It’s a heady experience

HT Education’s 2012 campus journalists look back at their first year in college.

education Updated: May 14, 2013 13:21 IST
Hindustan Times

1. Ankita Chander, Sri Venkateswara College

New books, new friends, new rules, new you! Yes, we all do become version 2.0 of our previous selves after becoming a college student.

I am doing statistics (hons) from Sri Venkateswara College. From the ‘hep’ Venky crowd and the new CCD in the vicinity to the love of new-found friends and teachers and of course studying a subject I love - I am definitely enjoying it!

I joined Nritya, the choreography society of Venky and the experience of being its member surpassed my expectations of college-society life. We depicted the theme ‘Vanity, no apologies’ through Helen of Troy in a performance that took people away into a different world. Very soon, the Nritya team became my extended family - we spent late nights together, practised till we would drop dead, travelled to as far as Mumbai to perform at IIT, shared our success, failure and our passion for dance. We also grew as individuals.

And good Lord, the DU fest season was exhilarating; we competed every other day in a different college for one month, performed even twice on the same day! This whole process has been enlightening. It taught me the importance of team spirit, hard work, perseverance, competition and learning as much from success as from failure.

To all those ready to step into this next phase, I would like to say that your college experience will be very fresh, very new, will challenge you and bring out the best in you.

2. Riti Wig, Gargi College

College life.

The words hold a feeling of excitement. All I used to picture was scenes from the film Rang De Basanti, lot of driving, partying, music, friends etc. But that’s not how it is actually meant to be. College means independence with a sense of responsibility and a complete new experience of learning to survive in the real world.

My year has been eventful.

I met new people and joined college societies. Nobody could even imagine that I was capable of giving auditions and clearing them. I learnt how to value every penny, every little initiative of people who offer to help you. Delhi University especially lets one be on his own and learn to survive. You rely more on public transport and also get to enjoy the gol gappas being sold near your college. It gets you to realise that ‘you are on your own’, and its only what you do is what you become.

Street plays became quite an essential part of me. They taught me more than ‘drama’, they taught me to have a voice of my own, and gave me the freedom to raise it for the issues that seemed to be dying, unheard. It sums up to a wonderful year, with a new me, for the better.

Stay grounded, and you will make it to the top.

3. Shreya Mudgil, Bharati College
My first year in Bharati College has been a heady combination of the expected and the unexpected. Freedom was expected, but the sheer amount of it, has been dazzling.
College gave me not just the freedom to go places, but also gave me the freedom to express my views about society. Unlike in school, opinions are not forced upon the students, but are discussed with open minds. Especially in a course like English honours that covers widespread concepts, ideas and viewpoints.

The best part of my first year has been the teachers. I am constantly amazed by their oceanic knowledge and the will and ability to be open minded when things tend to get awkward in the classroom. My principal deserves a special mention here for her wonderful oratorial skills.

Movies, eating out and hanging out at malls with friends are fun, surely, but the most fun I’ve had is, honestly, in the classroom with my books, teachers and writers.

Not forgetting my friends that I’ve made here. They have been instrumental in making this year memorable. Lastly, to quote the Beatles, “Oh I get by, with a little help from my friends!”

4. Gargi, NIEC, GGS Indraprastha University
I am in NIEC, pursuing BTech in electronics engineering. Honestly, my expectations from my college were low but it’s simply marvellous! My first year in college was very exciting and eventful! I gained popularity by winning the official Miss Fresher and Best Dancer title in the fresher’s party; bagged the role of an eight-year-old boy after auditions in the Drama Society and performed in IIT Delhi’s Rendezvous ’12 and the prestigious BITS Pilani Oasis ’12; joined the music society and performed a song in IP’s Anugoonj ’13, and got selected in the fashion team as a model and won the fashion parade in BPIT (wore high heels for the first time!).

I also secured the first position in a 100m dash in NIEC’s sports meet and got a big trophy! Besides my busy schedule, I enjoyed random road trips, sleepovers, night-outs and went to a pool party (for the first time) with my friends! Made a bunch of wonderful friends and due to one very special friend, got my driver’s licence as he gave me lessons in driving! I drove his car to Jaipur on the highway.

And the best part is that I scored decent marks in the first semester! What an unforgettable and fulfilling first year!

5. Siddhi Goel, Hans Raj College
One enters DU with many preconceived notions that are largely fuelled by media that portray a very glamorous picture of it. From college fests to fresher parties, we’re virtually promised a three-year joyride devoid of worries. It’s true, but incomplete. I’ve had countless conversations with complaints about the DU being a place that is miles away from seriousness. This, however, is nothing but a hasty generalisation.

DU was established through an act of the parliament. It is the best university in India for under graduate studies and second best for post graduate studies.

DU attracts the best professors. Amitav Ghosh, Amartya Sen, Manmohan Singh have all taught at DU, and we all know that teachers alone make or break institutions.

Academicians hold lectures round the year and the colleges conduct various cultural events such as dance competitions and debates that hone your skills.

With over 1.5 lakh students, the number of people coming up with their own magazines, websites, start-ups, NGOs, research papers is also huge. This is because DU gives you the licence to constantly innovate and think out-of-the-box and just meeting such people teaches us volumes.

The best companies hire DU students and there is definitely much more to DU than parties.

DU is a great place to be in, provided you know how to make use of it and break the stereotypes.

All the best!

6. Anam Kazmi, Miranda House
Life seems to have come full circle for me — the confused, wide-eyed, fresh-out-of-school kid is writing her second semester exams these days and is soon going to be a senior to the freshly-inducted first years! Writing this article has brought back a plethora of memories and whenever I recollect my initial days at Miranda House, I end up reliving my campus journalist days (which briefly transformed me into a mini celebrity, with people approaching me because they read my articles and saw my photos in the newspaper!).

I admit it took me some time to settle in the new college environment and in the beginning I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of students in my batch (memorising 60 names and faces is quite a herculean task). But now Miranda feels like a second home to me because of my wonderful friends (a special mention to Priya, Grace and Nikhita) and the English department teachers who go out of their way to help students. There is no denying that my first year has been a rollercoaster ride, with its ups and downs. But college life is a perfect blend of learning and fun. It has been instrumental in helping me gain confidence and has given me a different perspective altogether. I am looking forward to exploring more of the campus.

First Published: May 14, 2013 13:16 IST