By Bhanvi Satija:
Amidst the chaos of admissions at Delhi University, it’s very important to pick and choose the right combination of course and college. A year ago, when I was in the same position as many of you reading this are, I finally rested my finger at Lady Shri Ram College for Journalism (Hons).
This decision came after the exciting admission process at DU. The process, by itself is simple – you go to the college, fill in another college form that requires stuff like your Best Four Score, and the course preferences etc. The next step is that if you are meeting the cut off, you will be required to submit your documents and pay the fee. The process has an exciting element to it – its the first step into a whole new life, and you experience a bundle of mixed emotions while you fill that form or stand in line to submit your documents.
The term ‘journalism’ took my mother by surprise. She hasn’t stopped me from doing anything ever in my life, and of course what I want to study was going to be solely my decision, but I could definitely make out by her face that she was worried; this was only because she had no idea about the course and its prospects later on.
So what does one study in journalism? Everything. Journalism is an interdisciplinary course and is made for those like me who don’t want to get themselves stuck in one single subject for the next three years of their life. The course is structured in a way that it reaches out to many other fields, and the students gain an insight into all sorts of subjects – from history, political science to economics, advertising and culture studies. However, the course lacks in the practical aspect to it (like most of the curriculums in this country). But that’s where my choice of college has played an important role – LSR now has a media lab with a set of equipment that are needed to teach certain basic skills like photography and videography. It’s not perfect, because we still have a long way to go in order to learn these skills, but we are on our way and that’s all that matters. Another course, Bachelor of Multimedia and Mass Communication (BMMC), offered only by the Indraprastha College for Women, beats our course in this respect. The compulsory internship component of the course at LSR gives students a first-hand insight into how the world of media actually functions.
The opportunities available to a student after doing this course are tremendous. Since we study everything in these three years, (well almost!) we have access to all sorts of opportunities – from taking up a job in the media to doing a Masters in any field you wish to take up, or doing law, or taking the IAS exam. This is contrary to the notions most people have once you tell them you are a student of journalism – “Accha beta, TV pe aane ke shaunk hain? Arnab Goswami banoge?” is something you will gradually become immune to once you know how many different things you can actually do after the course.
However, everything is not good about the course either. The course, B.A (Hons) Journalism is offered only by five colleges in DU, namely – DCAC, Maharaja Agrasen, Kalindi, Kamala Nehru and LSR. Out of these only the first two are co-ed colleges – which can be putting off for the guys who aspire to take up the course, or those girls who are not willing to attend a girls’ college. Moreover, being a professional course, we have the highest attendance requirement of 75% in the college – which means you can miss/bunk classes only with great thought while others have a massive advantage of only a 66.66% requirement. Plus, we don’t get the extra marks for this attendance. This is one issue that bothers a lot of us, especially when you dream of the ‘ideal’ life at DU. On top of this, we mostly have classes from 8:45/9:40 am till the last period which ends at 4:55 pm (and our classes barely get cancelled). For me, an added disadvantage is that I have to travel approximately two hours to get to college. Which means on days, I have to leave home by 6:30 in order to reach on time.
But none of our decisions in life will ever be perfect – we just need to weigh the pros and the cons of each of them. For me, this has been the best decision, making all the difficulties and inconveniences worth the effort.