By Simran Nandrajog:
“Yeh liberal arts kya hota hai?” (What is this liberal arts?)
”Ashoka University? Yeh kaunsa college hai?” (Which college is this?)
”Why are you going to Ashoka? You’ve scored so well, tumhe DU ke kisi acche college mein admission aaram se mil jaata.” (you’ll easily get admission in any good college in DU.)
My life changed two years ago when my Class 12 results came out. Being a meritorious student since childhood, no one was surprised when I scored 95% marks in my boards and became the school topper. Given my performance in exams, I expected to get admitted to a reputed college of the University of Delhi (DU). Expectations and reality don’t always go hand in hand. I was in a state of shock when the cut-offs for various DU colleges came out. The first cut-off was as high as 100 in some colleges. Now, where was I supposed to go, with ‘just’ 95% marks?
That’s when Ashoka University came into the picture. Today, it’s like a second home to me, but the story was completely different two years back. After the DU cut-offs were announced, I had lost all hope of getting admission in any of its colleges. Meanwhile, several people, who had praised me for my academic calibre had now started passing sarcastic remarks on how I didn’t get into a good college despite scoring 95%. This was followed by countless questions of why I was going to Ashoka. Reluctantly, I took admission there, and honestly, I didn’t try to mingle with people due to self-doubt. I didn’t have the freedom to hang out daily with my friends as I was living in a hostel, and was bombarded with readings and assignments almost every day. The first semester just passed by.
However, as time passed, the bad period also came to an end. I resolved that whatever happened has happened for the good and there was no point in crying over it. I also realised that it is pointless to compare oneself with others as everyone is unique. It would only result in low self-esteem. Since then, I have started enjoying college life despite not having the luxury of going out every day. The ideas exchanged during lectures taught by some of the best faculty, the lengthy yet interesting readings, and the all-nighters make college life memorable. Things like cribbing about the mess food, assignments, exams and celebrating birthdays at midnight make Ashoka University special. Last but certainly not the least, the late nights at the dhabas are amazing. The dhabas are the favourite hangout spot for the students in the university. It is a space not only for sipping tea and having paranthas but also for having deep conversations about life, relationships and much more.
I would only like to say that I am enjoying every moment of being at Ashoka University. I was not thrilled to be here initially but I would not have it any other way now.