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Education is meant to liberate the educated. Read on to know what happens when there exists a polarity between the two.

Recently, a video of St. Francis College, Hyderabad, had made rounds on the internet. The video was received with widespread outrage across different social media platforms. The protesting students alleged that a faculty member had shamed a student for wearing a sleeveless dress. “The head of my department gave the example of actors who are paid to wear ‘such clothes’. That statement affected me. I have written down this incident verbatim in my book,” an enraged student said. “Sr. Sandra announced a new dress code change in the middle of the year and her colleagues told our representatives that a long kurta would get us good marriage proposals. They told our representatives that standing up for a cause is blasphemous, raising your voice is blasphemous.

This went against the very grain of our values as millennials of the 21st Century. Things got worse, every day we were all humiliated for wearing a kurta that was just an inch or less above the knee, we were made to stand outside the college, losing out on classes and tests. Things did not stop there, the college went ahead and hired female security guards in the pretext of security, these female guards were checking the length of our kurtas, they went ahead and pulled girls by their ID (identity) cards and even pulled their kurtas,” Zanobia Tumbi, who is a student at St. Francis, posted on her Facebook profile, along with the video. Eventually, the women decided to protest and were finally allowed to wear “long tops” to college. But that does not even begin to end the discourse. The Indian education system, specifically talking about higher education, has a way of putting unnecessary obligations on students.

Be it a certain way of dressing, a mandatory minimum attendance, or a particular way of writing the papers to fetch more marks, they all contribute to cease the liberty of students. What is worrying is that the students of these institutions have internalised this behaviour, and do not really seem to have a problem with it. When I asked a few students studying in a reputed college which followed the same practice, their answers ranged from, “I have never given it a thought,” to “No, I don’t have anything to say about it.” When humans are fed a diet of entirely problematic substances, they stop dissecting the reality to find out the truth.

Something similar seems to be happening with the Indian youth, and this is a cause of concern. Education is supposed to make them distinguish between real and false virtues, but in such cases, it is robbing them of it. When there is an imposition of uncalled-for rules, it tends to hamper with the real issues plaguing the country and the world as communities. India lags behind when it comes to research, innovations, and modifications in education. Instead of sanitising the post-millenials of their ungodly ways, the system should take a long, critical look within its cracks and make amends to the damage. While the whole world is progressing to form a more holistic approach towards education, actions such as these put a big question mark on the system.

There is also a debate about what the parents’ reaction is. According to the management of St. Francis, most of the parents had received this decision of their daughters wearing a kurta in a positive light. In this situation, dissent, and not the narrative of “disobedience” that we have been fed, is necessary. Across colleges, and especially in women’s educational institutions, patriarchy or moral policing should have no space. Such places in Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, or across smaller cities, have given the country women that the world is proud of. If we limit them to, and define them by what they wear, these places will stop producing the kind of talent that they have. In an educational institution of the present time, moral policing on women’s bodies and clothing should be the topic of criticism and not a notice issued by the authorities who hold power. When it comes to learning, steps like these comply with the misogyny and sexism women in our country, and from all over the world, have actively been fighting to put in the past.

Feature Image Credits: The Hindu

Maumil Mehraj

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Early morning classes can kill you on the inside, and the weariness from attending five back-to-back lectures is enough for you to consider dropping out. But, the real heartbreak happens when your friends, who live on campus, make plans to go out at 8 p.m., and you can’t join in because travelling back home takes you two hours alone. In this moment, you truly feel the FOMO of not staying on campus.

Fresh out of the cages of you school life, college becomes synonymous to freedom and fun- to hours of hanging out with friends, to shop, and to go out to drink or eat. You feel unstoppable, the life at Delhi University is famously known for its leisure and easy accessibility to a number of trendy and hip hang-out spots.

And then you receive a churlish reality-check when you realise that travelling to college from places away from campus buries your dreams to the ground. By the time your friends make a plan to go out to eat at someplace you’ve all been dying to go to, you’re halfway across the city at Rajiv Chowk, suffocating with everybody else on the Blue-Line, making to your way to back to Noida, or getting off at IFFCO Chowk after hours of weary travel in a cramped metro with busted air conditioning. Even if plans are made when you’re in attendance, you are unable to join them because that going out with everybody at 6 p.m. means getting done by 8, which inevitable means  reaching home by 9. Assuming you don’t have a curfew, you still say no because boarding the metro during office hours is a person’s worst nightmare.

It is then that you realise that you’ll forever be the “responsible friend” when everyone is drinking, not because you do it out of the goodness of your heart, but because you have to. You know you have no other option- there’s no way you can travel in the metro while you’re wasted, and there’s no way your mother won’t call you once the clock strikes 7, if you decide to stay back and recuperate. It is always missing out on society meets, and then feeling like a slacker when you can’t attend impromptu training sessions because boarding the metro after 4 means hell. You will have to miss out on seminars and unpremeditated extra classes by professors who keep last minute extra classes, and don’t take into consideration that not everybody lives 20 minutes away from college. It is coming to terms that you’ll always, always be tired no matter how much you sleep and that you will need an entire Sunday to catch up on your week’s sleep.

You understand after the first week that your happening school-schedule of falling asleep at 2 a.m. will be going down the drain because you will start falling asleep at 10 p.m.- even before your parents-to wake up at 6 a.m. and feel like an old person. And lastly, it’s the feeling of wanting to abandon your ancestral roots of being non-violent and floor a person the moment they say, “just shift to campus na, yaar!”

Feature Image Credit: Ivy Marketing

Shreya Juyal

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Social media is a modern-world tool available in the hands of today’s youth, and they find solace in the sea of information found in it.

To connect or to disconnect from social media has been an intensely debated topic, especially among today’s parents and the youth. While a majority of the parents think that using social media is a waste of time and a major distraction, most youth believe that it is a useful tool since it provides a virtual medium for people to get connected with each other, engage in discussions, share information, etc. As a socially active youngster, I am of the opinion that one of the best advantages of social media is that it connects people at the click of a button, with the right source required by them at that particular point of time. This click makes life very easy and comfortable, especially for the teenagers who enter into a new phase of their lives, i.e. university life. These confused teens find solace in the sea of information found on social media.

To learn and unlearn by one’s own experience is a thing of the past, as with the improved network of social media, experiences of successes, as well as experiences of failures are available for guidance. To select a course or a college away from home takes tremendous courage, and that courage comes from the information and knowledge-base provided by social media. “Before taking admission in any college, I went through videos a million times. I saw all the fest coverages and everything. It helped me a lot in knowing what will come my way,” says Bhumi, a first-year student, pursuing B.A. (Honours) Philosophy at Daulat Ram College.

Apart from empowering the students with knowledge, social media also plays an important role in connecting people; more so in making an outstation student feel at home. With the virtual connect, social media enables them to speak and stay in touch with their loved ones back home, and at the same time helps them in making new friends. “Social media helped me to connect with my friends, and most importantly to bridge the distance between me and my family. Also, as a byproduct of its well-connected nature, it helped me to settle in a city with a sense of ease in the sense that I wasn’t only able to establish, but also maintain new contacts in the city,” opines Aditya Nath, an outstation first-year student from Jharkhand, pursuing B.A. Programme at St. Stephen’s College.

Getting the right type of accommodation is a very crucial thing for outstation students who do not manage to get into hostels, and with the advent of social media, students are easily able to find paying guest accomodations(PG) and flats to live in, with the ratings and experiences of seniors recorded on various networking sites. In the words of Avilokita, an outstation first-year student from Chattisgarh, pursuing B.A. Programme at St. Stephen’s College, “Social media, especially Facebook really helped me a lot to find a good PG with a good environment to live in, because being new to the city, it is very difficult to find a safe and secure place where a student can easily adjust.” Social media has also played an important role in increasing the availability of opportunities for students, since all information regarding clubs, orientations, fests, competitions, etc. are circulated on applications like Instagram and WhatsApp. At the same time, it is a saviour for students who take part in sports or extracurricular activities, since they can catch up on all that is taught in the classes they miss by getting notes and questions from their friends through networking apps.

Thus, to conclude in the words of the famous Greek physician Hippocrates, “Everything in excess is opposed to nature.” Truly, nothing in excess is good. Therefore, it is important that each one of us manages the time spent on social media efficiently and usefully, so as to harness the maximum benefits from this gainful resource.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Abhinandan Krishn Kaul

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After the initial week of jitters and anxiety finishes, faces start to become familiar and the freshers’ no longer need to ask three people for directions to their classrooms. Here’s looking at college life, through the eyes of a fresher.  Somewhere between metro rides, attending lectures half-asleep and making innumerable plans to meet at the nearest chai tapri each day, college life for the most recent batch has kick-started. And it is exultingly unexpected and exhausting at the same time. High school puts most of us in a sheltered and protective delusion where one is far away from the finer nuances and greater responsibilities of adulting. My initial experience of college life at the North Campus of the University of Delhi (DU) has been liberating and eye-opening. The diverse spectrum of students, the dynamics of an all-girls institution and the ever-lasting juggle between academics and co-curricular activities forms the entire experience of college which continues to teach me something new every day. The college has become a stepping-stone of unlearning for me. The judgments, opinions, norms, realities, and conditions that I was exposed to earlier, have all been rethought. The political protests, opinionated teachers, vocal classmates, and active media on campus have exposed me to broader perspectives, new ways of thinking and encouraged me to look at things through a fresh lens. Satviki Sanjay, a first-year student of B.A (Honours) Philosophy from Miranda House says, “Despite popular belief, going to college in DU is so much more than just “chilling”. It gives you the much-needed space to work on your interests and your area of study, which was not possible in school. Being at the University gives you freedom but at the same time, it teaches you the idea of being responsible for yourself. For me, the most enriching experience so far has been meeting different people in numerous societies and being exposed to varying opinions.” The diverse and democratic environment of the University has exposed me to its rich legacy and heritage. It has already pushed me to put my best foot forward, push myself, make the most of the opportunities at hand and get out of my comfort zone. Like me, many first-years are looking forward to the next three years of college and live by the motto – “Sleep more than you study, study more than you party, party as much as you can!” Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Bhavya Pandey [email protected]]]>

After the initial week of jitters and anxiety finishes, faces start to become familiar and the freshers’ no longer need to ask three people for directions to their classrooms. Here’s looking at college life, through the eyes of a fresher.

 Somewhere between metro rides, attending lectures half-asleep and making innumerable plans to meet at the nearest chai tapri each day, college life for the most recent batch has kick-started. And it is exultingly unexpected and exhausting at the same time. High school puts most of us in a sheltered and protective delusion where one is far away from the finer nuances and greater responsibilities of adulting.

My initial experience of college life at the North Campus of the University of Delhi (DU) has been liberating and eye-opening. The diverse spectrum of students, the dynamics of an all-girls institution and the ever-lasting juggle between academics and co-curricular activities forms the entire experience of college which continues to teach me something new every day.

The college has become a stepping-stone of unlearning for me. The judgments, opinions, norms, realities, and conditions that I was exposed to earlier, have all been rethought. The political protests, opinionated teachers, vocal classmates, and active media on campus have exposed me to broader perspectives, new ways of thinking and encouraged me to look at things through a fresh lens.

Satviki Sanjay, a first-year student of B.A (Honours) Philosophy from Miranda House says, “Despite popular belief, going to college in DU is so much more than just “chilling”. It gives you the much-needed space to work on your interests and your area of study, which was not possible in school. Being at the University gives you freedom but at the same time, it teaches you the idea of being responsible for yourself. For me, the most enriching experience so far has been meeting different people in numerous societies and being exposed to varying opinions.”

The diverse and democratic environment of the University has exposed me to its rich legacy and heritage. It has already pushed me to put my best foot forward, push myself, make the most of the opportunities at hand and get out of my comfort zone. Like me, many first-years are looking forward to the next three years of college and live by the motto – “Sleep more than you study, study more than you party, party as much as you can!”

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat

Bhavya Pandey

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With this semester, the first-year of college comes to an end for many students. Let’s take a look at the learnings of a first-year student.

  • Exposure and Experience

The first year of college is an eye-opener to the real world, it gives you a view of adulthood and brings along a sense of independence. It doesn’t come easy to many, makes life difficult for a few, and lonely for others. But what it does give you is exposure and experience to cure that gaping hole of leaving your home, friends, school, and your city behind. An outstation student of the University said “Yeh Delhi ne toh meri Lucknow ki saari Nawabi hi nikal di, Kahan main vaha maze mein ghoomti thi, aur yahan auto vaalon se dus-dus rupaye ke liye ladti hoon (Delhi has taken away all the Lucknow royalty from me, I used to a carefree child. Here, in Delhi, I have to fight with the auto-rickshaw drivers for INR 10)” She agrees that college life has transformed her to become a better version of herself. She is able manage her finances well.

  • Friends and Family

Himanika Agarwal from Gargi College commented, “Everybody used to tell me that you never find real friends in college, even I used to believe that. But Glass Eye, the Film Making Society of Gargi College has given me some of the best friends I have ever had, who have now become my family.” In the first-year itself, you find your close group of friends who become your family and confidants, be it your classmates or the members of your college society, college helps you to find people who you remember all throughout.

  • Fests and Euphoria

The cultural fests organised by the University of Delhi (DU) colleges is another enlightening experience for the students. Fresh out of taking the first semester examinations, students attend fests with their ‘college gang’ looking up wide eyed at the glittering lights of concerts and competitions, breathing in the chaos, and adapting to the crowds.

My first-year, personally, gave me The Local Train, another staple name associated with the DU fests. This musical band and their brand of music, their lyrics, and the performances are worth it. Another student added, “I can easily say that my checklist for a happening college life ticked off with after attending Vishal-Shekhar’s concert at Mecca, the cultural fest of Hindu College.”

  • The ability to study overnight

College is not only fun and games, academics also play an important role. This involves projects, class presentations, reviews, internals, and exams. These conclusively teach every student to study or make a presentation a night before the submission. This might be unhealthy, but it is a fact.

  • A new perspective

Above all, for me, the first-year of college worked as a stepping stone in the process of unlearning patriarchal norms and misogynistic conditioning, we as naïve little kids were subjected to, throughout our childhood. Classroom discussions with strong opinionated teachers, debates with your peers and seniors, revolutionary texts and readings, interactions about the rights of the LGBTQ community, these have changed my perspective for the better. Looking back, I can now remember instances in the past which were problematic, but I didn’t realise earlier. These realisations are my achievements of gaining new and better ideologies and of becoming a more ‘woke’ individual.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat

 

Sakshi Arora

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The freedom to loiter, occupy public spaces post 9 p.m., and see how our campus looks at midnight is a luxury and experience that women students are denied.

Earlier last week, women from Daulat Ram College (DRC) Hostel protested in front of the Vice Chancellor’s office demanding the removal of members of the hostel administration who infringed their privacy and policed their choices. The protests barely affected the administration.
As a student journalist, this development didn’t surprise me. A year ago, I was pursuing a story on hostel in-timings. Both Miranda and DRC had strict hostel timings that were religiously enforced. In contrast, when I spoke to the evening shift guard of Kirori Mal College Hostel, he breezily mentioned how he lets the boys come late if it’s a friend’s birthday or allows them to go out at midnight if they are hungry. This casual remark hit me very personally as having lived in a hostel the last three years, I know I would not be allowed to go out after 10 p.m., no matter whose birthday it was or how hungry I was.
Most women’s hostels and paying guest accommodations have an actual metal grill gate that is shut and locked at 10 p.m. and opened again at 7 a.m. before classes. Why would a good woman be out between these ungodly hours anyway? We are quite literally locked inside brick, mortar, and metal, sometimes without a fire exit. Our moral guardians like to believe that these in-timings don’t interfere with our education. Attending lectures is a luxury we
are allowed and anything beyond lectures though is curtailed by these timings. They ensure that there are no parties, no midnight walks at India Gate, no unplanned trips, and no chai at 1 a.m. We are quite literally modern
Cinderellas, as the clock strikes 10 our facade of empowerment and emancipation falls apart, like a badly
stitched polyester dress after one little rip. I particularly detest the social media forwards that urge men to respect women “because she is someone’s wife, daughter, sister, and mother” but make no mention of the fact that she is human and deserves to have her autonomy respected. I wonder if we will ever live in a space that does not restrict
us to these roles alone. It is exhausting to rise and set with the sun, to rush home as the clock ticks 9, sweating frantically as I lose my patience as the clock ticks closer to the deadline. It is high time the University administration let go of this facade of hostel in-timings. If we are old enough to vote, old enough to get married, then we are old enough to decide when to stay in and when to go out.

The scam that hostel in-timings keep women safe from harassment is the biggest lie. If there were certainty that I would never be harassed if I never set foot after 9, I would be willing to pay the price. But these so-called
pretenders who appear to care about our safety are the same people who avert their eyes as they see a man elbow a woman’s breasts in the metro. To say that you should stay in and protect yourself from rapists is the ultimate form of victim blaming. It implies that the responsibility of protecting oneself from harassment lies with the victim. It says that if you stay indoors then the perpetrator can find another victim, probably one out later at night, less covered up, and less sober.

The three years of college life are often the first time when girls get to move beyond their house. College life allows considerable time for youngsters to experiment, roam around, and have the first taste of freedom. These are
the days that people recount as they regale about the risks they took, the weddings they gate crashed,
hours they killed while doing nothing, etc. But when you deny someone to loiter or even run errands for 10 hours every day then you are essentially denying them the opportunity to have fun. A sight of girls carelessly singing songs
at Sudama Tea Point past 8 p.m. is a revolutionary imagery. It may be nothing for the guys, but the girls still
dream of loitering, just existing outside.

Kinjal Pandey
[email protected]

Find out the popular opinion of students on Tinder and if it can help you find love?

While school life is usually lived in a bubble, college opens our avenues and outlooks. One such outlook is on relationships. We realise dating in school was much different and most of us open up to the prospect of finding a special someone. Being in the University of Delhi, with the upcoming fest season and the dreaded Valentine’s week, puts the thought of wanting to be with our sweetheart even more to the forefront.
One way to achieve that goal, is through Tinder. Most of the students we spoke to suggested that ‘curiosity’ was one of the major reasons to join Tinder, with the slightest possibility of finding someone worthwhile, while others named ‘insistence by their friends’ or being ‘bored’ as reasons. The beginners are apprehensive to join it because of the fear of being ‘seen’ by someone they know or the perpetual haunt of their parents finding out.
Diya, a student from Kamala Nehru College says, “Most people do not expect anything and just try it out to see what is so great about it?” This resonates with most of the reasons for joining Tinder- its hype. Online dating, and not just Tinder, does raise the question of safety and trust. Before swiping, individuals have to try and judge the character of the person with just a bio and few images. Sanjula, another student of Kamala Nehru College responds, “There are certain risks, of course, to online dating as a whole, but if you use it judiciously, and cautiously use what is given, then why not?”
While there are a variety of experiences people have had, on talking about bad experiences, there is no denying that some people do make crass and awkward ‘moves’ which can often be very upsetting and unsettling. I feel that is the biggest red flag for your army of cupids to retreat. There are instances when conversations receive insensitivity and entitlement to a response.

Discussions on finding love and not being lonely run on parallels with Tinder. One cannot negate the possibility of the former because there are also people who have discovered partners with a mental and emotional connection. While relationships are not an answer to loneliness, the experience of putting yourself out there and meeting new people can make one feel less lonely. As the student of Delhi University, Yashika says, “It may not be a guarantee but in this millennial age, why not?”
Moving on to the idea of casual flings, something Tinder has frequently been associated with; it has led to a notion
where people are mutually free from commitments or ties, free to explore their sexuality, or simply add some
spice to their lives!

Lastly, casual or serious, strings or no strings, younger people are opening up to the complexities of human relationships and their likes and dislikes, just make sure one does not hurt someone else on this journey and respects boundaries. In today’s time, people have the liberty to mutually and consensually decide the rules of their own relationships. So go on and swipe!

Feature Image Credits: Dating Scout

Shivani Dadhwal
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“It is the right time now.” “There’s a right age for everything.” How often have we heard these lines? But does it really matter?

With the last semester having begun for several students of the University of Delhi, now comes the phase of thinking and exploring the options ahead with a little bit of worrying. Some may plan to go for their masters, others may look for jobs, or pursue their interests. Be it travel, read, or just relax. Some might be in a hurry to get their careers on track, so that they do it on the ‘right time’. But what is this ‘right time’ that we and our parents too run for?

The right time to start college, the right time to start a job, the right time to settle down, the right time to marry, to have kids – is there really a defined marker for this?

I know plenty of peers who want to go in for a different subject study after their graduation but are hesitant to do so. This is because they feel it is not the right time to start a bachelor’s degree again. Some are skeptical to take the step for their hobbies and passion. Others feel it is too late to start learning the drums he always wanted because it’s the time to look for a job. Who put this timeline over our heads, I’d like to ask?
It’s the fear of lagging behind our peers, that has been inculcated and imbibed in us by the society that comes to hinder
our path of pursuing things we like. The fear of missing out (FOMO), the closest millennial term that would describe it. When 3:30 p.m. in Canada right, it’s 1 a.m. in India. All of us are treading our lives according to our own timelines. It doesn’t mean that one is ahead of other. It’s just that things happen when they are supposed to.

However cliché it may sound, but age is just a number. Some start college at 21, some start working at 15. There is no comparison there. The only thing that matters is that you check off the boxes on your bucket list. The right time or the perfect moment is when you decide to make it. Sometimes, it might not be as soon as you wanted, or may come earlier than you expected it to. All this depends on you and your efforts. So, do things when you want them to; start a new hobby, start a new course, travel the country, take up the job you wished for, start interning under the mentor you look up to. Begin when you feel is correct. Keep cutting cakes every year and enjoy your ‘right age’ decided by you.

Feature Image Credits: Prachi Mehra

Gurleen Kaur
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We talk about the many anxieties of a sixth- semester student, enveloped in placements, entrance exams, and last days’ blues.

“Be what you want to be, taking things the way they come” goes an old Bacardi jingle. This is one of the many iconic tunes that can be good advice to anyone at any point of their lives; except perhaps students in their board year, or a first-year student trying to squeeze into relevance in college, or a third-year student navigating across placements and interviews, or an adult struggling to “adult”. You get the gist, the simple advice of taking one day at a time is too uncomplicated to be truly helpful. Isn’t it? Life, as we know it is so very complicated, with each so-called “last battle” giving way to another and just when you thought you were done navigating the unknown, an ocean of uncertainty materialises. According to the wisdom of someone who has been on this earth for all of 20 years, the feeling that success at each and every step is the be-all and end-all of making it in life, that not meeting a particular milestone satisfactorily would mean the untimely death of all our goals, is universal. But our life goals, the person we want to be and the things we want to do are certain things that can be achieved in multiple ways.

The anxieties of a third-year student, accompanied by the desire to make the most out of college in terms of personal experience, with a dash of urge to take a trip with friends, to do justice to the society you started out with, the urge to attend all your classes one last time, and to stroll every lane on campus, drink cups of chai with everyone you met, loved, and lost. The notion of “ek baar aur” (one more time) can be overwhelming. The bottom line is, we want it
all. Living our best life with one’s friends, doing justice to our hobbies, activities and organisations where we
are now in leadership roles, excelling academically, and this overstimulation of hope and expectations is overburdening and is the perfect recipe to make us give it all up and accomplish none of it. The pressure of everything, combined with the ridiculously high expectations we set for ourselves, are exhausting. Between the mock tests and entrance examinations are given till now, semester exams that we just wrapped up, and everything else that seems to be coming up, I wonder whether we will find the time to sit in the college lawns with friends without once worrying about one entrance exam or another. The line where you live life to the fullest versus being negligent towards your goals is a thin one, even harder to demarcate since college students live without the pressures that come with employment and adulthood. So how does one navigate his space that is full to the brim, with nostalgia, excitement, fear, freedom, ambition, and other hundreds of emotions I cannot put into words? The only solution that comes to mind is to keep taking one day at a time. The iconic Francis Assisi quote, “Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible” seems like the wholesome advice that allows us to work on our goals, no matter how huge, without getting overwhelmed.
There will still be days when we might fail miserably – oversleep, binge-watch and eat, not take certain entrance exams seriously, and have major regrets later. We must accept that our “human-ness” would make at least a few mistakes along this journey. However, one ought to remember that making mistakes does not give us the
licence to quit altogether. After all, falling down nine times and getting up the tenth is the foundation of the human spirit (along with being the chorus of a loved Cardi B song).
This new year, remember that we are humans, and our failure is neither our defining characteristic nor is it permanent (unless we want it to be). As an unsure student in my last semester, unaware of where I will be and what I will do in the next six months, the only advice I would like to give myself and you are – “be what you want to be,
taking things the way they come.”

Kinjal Pandey
[email protected]