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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]

Trying to fix someone refers to whole-heartedly taking up their problems, and trying to fix it for them. It almost
feels like living their life on their behalf. Seemingly selfless, this practice can be toxic. So unless you are Coldplay,
don’t go out there, and say the F word.

One of the main reasons why we feel obligated to fix others is because we feel that we have the ‘outsider’s perspective’ on their lives. We believe that the person concerned is too involved in the problem to see all the sides, and hence, the prospective solutions. Or we might feel that the person is too afraid of the negative outcomes of the
problem at hand, that, they fail to act properly and give it a fair solution.

Loving someone and fixing them are two different things.

What we need to understand is that we can not be there for everyone all the time. There will be a time when a person would have to solve a problem on their own and they might end up blaming your absence as the reason for their
problems. You need to let go of the necessity to fix the lives of others, in order to be happy yourself and
letting other people be happy in their lives as well.
Through unrelenting guilt, the burden of other’s troubles goes to add on to our own misery. Often, we find ourselves in this moral dilemma; how appropriate is our indulgence, and how helpful is our concern for the well-being of others. An important observation is that lending an ear is often helpful, but having heard something, it is
not always the best option to offer advice. As relatable you may find the situation to be, you cannot ever possibly live through it like the person actually struggling with it. Your failure at not being able to ‘fix’ someone is not a marked disability. Experience will inform you that toxicity becomes evident when the self is strained. When the experience of others becomes too taxing for your mental health and physical health, it is time to distance yourself. It is often felt that kind people can be trusted with traumas. “Maybe she will have something wise to say about this,” you might
think, and approach a listener. But how often do you take someone’s permission, or seek their consent to indulge them in a conversation that can possibly put all the ideals of the listener to question? We all could adapt to this habit, gradually.
When the external problems start affecting the internal self, it is your cue to be on your guard. Then, you abandon your friend? Abandonment is easily an escape from your own conscience. You cannot act as a professional psychologist or a therapist, and you should not.
College life is full of exquisite experiences as it is of turbulent traumas. It always helps to find an ear, but never to fully rely on it. You can be this ear to someone. But overburdening yourself with the obligation of fixing someone else’s life would amount to nothing but disallowing yourself pace and calm. Maybe we could learn to say, “Let the lights guide you home, it is not my job to fix you.”

Feature Image Credits: Flickr

Khyati Sanger
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Kartik Chauhan
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Change is the routine in our lives. Every day changes us, every experience and every interaction. College, most definitely is the perfect pedestal that induces a transformation.

Learning is a procedure, one that works in a circle. Just as you begin to feel that you have learnt a lesson, another excites you. But an important part of learning is the act of unlearning. Some transitions in the act of learning come to you as a first. But every now and then, you learn something that makes you want to question your prior knowledge of the matter. And that is precisely what makes this process an adventure.

A wondrous upheaval of sorts becomes a reality in college. We have all grown up in a systematised structure of our respective schools. From convent schools to arya-samajik schools, the diversity in our schools converges at more than one point. All schools prohibit use of mobile phones, for instance. We all will agree that schools, in one way or the other, impose on us a great burden to conform with a lot of rules and regulations. Our teachers claimed the true purpose of these ideal behaviors and manners readied us for a more sophisticated life ahead. But colleges are different. Professors will not criticise you for your mohawk, not openly at least.

My friend Sanchi Mehta, a third-year Literature student at Hindu College captures the transformation from school to college in a symbolic analogy. “The transition can be summarised as the symbolic shift from the stiflingly homogeneous uniform to a flitting, self fashioned attire, consciously choosen everyday until the point where one breaks free from these shackles of both overt or insidious determination to lounge in their favourite pair of jeans (or pyjamas),” says Sanchi. This is how growth can be routed in our decision making process once we access the endless possibilities in college. Everything matters, everything that you choose to affect your actions.

The Bollywood idea of college is far from real. In fact, it is just the opposite. Not everything makes perfect sense, not everything is compulsorily fancy. College is a smattering of crises and joys. And pointedly, there is often a balance between the two. The exclusivity of college-crises is evident in the realisation that here, these crises are dealt with a more serious individuality. Help is available, but unlike schools, where our teachers interacted more personally, in college, you have to reach out to the help. This is empowering as well as challenging, I feel. But this is the essence of college as well. Through these struggles come the brightest chances and opportunities. In college, spontaneity in decision-making and activity is not a pressing issue. In fact, in due course, it becomes the very sustenance of life in college- spontaneity.

Personally, I feel that college has been a metamorphosis. It is as Chahak Gupta, President of the Literary Society of Hindu College states, “The metamorphosis of an individual nourished with the fodder of conformity into someone who breaks away from the cocoon and embraces the world of subjectivity and difference.”

Prior to entering college we are allowed a very limited liberty. The experiences in school shape us for the experiences in life, truly, but not without limiting our thinking processes too. The embracing of this world of subjectivity and difference poses a challenge to us for this reason. We are too familiar with accepting definitions, that it becomes a challenge to delineate differences and diversities in them. It is the free-thinking atmosphere of college that proves conducive to such growth of our perspectives.

It is this metamorphosis that I have lived through, in this short span of college. And the most promising prospect to me is that there is a lot of growth that needs tapping still.

 

Feature Image Credits: Odyssey

Kartik Chauhan
[email protected]

It seems like the idiom ‘time flies’ has never been truer. With college, extra-curriculars, and the ever-present technology, we always have something to do and are never truly alone with ourselves.

 

It may seem to many of us that the semester just began, and in what seemed like the blink of an eye, it is over. We tend to be so occupied in building our future, that we forget to live in our present. It is a relentless process of looking at the forthcoming adventures, which never hurts, and is, in fact, a great thing to do.

But, we need to reflect on ourselves. Keep a constant check on whether what we are doing is giving us joy. Often, there is an inexplicable sadness that accompanies people our age. It is okay to have emotions and be as vulnerable as is humanly possible but don’t get scorched by a flame that is not worthy of it.

Our thoughts are our feelings, and if we don’t organize, divide and label our thoughts, we never understand how we feel. We keep going on about life, shoving all of our opinions aside, robotically. But that goes against human-nature, hence the sadness. We hope that tomorrow will bring something better along with it, but we never actually think our way through.

Careers, relationships, budgets, these all are the things that need to be looked into and given a quality-check frequently. And this is to be done alone!

‘Alone’ is a word that most people fear, but shouldn’t. With the ease of commute, travel and communication, modern humans are never truly alone, and have a certain phobia of the concept. But we need to learn to be friends with ourselves, to enjoy our own company. We need to talk to ourselves, we are our best judges.

What I would suggest is sit and look back on what you did this semester; where you were when it started, and how far have you come? Then imagine where you want to see yourself in the next 10 years. All the things that you are doing right now, which are in line with your ‘ideal future-self’, keep doing them and get rid of all the wasteful things. It is important to clean the shelves, wipe off the dust, and create a clean space within. And then, make self-reflection a habit!

 

Image caption: Importance of self-reflection.

Image credits: The Social Rush

 

 

Maumil Mehraj

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A fable elucidating the ordeals of an incorrigible procrastinator who seldom adheres to his quotidian activities with the alacrity expected of him.

The alarm buzzes menacingly in the distance as the hunky-dory dream comes to an impetuous conclusion. You scramble within the confines of your sheets to awkwardly grab your cellphone as the cadence of the alarm tone pendulously and with celerity drops between alternate highs and lows. No sooner than the alarm is switched off than it dawns upon you that you’ve overslept: an asperity-marked indictment of your nocturnal cellphone-skittering tendencies. You scramble out of the sheets, muttering incomprehensible bilge bemoaning your incorrigible traits, and rush to complete the quotidian ablution in a slapdash manner, another perennial bone of contention between you and your parents.

You quail with mild pain and shudder as the first drops of the frosty shower water make unremitting fusillades on your naked body. The shampoo is grabbed awkwardly, as are the shower gel and the loofah, as the sloughing process is initiated in a manner that shall put the envious blitzing pace of the erstwhile World War Two era German Army to shame. As you grab hold of your senses and exit the washroom, change your clothes, and hastily make your way to the dining table, you realize that you’re facing an immense paucity of time, and that shall likely result in you skipping your meal, despite the vociferous protestations from your famished stomach. The stomach growls in a minatory manner, while you’re stuck between Scylla and Charybdis: either have a hearty breakfast and risk irking the professor by arriving at his lecture late, or skip the breakfast only to rue the decision later when you writhe on the floor with intense agony and regret. You opt for the former, immensely aware of the fact that your mendacious nature has never let you shy away from furnishing a flimsy and lousy excuse to the professor justifying your characteristic tardiness.
The breakfast is gulped with remarkable ferventness, a manifestation of your peckish temperament, as you baulk over your unflappable callousness towards academic ventures and adherence to a rigid deadline, which results in you seldom incurring the praise and encomium of your surly professors, who have anointed you as an object of ridicule and derision.
No sooner are you done devouring your breakfast like a madman than you’re impetuously jolted out of your somnolence. The backpack is grabbed, and the customary farewells are uttered as you sprint boisterously to the metro station, only to encounter a serpentine queue of commuters at the frisking station bemoaning their doomed fates. You mutter invectives reproaching your obstreperous nature as the queue dawdles ahead. You rush to the platform, hoping to find a train rolling into the station as soon as you enter only to find the station eerily empty. The display board is citing a long wait time. Your blinkered outlook is finally reaping dividends as you repeatedly curse your damned unpropitious nature by hurling a spree of coarse vituperatives directed at yourself.
A deafening honk arouses you out of your self-deprecating tirade yet again as the train rolls into the platform. You scramble to your feet as you take a perfunctory glance at your watch: the lecture must’ve commenced. That shall remain incontrovertible. The professor scrupulously adheres to the stipulated schedule. The doors of the metro open as a torrent of commuters briskly make their way inside, only for you to stumble upon a multitude of commuters already packed into the cloistered confines of the metro. You flail your arms, jostle within the sequestered space, and wedge yourself between a snarky quadragenarian undergoing a mid-life crisis and a sprightly teenager engaged in a telephonic conversation.
As the metro hurtles through, you reminisce over your fait accompli, your diminishing grades, and a chimerical social life, which is in disarray. Before you end up scripting your eventual demise, the metro comes to a screeching halt at your station, and you hastily gather your belongings and disembark.
You hail an erickshaw, and slouch on the seat as it zooms past the oncoming traffic, evoking a shudder or two as it brushes close to some precarious collisions. Even before the erickshaw comes to a complete stop at the college, you jump off and sprint to the college entrance, flash your ID to the pesky guards whose Brobdingnagian hubris might even flummox Narcissus, and dash towards the lecture hall. A few close shaves with stationary souls induce panic as you eventually run out of breath before slumping outside the lecture complex. A languid peek at the watch is taken yet again: you’re thirty minutes late. You mumble the concocted excuse again while opening the gate to only be perplexed by the sight awaiting you: the lecture hall is eerily dark and devoid of any souls, desolate and cold.
You fumble in your pockets and fish out your cellphone to scour for messages on the class group. “Classes have been scrapped,” so goes the message, as your countenance contorts into an amalgam of despair and choleric revulsion.
You concede defeat, trot across to the cafeteria with a despondent disposition, and slump on the nearest chair while cursing your imperiled life.

 

Image Credits: Being Indian

Adeel Shams

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 Your first drinking session can be a super exciting milestone in your life. However, for no regrets, it is advisable to take care of a few things so that you can have fun, responsibly.

  • Make sure you are with trusted people

Since it can be a little risky getting drunk for the first time when you don’t know your own capacity or tendencies, make sure you get your most trusted people to be with you for the first time. You might go out of your wits and you’ll need somebody to take your home and hold your hair while you puke.

  • Make sure that you are at a safe place.

You should be at a safe place, preferably home, for the first drinks. A nights stay is the best for it! You would need a certain comfort to make all kinds of faces and comments about your experience. Also, if you lose consciousness, its always better to have easy provisions for resting rather than later, rushing to a safer place for comfort.

  • Know about the drinks

You must be aware about the drinks, how they taste and how must they be taken before you actually hit the place! You would be able to flaunt how much you know about it and would also be able to make the correct decisions about what to consume, when. It also helps in deciding to mix your drinks well and you would be a little mentally prepared about what to expect out of the drinks.

  • Don’tdeliberately try to GET drunk, just yet.

It is only fine to get drunk but not just yet! Don’ hurry! Get some lemon or some heavy food along with your drinks. Your first experience must be actually experiencing the taste of the drinks consciously rather than it being a night you don’t remember. Gather a little self-control! Pick your favorites later and get drunk on them if you like! But, for now, you could go slow and actually experience the moment!

  • Be prepared! Your dreams may shatter!

You may have really high expectations and hopes about your drinks since everyone around you is always going bonkers over them! However, remember, it might seem overrated when you actually experience it yourself! The beer that people bond over might taste like piss and that is just fine! Some people will tell you that you need to “develop” your taste for the drinks. However, if you don’t want to, be vocal about it and do not judge yourself! Just pour in some Sprite, pretend its vodka and Cheers!

 

Feature Image Credits: Unsplash

Khyati Sanger
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Your first year of college becomes the building block to the next two years and your career too. It becomes all the more for you to make the most out of it. DU Beat brings to you a list of 5 things that you should consider while planning it out.

The first month of college is always full of excitement and apprehension, nervous energy and giggles, hopeful faces and fresh starts. It revolves around getting used to the new environment, getting to know your new friends, travelling around, trying out for societies, and making a place for yourself.

The first year eventually becomes the foundation for the next two. It helps you understand parts of yourself that you didn’t know you could be. It makes you be more confident in your identity and a lot more of you.

It also becomes the building block for your career. The societies you become a part of, the events you organise, and the internships you do help build your career path.

Thus, planning out your first year becomes important, and this planning isn’t as much sitting down with sheets and pens, as it is about questioning yourself and what you want out of this year.

Everyone enters college with different goals, dreams, and aspirations. To begin with, you have to question yourself, “What is my passion?” Is it playing basketball at the national level or landing a job at a big MNC? Is it trying out new things and experimenting or working on your personality?

Once you have set your goal, your journey becomes a lot more visible. Here are four things worth considering.

1. Create a Schedule

It’s important for you to make time for things that are really important to you, be it your old friends or preparation for a certain professional examination. Create a schedule so that you have enough time on your hands to cater to all that you want to do.

2. Only take up things that you can handle

During your first year, it’s natural for you to want to do everything, but it’s definitely not advisable. Do not take things on your plate that you cannot handle. Only join societies and do internships that you can cope up with and give your best to

3. Build your personality, not your CV

In college, your CV does become an important factor to do/not do something. But your CV isn’t everything and it’s important for you to understand the difference between building your personality and building your CV. College offers a lot of opportunities. Make the most of them and make sure that a grown, more independent, and skilful version of you reaches second year.

4. Remember to make the most of it!

Your first year of college is indeed one of the most beautiful years of your life. It has so much to offer to you. Do not let anyone/ anything intimidate you, and believe that you can get anything that you set your heart out to! Cheers and Good luck!

 

Feature Image Credits: Jagranjosh

Muskan Sethi
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The modus operandi of a college with its jam-packed classes and extremely busy professors defers from the relatively relaxed atmosphere of a school. Although it might not be easy to shake off the feeling that school is over, you will face the ultimatum of settling in inevitably. Here are some ways in which you can understand, right at the bat, the crucial differences between the operating systems of schools and colleges:

  1. To each his own: Unlike the schools where there are set timetables and teachers know the students personally, colleges are have thousands of students. The professors are too busy with academic ambitions of their own to go out after every student and ask them about their progress. It is largely the duty of the student to pursue their educators and let them know if they face any problems.
  2. It’s not all a party: No, unfortunately colleges in University of Delhi (and elsewhere) do not host year-long parties. Parties are highly small in number and restricted to a handful of formal occasions like fresher’s, farewell, the fests, and so on. Even though informal parties might abound, students are often seen buried in books, trying to outpace the amount of readings given to them to save their lives.
  3. Bunking is not occasional: Those of you who have concocted rose-tinted dreams of college life being full of bunking classes and going to their “hangout” spots, are about to get a rude shock. Professors are strict about attendance in many colleges, and unfortunately, it is one of those ways in which they actually track the movements of the students.
  4. Hush, it’s not all that bad: Although there are many things that make college life harder than school life, there are some amazing perks to be enjoyed as well such as the relative independence it offers, the wide range of societies that cater to the different skills of a student and of course, the out-station trips and the fests. Enjoy these moments with full enthusiasm because of their apparent rarity, almost like pearls found in an oyster.

Although college life can be intimidating to many, the important thing to remember is that adjusting to college life is something every student grapples with in the beginning and figures out by the end of it.

Feature Image Credits: Surabhi Khare for Mercatus

Sara Sohail

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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.

 

Kinjal Pandey
[email protected]