First year in college is, as some already know and some of you will eventually get to know, unlike any other. You can feel it on your first day, when you realise that the first division your school was so proud of is shared by fifty other people in your class.
Also, unless you’re in Stephens’ or Miranda and the like, you can’t help but notice that your college is definitely less glossy than had been shown in the national daily. And hereon you know you’re on your way to busting a few good myths about college life by the end of the year. Your mind constantly oscillates between a “Look at me!” and “What next?” which in a few month boils down to “So this is how it’s really like? Gulp!” And don’t be surprised if you soon find yourself discussing philosophical nothings with your lecturers in class and on facebook alike.
First year is all about whirlwind evolution, where in one year you go from being a restless juvenile to being comfortable in your skin; the means to that end consisting of real workload, attendance blues, societies, new discoveries and meeting people from all spheres to teach you a new thing or two along the way.
First year turns out to be a year of unexpected surprises, unmet expectations, new-found freedom and acclimatization to all of this. Come second year, everyone looks back at the year that was, and are proud of some things and regret some others. Everyone resolves that this year is going to be different. This year, we will study more. This year we will do something we should have done last year, for sure. And it turns out to be like one of those typical New Year Resolutions, made to be broken. So for a few days, things do look a little different, but then most people move down that slippery slope of first year.
Second year is still very different from first year in several ways. By this time, most people find their niche in their classes and in the college and become much more comfortable. Also, now you move up the pecking order as you become seniors and have juniors who can bossed around. It’s a big break from first year, when everyone is trying very hard to remember everyone’s name and at being amicable to everyone. People now approach you about advice on which college or course to choose, which subsidiary to opt for, which texts to follow; you know: the works.
It turns out, without exception, to be a whirlwind of a year. But before you know it, it’s over.
Strike final year and you know your third year passes you by before you utter the word graduate. You suddenly realize how many unfinished things still remain to be ticked off your to-do list before college ends. It also means you barely find the time to complete it or study your course because you are too busy preparing for your entrances all year round. It’s a tough act to balance but you don’t have a choice because you know it’s your last year to pass off as a kid in a grown up’s body. And when reality hits a home run, you can’t help but wisen up.
Teachers become friends. Friends become teachers. Your increasing fondness for college makes you want to be more regular and you start missing it months before it’s actually over. It’s but natural, since the constant research on post graduation options, search for new universities, scholarship queries et al keeps you quite ahead of yourself.
You can’t help but wonder and be amazed at the magnitude of change and potential that has become a part of you in three years and this year helps you to channelise it all in the right direction. And when it is almost over and everyone has bid farewell, you know that college was never just about a degree. It was about growing up and facing life head on. And you learnt it all here in these three years of college.
Devika Dutt and Kritika Kushwaha