College is the place where we rediscover ourselves. However, the process may not always be as straightforward as we are led to believe.
Popular culture has given us problematic ideas about what to expect from college. We hope to find friends, love, increased self-confidence, and the prospect of being gainfully employed in these three years. We hope to find solutions to the problems that have plagued us all our lives, both internally and externally, over these three years.
During our boards and across the latter years of our school life, the thought that things would be different during college was our greatest consolation. We hope to fix everything we dislike about ourselves in this one place, hoping that crossing the threshold of our to-be alma maters fills us the excitement, self-love, and success we never found. But college, and the kind of change it brings, has been largely exaggerated. Sure, we may have lost our uniforms and some of us have started living away from home, but deep down, we are the same people we have always been.
According to pop culture, the fundamental solution to all problems is outside us – it can be a person, an incident, or an experience. Sadly, life-changing stimuli that is neatly wrapped with a bow is not waiting there for us. There won’t be a Bunny to our Naina, waiting around in a college corridor, who will teach us how to live our life fully. For change to be truly constructive, it needs to stem from within.
We may get a new haircut before college starts, hoping that it solves our self-acceptance issues, but truth be told, issues that stem from within can never be solved by a change of scene. A lot of people experience major transformations and become altogether different individuals in college. This does not mean that it was college that led to these changes – it was the inherent desire within them to fearlessly embrace change and improve.
It is important that those who are just on the verge of a new beginning start out with a realistic thought of what the next three years would look like. You will not meet your best friends for life unless you seek new people, you won’t become a great debater unless you go out and try public speaking. You most likely will still have the same problems you have always faced; the only way to create fundamental change in yourself and for the better is to seek opportunity rather than waiting for it to find you. Apply for an internship at that organisation you aspire to be part of, write to the people you look upto, make new friends from different cultures and backgrounds, take
trips that are both planned and unplanned, sometimes with friends, sometimes alone. For us to get what we want, it is imperative that we seek what we hope to find.
To the Batch of 2021, I would just like to say, for us to get what we want, it is imperative we seek what we hope to find.