me. It has taught me to live a thought and produce it in action, to cherish each and every moment of life, to enjoy my freedom in the right manner, to cope with the most difficult situations, and to manage my time and create a balance between co-curricular activities and studies.

With its so many lessons and truths, my college has also given me my bundle of ‘first times’. The first time I was unable to make friends on the first day of college, the first frappe and keema samosa in college canteen, becoming Ms. Fresher of the department and being called the Lola Kutty of English (Hons.), the first egg roll in Satya Niketan, the first time I cried in front of my friends (they thought I’m somebody who always smile), the first time we checked out the boys of Venky, the first fight, the first group hug, the realisation that one needs to be dressed in the trendiest fashion for the college fest, the first fruit beer in Yashwant Singh Place (and people thought we were having beer), the list is endless...

It is a bit absurd when I think that ‘gosh it’s been a year that I have left my school’ but now that my college has become my second home I miss my school less than before. I love you Presentation Convent (my school) and JMC you rock!!

Neharika Pinto Daulat Ram College

Entrances, college interviews, cutoff lists, making choices, standing by them... one year hence, all the anxiety is simply worth it. I scored 91 per cent in my Boards and got admission in Daulat Ram College (an all girls college in the north campus) in Economics (Hons.).

There was something that dad told me on the first day of college and that is what defines college for me, apart from fun. It is that “in college you are responsible for yourself”, this certainly denotes the beginning of college and the end of school. No one cares where you go, what you do, whether you attend lectures or go for a movie. In school we would enter in the morning and leave in the afternoon… in college you can enter when you want and leave when you feel like. You are your own boss.

On a lighter note, college has definitely been full on fun, ranging from warnings from my principles of economics (POE) teacher for reaching late to class (after she warned, the very next day her tyre got punctured and she reached late) to the excitement we had when a Nescafe opened in college; from having the cheapest, yummy, hot meal of chole kulche that we get outside arts faculty to the mouthwatering pao bhaji opposite my college, which makes a delicious meal on a shoestring budget.

I still remember the way we freaked out on the day we had to submit our stats project, which was incomplete the very morning, (about which we were told five months in advance), and yet we managed to score the highest. One of the subjects in the first year was mathematical awareness, which needs a special mention. It is the study of all those concepts and theorems that have been discovered by mathematicians but have not been accepted in real life. On the first day of our class our teacher told us that she herself was not able to solve the last years’ paper, making the subject seem tough to the students.

I would like to mention one of my crazy habits of collecting cash memos of the places we hangout at, and writing the occasion behind it. I somehow want these days to be with me forever. I want to suggest to all current first year students to be good and interactive with seniors. College becomes even better when you have supportive seniors. In the end I would like to thank all my teachers and friends for making my first year special to me.

Sugam Singhal IP College for Women

I remember the first time I had entered the small and an absolutely chaotic classroom with those yellow plastered walls and wooden chairs strewn all over the place. I thought maybe this is not really the place where I belonged. Perhaps, one reason was because I had missed my first lectures on my first day and I could see a mix happening around. I felt neglected and lonely. Being a swimmer wasn’t easy for me – not in school, not at home, nor with friends and so immediately I concluded that it wouldn’t be easy in college either. My six days a week, eight hours a day swimming practice took away everything before it came to me. The teenager in me was lost.

Then college and friends happened to me. My class came into my world like a whole bunch of angels telling me to wake up to the brand new horizons of life. They taught me to live life in the moment as a free bird. There was this girl who made me believe that being a jerk could be fun too. There were these hot chic girls without whom I would have been a complete fashion disaster. The first shopping spree happened with them and I got my first make-over. College’s swimming team taught me the true spirit of sportsmanship, I learned to fight against all odds and be happy. The English Literary Society taught me to give the best, being the Joint Secretary wasn’t easy but they taught me it was. The Drama Society was one of the best things that happened to me and I performed at places where I could only dream of going.

Most importantly they made me realise that I could be anybody I wanted to be. They gave me my first crazy snap, my first heartbreak, my first gang. They gave me my ‘First Time’.