MISSING THE PLACE AND THOSE DAYS

​There have been poems, there have been chapters and there have been long long stories elucidating the essence of taking a leap of faith and plunging into the unknown. I call myself an avid reader but nothing taught me the aforementioned like my years in college.
I’ve exams rolling over in a week’s time but I guess, nothing can refrain me from mulling about my sojourn today! 😁

My schooling years were a lot about how a Tuesday submission should mean a Monday but never a Wednesday, how reporting at the reception at 8:00 am means a 7:55 am and never an 8:02 am, how you’re bound to wish your teachers (irrespective of whether they teach you or not) whenever you meet them in the school premises or even outside, and how you can never start your day sans prayers/meditation. 

Life in college has been different, if not better or worse. An 8:00 am got interpreted as an 8:30 lecture and a Tuesday assignment submission meant Wednesday, at earliest; next week’s Wednesday. It’s okay if you don’t recognize your professor in the campus, more often than not, he/she neither. 
Revisiting the downstream lanes compel me to believe that group studies, if at all, are efficacious with a limit tending to zero. One person completing her assignment in the first place is the reason why others are able to do theirs. You can either have your breakfast or your morning lecture, sparsely both. Photocopy and coffee machines are the true saviours. Life these days is difficult without WiFi and smart phones; and so is, learning about cancellation/rescheduling of classes, deadline of every project, syllabus of every internal and most importantly, circulation of one individual’s answer sheet to the entire class at a lightning speed. 
(Almost) every party/sleepover/trip jolts out someone’s true (and unpleasant) character. People who think in their heads that they’re the wittiest and most intelligent have infinitesimal stupidity in their bloods and bones. It’s easy to get lost in the crowd. And, there’s no one as ravishing in his/her untangled mess (and paradoxes) as Maggi noodles. :’)
To my failure, I can’t overemphasize this enough but: Following your passion is all the drug your soul wants in life.

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AT THE THRESHOLD

Summer vacations generally are welcomed by school students as the stress buster from the montonous schedule of going to school, tuitions, playground in a time-bound

manner. College students eye over this break as a time that creates place for everything to be done in the world, say, internships, summer jobs, recreational activities, tutorials for various competitions, honing skills in extra curriculars and sports and so on.

But there is a greater melodrama to this, as the story unfolds. Students who appear for class XII exams have to first meticulously strive to do well (oops! The “best”) in board exams irrespective of their forte and their ability. It has to be then suceeded by joining some crash courses or going through the regular vicious cycles of self-studies several times in a day. The preperations of all such entrance exams are surely met by the exam dates for the students. Cramming up of formulae, theorems, are followed by mugging up of the entire chapters and rote learning of mathematical problems.


Finally when these entrance exams bid adieu, CBSE and other state boards announce the results! Let me just enlighten you by one “fact-of -the-matter” : No matter what you’ve scored in your board exams you’ll get that droplet of sweat rolling down your cheeks atleast momentarily while filling up forms, standing in never-ending queues on the admission days in University Of Delhi.

Almost every student enrolling for an undergraduate degree aspires to be the part of the most coveted university of the nation: DU, sharing the stage space only with the IITs. Clearing your entrance exams definitely falls in your to-do list but DU remains the chart toppers for all courses that it offers except B.Tech. Besides this one course, DU is considered as the premiere institute of the nation by students and professionals alike for all courses.

So pretty obviously, DU opens no easy entrance doors for any student. Forget about an SRCC doing a 100% cut-off while releasing the cut-off lists, even an RLA does the same. The days while applying for admissions in DU are and will always be uneasy both for students and parents alike. Early morning wake-ups for newspapers, or late night internet searches are followed by choosing the college that should be visited first in case, you score good enough to get admitted to a few colleges in the first cutoff only. At times, bigger shocks await you inside the college premises. For example, the college will come up with additional eligibility criteria and will inform you only when you get there for mark-sheet verifications; hence, wasting your too precious time that could have been utilized by heading towards another college where you would have atleast procured a seat, since the time bound admission days open up only for 3-4 hours in a day and only continue for 2-3 days after the cutoff list is released.

Those regular tiring days under the sun, those drives from one college in north Delhi to the one in South from my house located in West Delhi can never turn oblivious to me, atleast. Those sprints that my parents and I made in haste, in various college campuses seeking for someone to resolve our queries, to lend a helping hand…urghh.

But you know, what’s the best part going to be?.. when you’ll get admitted to any of the college of DU, you’ll exclaim in your hearts of hearts “Aaaaahhhh….It was all worth it!”.

You might have migrated from chennai, assam, mumbai, kashmir and so many other and most likely all the states, to get admitted in DU. DU takes away the cream of the nation, almost all the toppers are within its reach. So, I was saying that you’ll exclaim those tiring efforts..yes! You will.

From the innumerable societies such as dance, drama, music, photography, poetry, fashion to joining NCC, NSS or taking up sports from shooting to swimming to lawn tennis, you’ll receive a delicious platter in the very opening and the beginning of your college life. If this isn’t enough, you can try your hands-on experiences such as working in a media house, NGO and many more. I doubt if any other university will offer you with so many opportuinities and co-operation just like DU does.

Then, comes the University’s election time; when you can have a lot of free movies, lunches, trips to amusement parks and so on;) . The elections are grand and real, for your information! You’ll spot candidates and their supporters indulging in physical violence, marching rallies and immense patrolling on the polling days.

The election feast is followed by the Annual Fest Season of DU in all the colleges. One can witness the cast and crew of several upcoming movies in colleges at that time. The star nights are the highlights of the fests. They are humongous carnivals in the entire university. The campus life, hostel life and the almost daily Delhi trips are breathtaking, backbreaking, swashbuckling and spinescent simultaneously.

You are even taken to various field trips, leisure trips and day trips to let yourselves enjoy. The innumerable workshops, orientations from professionals and from the elite panel of international universities is also extremely informative and it opens floodgates for several students to make wise planning for their career. The campus placement cell of DU is also an incredible launching pad for all the students of DU. Top MNCs target DU students to be hired as an employee..DU becomes like a brand name for you to soar high!

Hence, the platter is hot and mouth watering.. and I’ll repeat myself..”those tiring days are all worth it!”. Being a DUite is a matter of pride and the coolest identity as a teenager you can carry about when it comes to flaunting your institute’s name!

FYUP: A BOON OR A BANE?

The advent of FYUP in DU had to acclimate to the guard of honours coupled with disgrace by the connoisseurs viz, students and teachers. The first carrot that was dangled for public consumption while rooting for the FYUP when it was first mooted was that of the programme serving multiple exit points with a minimal of 40% required after 2 years, 45% after 3 years and 50% after 4 years. It liberates students to complete their residual in a span of eight years after dropping in between in cases of unforeseen circumstances.

Besides all these things said and done, FYUP is an ambitious programme which synchronizes and accommodates sedately in order to enhance communicative, writing and analytical skills with the culmination of illustrating presentations and paying more adherence to field work and research.

FYUP has also opened the floodgates for interdisciplinary academia consequently yielding in 26 foundation courses(covering all spheres), 4 application courses (ranging from history to music) and 2 discipline courses from 20 odd ones.

BMS is also being experimented with an assured placement. The campus placement cell of DU is also expected to witness a hike in recruiting interns and employees from the batches of FYUP students as the MNC recruiters claim, citing ‘enhancement in professionalism and widening of scope’ as reasons with all-round development of students due to scope in procurement of marks in extra curricular activities, sports and presentations in groups or individually.

However, the shortcomings of FYUP lie in its spontaneous implementation in the absence of proper discussions and debates ; privatization of education; dearth of faculty ; depleted teaching professionals as 50% consists of guest faculty and lesser content in syllabus ‘theoretically’ relative to three year graduation.

I would hereby , prefer to echo the vice-chancellor that theoretical knowledge is a lower substitute of research driven academics for students who get ‘hands-on experience’ as well as a podium to showcase their skill and passion in non-academic genres as well; and hence they gather valour to pan out a career for them in their chosen arenas which can be crafty and artistic too, and doubtlessly soul-stirring.

The 16 year schooling will aid students aspiring for higher education in foreign universities and will also bring DU at par with other globally renowned universities.

Having said all that, the frailties like depleted teaching staff and deficiency of a healthy debate over the new programme needs to be addressed with utmost sincerity and passion. The core content of FCs need to be standardized too.

I would love to rest my case here…HOPE STILL LIVES AND DREAMS SHALL NEVER DIE…