In 2014, I took admission in a girls college at Delhi University. It was a course I did not want to do, in a college that I did not wish to attend. For me, my life was a wreck, and all my studying for my boards had turned out to be worthless. What was the worst part? I had missed out on the college that I did want to attend by one mark.
It’s safe to say that initially, I hated it. I had wanted to study English literature, but somehow, I ended up enrolled in a course in Multi-Media and Mass Communication. Yes, all my friends were gaga over the fact that I was going to be the next anchor (aka Ranbir Kapoor in YJHD), but something told me that that was not going to happen.
My biggest fear was the fact that I was at a girls college. I had horror stories of ‘titlis (social butterflies)’ in DU and the ‘jhola-kurta feminist types’.
To be honest – those were the only two stereotypes about girls in DU I had ever heard about. I fit in neither of those categories, and life started to look nothing less than a horror movie. Things sucked for the first semester – mostly because I had built it up in my head.
I remember talking about this to a senior who had told me that, “By the end of your three years here, you’ll love this place.” I was so sure that wasn’t going to happen. Still, I made a few friends and decided to brave my way through it. By the end of my three years at college, I realised that my senior was right. Life at Delhi University is the best thing that can happen to you. It brings freedom and experiences you never thought possible. But most importantly, it brings you life lessons that you’ll never forget. Here are the six things life at DU taught me.
Of course, this is the cliché of all clichés, but it’s also very true. Don’t get me wrong, college is the time to experiment with yourself, do things you never did and try to become a better person – but that’s the keyword. A better person, but still you. There will be numerous times when the temptation to change to fit in will be immense. But in the long run, it’s far better that you don’t try to change yourself to fit in. Delhi University, or any other college for that matter, exists because thousands of unique individuals exist. Be one of them, but be yourself.
If something sounds cool to you, try it. You may find that you’ve been missing something you’ve needed all along. In my last semester, I tried out spoken word poetry, and that was the turning point in my life. Up until then, I had written stuff, but never gotten the courage to perform it in front of people. However, after my stint at a poetry slam, I was ready to try even more such events!
This comes with boundaries, of course. If you feel uncomfortable or pressured, step back for a second (and see #1.) But really, step out of the box and do things you normally wouldn’t. College is filled with endless opportunities, and sticking to the same routine, and the same people just isn’t worth it when there’s so much to learn about who you are and what you like. Plus, those random plans and people may turn into your favourite memories and your best friends. You’ll never know until you try.
Entering the real world is hard. Honestly, adulting sucks. But the beauty of college is that whatever said and done, it prepares you to go out in the world and win it (or at least attempt surviving it every day.)
Very honestly, I did not learn even 1% of my college education inside the classroom. And that is going to happen. Accept it and turn it around. You have internships, college peers, cool professors and the internet. Not having great professors inside a classroom, or not studying the subject you wanted inside a classroom is no reason for you to give up on your passions.
They matter for those self-explanatory times: job interviews, first dates, going to work, important events, etc. But there is a huge period when your appearance doesn’t matter at all, especially in college. So relax, be comfortable and understand that if the person is dressed to impress in front of you, you don’t have to. It’s your choice. And it’s their choice. Don’t judge.