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On the threshold of a new life

Our campus journalists are all set for college and the new changes... find out what’s playing on their minds this week as they figure out their commute routes, go shopping and plan ahead.
Hindustan Times | By Premanshu Tripathi, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 23, 2013 01:29 PM IST

I have mentioned in some of my previous articles that admission cutoffs translate to adrenalin-pumping entertainment and mark the beginning of an exciting phase in one’s life --- more specifically college life.

For us the entertainment peaked when the unprecedented cutoffs in the first list ebbed to attainable limits by the time the fifth and sixth lists were out. We have been the ‘guinea pigs’ batch of the semester system. And now we are guinea pigs of a new experiment.

The four-year degree is indeed contrary to our expectations of a more stable and predictable pattern of education at college! But given our experiences at school we are not unduly inhibited and apprehensive of the changes and are flexible and easy-going in our approach.

At this stage each of us are focusing on a great start to college life. Everybody is busy visiting college campuses, wardrobe shopping and exploring the easiest and most cost-effective routes to college from home. The singular agenda is to be comfortably conversant with the nuances of college life so that nothing throws us off guard. As we prepare to embrace college life, memories of our school life constantly play in our subconscious. It is a painful realisation that the good old sweet school days are over.

But we are telling ourselves that it is all going to be fine. In life the feeling with which one moves ahead is important. Hence we need to move ahead with the good feeling that we are blessed to have memories of our school life that we can cherish for a lifetime. Nostalgia should not interfere with exploring the joys and opportunities of the present and we march ahead with a determination to make the most of our college days. The ones among us who are lucky to have close friends from school in the same college are understandably a little more secure. However, the ones among us who do not have close school friends enrolled in the same college are bracing ourselves with the saying, ‘Hope for the best, believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.’

At this critical juncture, when we are at the crossroads of life, each of us have unique thoughts and feelings and we share them with you. For instance, Vritti talks about her preparations for college while Tarana talks about her extracurricular activity (ECA) status. Jasmine shares an account of how her plans got postponed owing to an ailment. Ali talks about his shopping, Ummang shares some tips on what to do during the first few days in college while Kritika shares her excitement about life at Indraprastha College for Women and praises the library. Geetika shares her experiences while in the US and I talk about my plans for taking a gap year.

As yet another day ends; we put one more step forward towards a new phase of our life. This much-awaited phase of which we had always just dreamt and heard of is finally here and about to start. We are going to experience it individually. Luck and opportunity comes to the ones who are prepared and thus we must be prepared for this new and extraordinary experience called college life. I say extraordinary because none of us have experienced anything which is remotely close. This is not the beginning of a new chapter in our lives, rather it is the beginning of a new book! The first book has already been tossed into the seas. The pages of this new book have now opened. And we are yet to find the words.

Editor’s list

This time and for the first time we conducted our edit meet in virtual space. It was a different experience altogether.

1. Setting up the edit meet
Brainstorming on Whatsapp, we started the ­meeting. I was chairing it and I must admit that it really felt good to be the centre of attention and taking direction in terms of the proceedings

2. Theme of the week
The CJ’s talked about their current admission status and shared interesting trivia about college preparations that included shopping, stress management and handy tips for the first days

3. Tasks set out
Blogging and writing about our preparations for college (for instance shopping) were the primary tasks that we embarked upon

4. The most disciplined journo
Kritika and Tarana should compete for the title of most disciplined journalist as they start and complete their tasks with a very disciplined and meticulous approach

5. Work I did this week
Played pranks on my fellow CJ’s and checked the cut offs every now and then. I was also engaged in editing the articles and contemplating on my decision to drop or pursue college

6. ...and next week’s editor is
Jasmine Bhalla. The theme revolves around the first week experiences of all the CJs in their respective colleges

Premanshu Tripathi, Kendriya Vidyalaya, JNU

“Life knocks you down. It is up to you whether you get up or give up.”

It was five years ago when I realised what IIT really is and it became my dream. However, I failed to qualify for IIT - just by a margin of a whisker. A failure is a failure irrespective of its measure. A slew of sympathies flew in from close quarters. Even relatives and acquaintances called in to cheer and encourage me. The general advice was to enroll in any college. But I was conscious that any bargain with my ambitions would be a grave injustice to myself. So I decided to take a gap year and prepare. Once you appear in the JEE, you become familiar with the examination pattern and the planning input it requires. One year of proper guidance and hard work in the right direction will surely pay rich dividends. This is what I believe and hope.

Vritti Gandhi, Holy Child Auxilium School

Having to prepare for college tends to lead to pangs of anxiety. Sure, there is the excitement, so much so, that the mere mention of the word college has me drifting away into an entirely different world. But then someone comes up with another word – shopping – that steers me fiercely back to the present. Now, I do not want to sound like a lunatic but gearing up for college is actually a nerve-racking experience, with a new ‘what- if’ popping into my mind every few seconds. Apart from all the pondering, I am actually rushing to different places and trying to do some shopping just like thousands of other students like me. However, since I am finally into college life I am bracing myself for it with fortitude

Kritika Narula, St Margaret Senior Secondary School

I must admit that I have learnt many more lessons about life in this period of transition from school to college than I did throughout my schooling. And now, I just can’t wait for college life to begin. As I explore Indraprastha College for Women, I find that it has the best library sheltering all genres of books- fiction, subject-specific, journals, encyclopedias, dictionaries, yearbooks etc. It seems like paradise on earth. After all what more could a book lover like me ask for? The next task I focused on this week was figuring out the best options of commuting to college. My college has an exceptionally convenient location. The metro station is situated right next to it, so it connotes a hassle-free daily commute for me. I am ready to take the plunge, believing that God’s plan for me is always better than my own plan!

Ummang Sharma Bajpai, The Indian School

All the hard work has paid off – the boards, the admissions and many other things. Finally, I’m a student of the Hindu College. But now, I sit and wonder what college is going to be like. All through school you hear so much about going to college. But as a fresher, a lot of questions pop into your mind. How will it be? Will I fit in? Am I expecting too much? I had a chat with my college friends and got some tips. First of all, stay in a group. In the first week, you do not want to be the lone ranger. Second, have an open mind, interact with classmates and make new friends. There are a lot of extra-curricular activities waiting for you. And finally, while ragging is banned, be prepared for some “effective communication” activities. So with the excitement bubbling up, college – here we come!

Geetika Ahuja, Summer Fields School

The aggressive combat with the sky high cut offs are over. While some of us have emerged unscathed, others have narrowly escaped a backlash. Unfortunately, the cut offs have dashed the hopes of many others. But let us not get deterred by the longing for that coveted course or dream college. Let us look into brighter aspects that are uniform to college life everywhere. For one now is the time for the drab school uniforms to be traded for an entirely new wardrobe which can have colours and patterns as wild as our fancies. So loosen your purse springs and invade the flea markets at Janpath, Sarojini Nagar and Lajpat Nagar with your gang of friends. After enduring sleepless nights and the painfully long wait to get into LSR, I have taken some time off to unwind in the US. Minus the pressure and stress this surely feels like paradise

Jasmine Bhalla, St Thomas’ School

The last couple of months were nothing but a blur to all of us. So much so, that reaching this point always seemed so distant and far off in the future. But hey here we are! College is beginning so soon and there is so little time left! Being the procrastinator that I am I get the blues at the mere thought of college preparations. I was so happy for securing a seat in the prestigious Hindu College that preparations took a backset. And just at the time when I would have started my preparations for college life I took ill. All the binge shopping, remedies for bad hair days and learning the Metro routes had to be put on hold. Anyway, now that I am no longer sick I cannot wait to go on a shopping spree and ask my parents for an increase in my pocket money

Chaudhary Ali Mardan Khan, DPS, Indirapuram

In school you might have been the star debater or writer but in college you have to carve your credentials and worth afresh. You have to remember that you are in fresh territory and the old rules for success and popularity will not apply. Creating a mark in this new terrain should be the topmost priority for all. Preparation has to necessarily precede the attempt. For me this initial preparation will be a mammoth task; as I am going abroad. I want to carry all things which give me a sense of comfort so that I am more grounded and anchored in my ambitious quest in foreign territory. So from comforting pillows to comforters, green tea to green covers, t-shirts to jackets, stationary to utensils - I ought to have it all. My suggestion to all is that as each of you venture into college life your attire and attitude, especially in the initial days, will speak volumes about you.So dress well, for the first impression (if not the last) will be an important one

Tarana Faroqi, Sardar Patel Vidyalaya

Endless queues in front of notice boards and frenzied checking of college websites are finally over. I applied to Kamala Nehru in the first list as it was the right mix in terms of being a good college and offering the course of my choice. I applied to the ECA quota as well and did clear the trials at some places. So now I have my fingers crossed in hope. However, the ECA trails were not easy. The trial dates had clashed at many ­colleges and this translated to a tough call for me. I am sure that I will choose my course over a good college. As of now I have taken admission at Indraprastha College (for political science) and feature in LSR’s waiting list. I am still waiting for destiny to decide my fate

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