You know that defining moment? When the results are out and your fate for the next few years is being decided, the college you wanted and all the little things? Yes, a lot of us can relate to these exciting, but also tensed moments in life. The last two grueling years of school – studies along with the tuitions, hard work, failures and success – we know it wasn’t easy.
I walked in my first day of college at the PEC University of Technology, Chandigarh. Of course, the first day was super easy, because all it comprised of were introductions. But, as the days passed, I began to realize the first hardship was to get along with the classmates. They were people from different places of India and different attitudes which I wasn’t accustomed to. In midst of such diversity, it was a challenge to find someone who can be a supportive friend. Someone who compliments your nature. We will always need someone who is enthusiastic, and similar to us. The next challenge was to get along and make genuine friends with my seniors, because they’d be the biggest help and guide us through college.
That is when I started feeling left out. I was an introvert, who just wouldn’t open up easily in a group or in co-curricular activities, but I desperately wanted to change it. My biggest personal struggle was to find acceptance in the activities of my choice. I wished to know, to learn, to grow and improve my personality. But, I was also convinced I wasn’t really someone others would pay attention to.
We had a big group in the activity club that I chose, discussing everything – right from the kind of events we’d be conducting to who’d want to participate and the like. Here, there were first year students too talking and interacting with the seniors as if they knew each other for far too long. I wanted exactly the same thing – to fit in. I tried to get my voice heard in that group too, but there wasn’t any response. That is when I realised getting along with seniors isn’t a piece of cake.
Over time, I became better at communicating and things moved on, but I knew that it was going be a big task to make myself heard.
But, I also realised, college isn’t always unfair. There were events and their promotions for one of the biggest fests we were organizing. And as a newcomer, I took part in the management, setting up stalls, etc. That is where I met two of the loveliest seniors I admire till date. They knew their priorities. I was just another enthusiastic fresher in college and they understood me. They did see that I was worth a lot, if not at my current position, maybe at another, and they helped me to get to that position. That’s when I started realizing that, hey, maybe, it isn’t that bad after all. This brought confidence to me, and motivated me to do more. It made me sure that I was on the right track, just had to be patient and do what I was already doing – be myself.
Oh, no mentions of studies you say? Well, that is something everyone wants an off from, especially in college. Of course we had professors, but most of them just gave importance to their positions rather than the actual teaching. There wasn’t really talk about innovation or passion or enthusiasm. No professor actually took the pain to motivate the students.
If I were to summarise my challenges, they would look something like this: there will always be a desire to become like someone else, to change and be able to blend in. And for many, there will be a desire to be understood, appreciated and accepted. You might have a different way of going about than others. Also, a lot of people will talk about being original, yet few will follow the claim. It’s easier said than done.
But, it’s essential to not be shaken by that awkwardness and be what you feel defines you. Yes, make mistakes, lose out on things, if need be. Let the bad happen. Believe me, it’s better to let the bad happen to you now than any time later. It is now when you will find yourself facing that one moment, that one instance where life screams out to you that you are officially in a pool full of the varieties you should face. This is just another test, only at a bigger scale. There is no failure nor success. It’s all about learning and being better than what you were earlier.
It’s not going to be easy. It never was meant to be easy. But no one said it’s impossible. Everything you dream is possible, but it’s just the way that it is made possible that seems tough. It will happen. The universe shall listen, maybe not now, not today, but eventually it will happen – have faith and be patient.