College life is a whole new experience, where we break out from our mold and dip our toes into things we haven’t tried before. These experiences, and the beauty of these “firsts” makes college even more special.
We often hear our parents gush over memories of our first word, or the first step we took as babies, but the value of firsts is something we understand for ourselves as we go through the journey of adolescence into adulthood.
By the age of sixteen or seventeen most people from our generation are guilty of exclaiming ‘I am not a child anymore’ to our parents. There are several things that may trigger this response, it could be something as simple as a protest against being yelled at for not keeping our room tidy, or calling out our parents’ hypocrisy for calling us adults in some instances, and children in others, but what really makes us believe this statement, is the yearning to actually be an adult.
When younger, we fantasize about the romantic lifestyle we’ll lead as grown ups. Driving, going out without permission, having our own salary to spend as we wish, contribute to the fantastical delusion of what adulthood is actually like. Once out of school, we come a step closer to this romanticized idea of growing up. While our reality is still somewhat clouded in college, what makes college life so interesting are the many firsts we experience.
The first year of college, is the starting point of most firsts for many people. Indian parents are infamous for over protecting their children for most part of their lives, but from this unconscious coddling comes something magical, the gift of experiencing the many (previously forbidden) firsts life has to offer. Lets address the most fantasized about first, one’s first love. Before entering college, we not only graduate from school, but also graduate from meager crushes, to being open to full fledged, unabashed, untamed love. The diverse crowd of college presents the bright eyed with limitless opportunities to fall madly and deeply into love, away from the prying eyes of parents. Caste, colour, culture and identity merge into one big word, ‘human’ and you let yourself, maybe even for the first time, experience intense emotion for another human being. Films like Rang De Basanti start to seem more romantic than tragic, and you consider yourself to be ‘alive’ for the very first time.
While your first love may make you feel more alive than ever, the next first is more of an escape. A lot of us have our first drink in college. We are introduced to the world of parties and clubs, which are incomplete without, alcohol. A rookie favourite, vodka and rum are a broke college kid’s best friend. The feeling of ‘nothing’s happening’ to ‘I’m not drunk’ (when you clearly are), become memories to cherish, and of course, so does the time you puke your guts out after one too many shots. The mind numbing first experience everyone has with alcohol, not only helps place you in the category of ‘light weight’ or heavy weight’ but also brings with it the joy of shutting does unwanted overthinking and unnecessary stress. However, being sensible about your intake of alcohol is extremely important and drinking responsibly is something your future self will thank you for.
The next first is something most experienced by Delhi newbies. If you’ve just moved to the city for college, the metro at first may seem like a task but will eventually become your best friend, and definitely a cherish-able first. It’s not uncommon for your first metro experience to be somewhat confusing. You’re overwhelmed by the different coloured lines and stations, and somewhat disappointed when your destination is not right outside the metro station. You may end up staring at the map for a while, only to discover your savior in the coloured footsteps which lead you right to your platform. The metro card becomes as important as your debit card, and the panic you experience on forgetting it is almost at par with the torture of standing in the long token line that follows that. We can honestly thank our stars for the inexpensive and fast travel the metro has to offer and can’t imagine life without it.
This first may be an unpopular opinion when it comes to the theme of ‘cherish-able firsts’, but it definitely deserves a spot in the list owing to its novelty in terms of work experience. This is a first which majority of people experience only after entering college, and can also come under the category of ‘forced firsts’. Internships for some may be the best first work experiences for some, and the worst for others. No work, odd jobs and moody bosses are familiar to anybody who’s ever interned, but on the flip-side, great bosses, amazing learning experiences and meeting wonderful people are too part and parcel of the internship experience.Whether you have a good experience or a bad one at your first internship, you are bound to leave having learnt something new.
College life offers so much to each one of us, friends, memories and learning experiences for a lifetimes. These memorable firsts, generously sprinkled here and there make college life beautiful and memorable.
Feature Image Credits – Hindustan Times