Scoring good marks in the board examinations is certainly not where the battle ends, it is exactly where the battle begins. It kick starts with filling up of forms, and waiting for cut-off lists, and how one college is better than another, and how one course is respected more than the one less chosen. However, the students today also rely on the face value of a lot of things which happen around them, and that is what happens during the college admissions as well.
In order to pursue my dream, I chose to study BA (H) Journalism at the Institute of Home Economics. A number of people might not even know that a college of that name exists under the University of Delhi which isn’t that big an issue, because how many of us really know that we can pursue a bachelor’s in subjects like Fabric and Apparel Management, Food Technology, Microbiology, Biochemistry and Home Science?
Well, my college offers all of that, which is worth appreciation, because they also offer you the scope to be extraordinary and unconventional from the usual courses one seeks. Conversations with people as influential as Shazia Ilmi and a workshop with PepsiCo to know the basics of how the industry works can for sure, help you seek your own talents with joining hands with radio stations and their talent search programmes. My college offered me all of that and a lot of other students from various streams within the few weeks of commencement.
I was never unsure of my decision because I’ve always known the fact that college doesn’t make much of a difference if the faculty is ready to impart the right amount of knowledge to you, and the faculty in my college does just that. The Department of Development, Communication and Extension has enlightened me in ways, in just a few days, like never before, be it the text or beyond the text, we are aware of just the right things, in the right way.
I’ve witnessed the holistic approach of the institution which is far more important than focusing on just a brand, because as you walk into a famous college, you feel the responsibility to carry it on. You cannot be average under a popular banner, because then in a crowd of thousands, there you’ll lose yourself, you’ll be just another face, another name purely non-existent and probably will never find yourself again. My ‘not-so-popular’ college found the right version of me and appreciated it. It has made me confident enough to fight my own battles and build my own identity so far. It has taught me the basic lessons of life along with the course assigned.
I’ve been questioned for choosing a college not known to many, and I wonder why not. I’ve always believed in living my dreams, not the materialism associated with them. The buildings might be tall, and campus may be much bigger, but the value system travels on a roller-coaster. You can find yourself a bunch of good friends everywhere because after all, a place turns out to be special where you find the people to make it feel that way, but sometimes, the place matters, the homeliness matters and my red-bricked building offers me that homeliness.
In the long run, it doesn’t matter which college you belonged to, but how you’ve evolved matters and your undergrad college makes a huge difference in shaping that. It’s rather good to be college-specific, but not at the cost of your dreams, because then, studying in big names like Hindu College, or Miranda House won’t really matter if you cannot evolve or have to give up on your dreams. A brand name doesn’t really matter, and it never has. It’s better to choose yourself over the societal pressure to be in the best college because sometimes, the undiscovered lanes open up doors to another beautiful world you might never have expected.
I chose the unpopular college, and I’m glad I did, because it allows me to be the true version of me, it allows me to explore my options, make mistakes, live my dreams to the fullest.