Batch of 2021 & 2022: The Fear of An Unfulfilled College Experience

With the pandemic still raging, college life has now shrunk to four walls and a screen. Highlighting the fear and jitters of having an unfulfilled undergraduate life, and the desire to go back to classes.

College life is a thread of inexplicable experiences – the sunlight waking up as you board the 7:30 metro for college, settling in comfortable silence with strangers in e-rickshaws and autos. Campuses hustle with enthusiasm that can’t be contained in any number of societies, dogs that want to be petted and cats that want to be cuddled – and the innumerable photographs beside the red bricks that need to be clicked. It’s draining, and the pressure is cruel – to stay afloat in a rat race that threatens to consume your self-worth.

But perhaps, a lecture that changes the way you think about the world, hugging a friend who’s been MIA due to low attendance and sitting in the amphitheatre to sing stories and cheer for dance practices – perhaps, these small, trivial moments, suspended in the monotony of daily life make up for the dread, that we as students carry?

A classroom in Jesus and Mary College. (Image Credits: Sanaa Munjal, Instagram @to.traversing.timezones)

As we transition to online classes for the foreseeable future, the loss of our campus spaces has never stung so much. There are no metro doors to run towards, no more ludo games between lectures and no more chai-sutta with friends. College life, as we know, has come to a halt. For at least a semester now, and nobody knows for how long, we will have no spectacles – fests, competitions, seminars, society events, freshers, investiture and prize distribution ceremonies; all the little moments of year we cherished and looked forward to. As Delhi University awaits the admission process for incoming first years – the junior-senior relationships that were forged in the green rooms and work stations, amidst the preparation of numerous events, will be missed terribly. The sheer togetherness with which we bonded, like not just the university but the entire city was our home – we all are missing that.

In my case, the fear of an unfulfilled graduation life is related more to the fun part than jobs or internships. I personally feel that owing to the pandemic, more or less I have lost on occasions like wearing a saree on my first department fest, losing out on my first college fest and so on.

Navneet Kaur, a second year student at Lady Shri Ram College said

As we sit all across the country, grappling with the tense problems that arrive with the onset of online classes, we can’t help but miss the sunlight that skipped puddles in our colleges, the cafes that were always crowded with hungry, broke students, and of course the canteen food (however much we despised it, it’s ghar ka khaana, after all).

Third years will wake up to a screen for their ‘last first day of college’. The fear of having an unfulfilled college life is very, very real. All we can do, however, is hope the pandemic subsides for us to return to our campuses – to the days when fretting over attendance and preparing for internals while juggling society work were our biggest challenges. The world as we know has changed, and while the normal we prescribed to all our life has ceased to exist – we can still hope for a day where we all meet, sit and talk (and rant) without fearing for our safety. Hope is what tethers us to a better tomorrow – adhoori mulaqat hi toh phir se milne ka vada hai.

Feature Image Credits: Unsplash

Paridhi Puri