DU diaries: Offline versus online freshers ka mahayudh
Most millennial and Gen Z were still busy picking sides over what makes for a better #romanticbingewatch — K-Pop series or mushy SRK re-runs — just when a new debate stirred on campus: the mahayudh between online and offline freshers’ parties! The outstation students root for online freshers whereas those based Delhi-NCR are all up for offline freshers’ parties; some of which are being organised unofficially by senior students of various colleges.
A few students of Hansraj College recently conducted an unofficial offline freshers’ party. Priyanka Singhal, who was crowned Ms Freshers there, and has attended both online and offline freshers opines, “I had great expectations from college life and especially freshers’ party because it’s one of the most awaited events. However, the pandemic caged us with some restrictions. But thanks to such amazing seniors and their efforts, I thoroughly enjoyed myself at both the online and offline freshers. Each has it’s own pros and cons. Online freshers ensured that we sit in the comfort of our homes and yet connect with outstation batchmates while taking a virtual tour of the college, but lacked physical interaction and a feeling of disappointment kept sweeping in the whole time. At the unofficial offline freshers’ party, I felt there was certainly more interaction and to be able to see your college batchmates in person was simply an ecstatic feeling! We danced, played games, competed for titles, clicked loads of pictures and even cut a cake towards the end. But, it’s sad that our batchmates who are outside Delhi couldn’t be part of it. So if I had to pick one out of the two, it would definitely be the offline freshers because living the experience means more than just seeing it!”
Outstation students or even students based in Delhi but have parents not allowing them to break curfew rules due to Covid-19, say it’s an experience they can’t miss even if it means attending the party in pyjamas. Mansha Khanna, a student of Hansraj College who recently attended her department’s freshers’ party online, says, “Attending a freshers’ party right in the morning in broad day light in jammies and unkempt hair was never my dream. But, I’m glad our department organised an online freshers’ because my parents wouldn’t have allowed me to attend physical parties and I didn’t want to miss out on the whole freshers’ party feel! Keeping in mind students’ safety, online parties are certainly the way to go for now! Also, online freshers’ means we don’t have to pay anything, and a boon for introverts who want to be part of the party but not socialise.”
But not everyone feels the same. Harshita Chaudhary, a student of Daulat Ram College who was titled Dancing Queen at the recently organised unofficial offline freshers’ party, says, “When I first came to know there was going to be an offline freshers’ party, I was beyond excited! We all have been so annoyed due to the whole pandemic situation, and a casual college get together was much needed. The seniors were warm to all of us, and we partied and enjoyed. It gave us a better chance to bond with our seniors. Being in the same college, getting to know each other is necessary for a better emotional connection.”
Gargi Choudhary, a batchmate of Chaudhary is another student who attended DRC’s offline freshers’ party. She says, “Without any preparations or grooming, I attended the party for fun and won the title of ‘best dressed’. Our seniors arranged quite a few activities for us, including the famous ramp walk! The party wouldn’t have been a party if it were to be held online because then you will miss out the real fun!”
But, did the pandemic stress out party funks? “Not at all! Everything and everyone was sanitised, and all safety precautions were taken. The seniors made sure that everyone was feeling comfortable and enthusiastic at all times,” adds Choudhary.
The final verdict should also include the voice of seniors who are organising these parties. “I would definitely prefer offline freshers, since it provides us with a lot of different opportunities to interact with one another and get to know everybody better. Also in the online mode we cannot be sure about what is the environment at everybody’s place and if they all will be able to equally enjoy the party or not,” says Roshni Kapoor, a final year student of DRC, who organised the offline freshers for her college recently and will be organising an online freshers in the coming weeks.
Author tweets @FizzyBuddha