Many of us are lucky enough to look forward to our birthdays, and feel excited about them. But, what about those unfortunate chaps who just undergo tension and anxiety as their birthday comes closer along with their exams?

Exams suck. Ask any student, which is the worst time of the year according to them and exam season is the only answer you’re going to get. But for some students, the misery doesn’t end here. Having your birthday during exams is the worst omen of them all.

I bet we’ve all had big plans for how to celebrate another year of living, and have the best time. Attending birthday parties all year and analysing what to do and what not to do when it’s your turn to throw one, coming up with perfect scenarios in our head only to see the date sheet and ask, “Geez, what bad deeds did I do to deserve this?”

We are all used to celebrating festivals around exams because obviously our education system sees us as mules and wants to suck the fun out of our life, but it only prepares us for more unfortunate luck.

Prabhanu Kumar Das, a student from Kirori Mal College said, “So my birthday is on the 21st March. This year it was on the same day as the festival of Holi and also right before my Economics board exam. So while everyone else was outside having fun, I was looking at graphs and calculating demand and supply. Eventually, my friends came and dragged me out of the house, but it wasn’t the same.”

Not only it ruins the particular day but it spoils all the energy and the concept of birthdays in general. One is practically tensed all the time and is going through hell inside their head, doing last-minute revisions (or in my case, starting the course) when instead, one should be having the best time of their life, be it partying outside with everybody or staying at home and re watching the Harry Potter series with cake.

One could obviously study beforehand and still do all those things but let’s be honest, we want to be able to do those things without the guilt. And then there’s obviously the saddest alternative, celebrating after exams. Who are we kidding, that’s not the same, not even close. So one eventually makes peace with it and realises that it’s a part of growing up and this is a price that has to be paid for all the dreams. But all this maturity goes down the drain when you receive those yearly birthday calls from your relative and it gives them another excuse to ask about your studies and you start questioning the worth of being the ideal and elder respecting child of your family when you hear the words, “beta party nahi kar rhe?”

Ananya Tiwari a third-year BA (Honors) Sociology student from Hindu College, said, “You know you’re adulting when you have to give an entrance exam on your birthday.

21st Birthday Expectations vs Reality

Expectation: (Akshay Kumar singing) Party all night, party all night!

Image Credits: Youtube
Image Credits: Youtube

Reality: Pulling an all-nighter cuz ENTRANCEAHDBJSSHSHS..”

Priyanshi Banerjee, a student of Lady Sri Ram College said, “Birthdays were never a matter of excitement to me. But with the exams teaming up with my birthday for the next three years just makes it even duller. But if I have to see the silver lining, at least I would be saving myself from giving treats.”

You obviously cannot NOT mention the freedom you’d get from throwing parties and giving treats. You don’t have to constantly worry about making sure that everyone has a good time. And let’s not ignore all the money you would be saving. Apart from this, years down the line, when you and your friends would be together discussing the worst birthday stories, you’d have tons and can go like hold my beer realising that it finally paid off.

So to all those who have their birthdays this end-semester exams, it’s completely normal, you’re not alone.

Feature Image Credits: Tumblr

Avni Dhawan

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If you are a lost and confused fresher, and are looking for tips on how to approach seniors for help during exams, read further!

With end semester exams on the head all students look for different ways so as to crack these exams. Some collect notes from the class topper, some prepare chits to hide in their socks, some stay up late for hours mugging up their texts, while some just stare into the abyss, and pray for things to work out. Among all these different students from different schools of thought, there is a group of the students who leech off seniors during exams.

As a fresher writing the exams for the first time, we’re all lost and confused. The towers of countless readings become our Everest, and actually reading them seems impossible. It is all so overwhelming and exhausting, and you have no idea where to begin or how to go about it. In situations like these, what can be better than a senior who gives you all the exam hacks and pointers?

Now, it isn’t that easy to find seniors who are genuinely willing to share their precious knowledge over these years. And even if they are, they are mostly too busy trying to figure their own mess out, forget helping a mindless, half-baked junior. But that’s where you need to know how exactly must one approach a senior.

For starters, take a cup of chai or a glass of iced-tea with you while approaching the seniors. This is an essential step so as to show them that you care and aren’t entirely heedless. Then, initiate a light conversation; ask them how they are or what their day was like. Try and ensure they aren’t already stressed. If they are (which they will be in most probability since they are way busier than you, for obvious reasons), try cracking a few jokes to mellow down the tension and lighten up the mood.

Once you see them smiling and giggling, and maybe suggesting going to grab a bite (which would be amazing for your situation), that’s your queue! But remember, you still don’t directly ask for help. You start by talking about your own preparations, and different things that are troubling you. Hopefully, the senior himself or herself will suggest tips or pointers that you were looking for in the first place. If not, you ask them if they faced similar issues in their time. Consequently, the senior will end up blabbering pointers that helped him or her. Once they start, they probably won’t stop until they have given you everything they have to offer. But then again, this varies from individual to individual.

Now, another important point to be noted is choosing the right senior to approach. Apart from the fact that the senior should belong to your department (obviously), (s)he should also, preferably, have a personality similar to yours. For instance, if you are a diligent student, an advice coming from a comparatively casual senior would not be of much help. Similarly, if you aren’t too concerned with getting the highest scores, an industrious senior would only make things worse.

The end semesters are definitely a tough period, especially when you are new and confused. Leeching off seniors is of course an option; a very practical approach, indeed. However, I would still suggest you to cut them some slack and invent your own methods. Afterall, you know yourself the best- your strengths and weaknesses. All the best for your exams!

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Aditi Gutgutia

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Upon the directions of the Honourable Delhi High Court, DU’s SOL has formed a subject-wise committee to review the study material distributed to students. 

Since the beginning of this year’s odd-semester, the University of Delhi (DU) affiliated School of Open Learning (SOL) has faced many issues pertaining to admissions, curriculum and academics related fronts. 

In the most recent turn of events, the administration of the School has appointed a subject-wise committee to review the study material distributed to students as a part of their curricula. This move comes into the picture after the college administration had been addressed with complaints by the students that the material provided to them by the School, for their classes, was of poor quality and not reliable in terms of its content. 

Hence, upon the directions of the Honourable High Court of Delhi, a committee has been appointed by the institution to look into the matter. The court’s judgment had called for a review of the material. Earlier the court had also put a stay on the December exam to be held for over one lakh students currently enrolled at SOL. This year, the University converted SOL from the annual mode to the semester system and the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS). The administration has even formed a committee to address the grievances of the students enrolled under the CBCS. The committee will suggest remedies that need to be implemented. 

Students alleged that the study material was full of errors and most of it had been prepared by simply bifurcating the material that had been prescribed in the previous system of annual mode. The Krantikari Yuva Sangathan, which had led these protests against the study material has also affirmed the presence of errors in the same. 

Saurabh, a first year student of B.Com. at SOL says, “It is great that the SOL is finally taking steps to bring our studies back on track…things are still uncertain though.”

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Bhavya Pandey

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The end of semester exams, are reportedly now to commence from 10th December owing to the high rising pollution in Delhi.

On the 21st of November, the Examinations Department of Delhi University (DU) declared that the end-semester examinations for undergraduate students would be now postponed owing  to the high rising levels of pollution observed in the city of Delhi. The order was signed by the Dean of Examinations, Professor Viney Gupta, quoting, “With the pollution level in Delhi rising to such hazardous levels, the department believes it is highly unsafe for the students to step out of their houses and expose themselves to such toxic atmosphere.”

The Department holds that the examinations will now commence from 10th December onwards, by when the pollution level is expected to lower down. A new date sheet will be prepared by the 24th November, and uploaded on the site, www.du.ac.in. However, the gaps provided between the examinations will be lessened so as to not waste students’ precious time. 

This decision was an outcome of lengthy debates held in the Examinations Department following the protests taking place across the University campus for the past few weeks. Protestors had argued, “Numerous students have already fallen prey to the pollution in Delhi. This would severely affect their performance in the examinations, hereby bringing down the average grade of the University itself.”

This is a dire and drastic decision which is not supported by all. It was argued that the postponement of the examinations could lead to a delay in the declaration of the results as well as the commencement of the following semester, thereby making it even more difficult for professors to finish the syllabus on time. “The Department fails to realise the adverse consequences this delay in examinations may bring forth. However, I do hope that they have planned the following semester accordingly and know how to deal with the repercussions,” said Ms Shilpa Khureshi, a professor in the Delhi University.

Dean Viney Gupta argues, “The Department is taking utmost care and looking deeply into the issue. The planning will be done such that not many changes would have to be made to the schedule of the following semester. The students’ health needs to be prioritised over exam schedules.”

Disclaimer: Bazinga is our weekly column of almost believable fake news. It is only to be appreciated and not accepted.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Aditi Gutgutia

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On 17th November, Sunday, students of School of Open Learning (SOL) held a funeral march to symbolise the death of the varsity’s Vice Chancellor (VC) for them, and sent tonsured hair to the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) to protest against the hasty implementation of the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) system in SOL. 

On 17th November 2019, the students of DU’s School of Open Learning (SOL) took out a funeral march from the main gate of the Arts Faculty to the VC house, symbolising his death for the students of School of Open Learning (SOL). The students carried an effigy of the VC in a funeral procession, with slogans that read Annyay VC ki shavyatra (Unfair VC’s funeral procession) and SOL aur Regular mein degree ki samanta hee nahi, suvidhaon ki bhi do (Provide equal opportunities to regular courses and SOL, and not just equal degrees). The march was organised by the students and the KYS against the ‘bulldozed’implementation of the CBCS/ Semester system by DU for the students of SOL. 

In a press statement released on Sunday, the Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS), mentioned, “Classes are suspended while more than half of the Honours courses remain incomplete; thus destroying the future of first-year SOL students, who have to appear for the CBCS examination later this November. Not only is the syllabus incomplete, the SOL students are yet to be provided with their complete study material. SOL is so unprepared that till now even the study material which has to be mandatorily provided to the students has not been made available to the majority. All this while the exams are due this very month. Also, even though lacs of students have taken admission this year in SOL, the study centres are almost empty because no information has been provided to them.”

The students of SOL had held a massive protest at the MHRD as well, where they had tonsured their hair and sent it to the Union HRD Minister, Delhi Education Minister, UGC, DU, and SOL authorities to assert that they felt orphaned, and were thus sending their tonsured hair as offerings of symbolic sacrifice. The students have made an appeal to the High Court of Delhi and had also protested against University Grants Commission (UGC), demanding its immediate intervention for the roll-back of the new CBCS curriculum and semester mode. 

“The entire situation is chaos. Even though the idea of lessening the parity between regular colleges and distant learning is a good initiative, its implementation is terrible. We don’t know the syllabus, classes are empty and without the proper study material, the teachers don’t know what to teach in classes either. We’ve been completely abandoned by the authorities, despite continually reaching out. The University decided to introduce the CBCS system with no preparation and now we have to sit for semester exams that SOL wasn’t even prepared for. This is our future, and the University doesn’t seem to care at all,” Mrinal Yadav, a B.Com. student at SOL told DU Beat. 

Expressing concern over this issue, several teachers have written to the University visitor, President Ram Nath Kovind, calling for the postponement of the exams and rolling back of the semester system for this year. “We have been observing the growing agitation of SOL students and the high handedness with which the University is circumventing to their objections regarding the manner in which the system has been introduced,” the letter to the President said. It was said to be signed by about 100 teachers. A review of the study materials provided, upon which distance education students mostly rely, showed that they were “full of errors” and not a product of academic protocols, they wrote in the letter. The teachers also raised issues about the way the new system was introduced, arguing that it was “bulldozed” through the University’s statutory bodies.

Feature Image Credits: KYS

Shreya Juyal

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The administration of the University of Delhi
(DU) has announced the reintroduction
of mid-semester papers, which will be
held immediately following the end of the
University’s sanctioned mid-semester break
in October.

After continual speculation, Professor
Yogesh Tyagi, Vice Chancellor, DU, has
declared that the University would be
reintroducing mid-semester exams for all
papers across every undergraduate course
provided by the University. The exams
would commence immediately following
the end of the University’s mid-semester
break in October, in accordance with the
Academic Council (AC) of the University. The date sheet for the mid-semester exams will be released on 1st October 2019 via the University’s official website. The changes in the academic calendar were sanctioned on 26th September 2019. The press release states that the administration acknowledges that the unannounced decision may come as a shock to the students and faculty. However, it clarifies that the decision is for the welfare of the students, in an attempt to mitigate the stress of a singular exam per paper at the end of a semester.
Though the Varsity’s action aims at making the academic year less stressful for the students, the faculty of the University is less than happy with the decision. Professor Angad Mehta, from the Department of Economics at Hindu College, says, “This is a rash decision on behalf of the administration. The professors were completely unprepared for this decision; now we have to rush the syllabus.” Another professor from Indraprastha College for Women said that it burdens the students rather than “lessen the pressure, as the administration wished for.”
Students of DU have mixed reactions. Aarti Bhaskar, a B.Sc. (Honours) Mathematics student from Daulat Ram College, stated, “This decision is honestly a godsend. Our entire GPA is currently dependent on one exam at the end of the year. This way, we have a way to compensate.” A student from Lady Shri Ram College said, “I’m glad that the decision was introduced as a way to lessen the burden on students during exam season, but the University’s decision of taking such a drastic step suddenly has blind-sided us. I’m a part of multiple ECA societies, and trainings and practices take up a lot of my time, and I’m lagging on my studies. Now I have to rush to complete them in just a matter of weeks when I would have had at least two months prior to this change of rules.”
The decision has been contested by the students’ unions of colleges like Hansraj College, Hindu College, Miranda House, and Motilal Nehru College. DU Beat tried contacting the Registrar, but he was unavailable for a statement.
Disclaimer: Bazinga is our weekly column of almost believable fake news. It is only to be appreciated and not accepted.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat.

Shreya Juyal

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The Executive Council of the University of Delhi (DU) has approved the semester system for the School of Open Learning (SOL) and  Non-Collegiate Women Education Board (NCWEB) starting from the current academic session.

The Executive Council of DU was called on Saturday to discuss the introduction of semester system in the SOL and NCWEB, and it has decided to introduce the semester system from this academic session.

The SOL and NCWEB are currently following the aannual system in which the exams are conducted in the month of May. 

It was decided in an earlier meeting that the Choice Based Semester System (CBCS) would be introduced in these two institutions from the academic session of 2019-2020.

The semester system would enable these two verticals to be identical to regular colleges.

Some officials expressed dissent, as they felt that this move has been taken in a hurry and would affect the students who have enrolled on an annual basis as classes have begun and the study material has also been handed over.

Akansha, who is a B.Com. student in SOL, seemed disappointed and had this to say-  ”There are mainly three reasons for choosing correspondence, those who choose it for convenience and do not have time for regular classes would be pissed as this defeats the purpose and who cannot afford regular education or do not have enough marks to get onto a regular college. I am pissed.”

SOL enables the students to enrol themselves in various courses and programs without being physically present to attend classes unlike other colleges in DU.

This means that students enrolled in undergraduate honours courses will have their examinations under the Central Examination Centre, since SOL offers very few honours courses. Notifications for the schedule of examinations and filing of forms for the students of NCWEB shall be along with regular semester students. Whereas  semester exams for non-honours students would be undertaken by SOL.

The annual system only has one examination whereas the semester system has two examinations during the months of December and May.

The fee structure also varies as semester system requires fee payment to be done in two instalments unlike the annual system with single payment.

The SOL, which was founded in 1962, is one of the largest distance education institute in the country with over five lakh students in its fold, and around one and a half lakh students enrolled annually.

NCWEB, which is exclusive to women, provides weekend to females residing in the national capital.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat

Stephen Mathew

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Last minute revision and examination stress becomes overwhelming. This often leads to skipping some of the vital things of our daily routine, breakfast being the simplest option. Breakfast is the most important meal and is very essential to get ready to write exams. It can even help you improve your grades by increasing concentration and giving energy for this mental marathon.

We all have been gripped by the exam fever and the last moment preparation is almost inevitable. Getting ready for the exam at 9 A.M, and fretting over the last minute revision, feeding our body would be the last thing that would cross our minds. But you can increase your endurance for this mental marathon and in turn stand a fair chance to improve your grades through a simple way- by not skipping breakfast on the exam day.

Breakfast comes as the meal after the longest interval without food; therefore, breakfast seems to influence metabolism more strongly than lunch or dinner. Failing to break your fast with a meal shortly after rising might strain your body. Hence, the right food and drink can energise your system, improve your alertness, and sustain you through the long exam hours.

According to a research conducted by Harvard Medical School, breakfast is the best time to get complex carbohydrates and fibre. In fact, if you don’t start out right at breakfast, you will find it hard or even impossible to get the fibre you need.

An equally important thing is to stay hydrated to maximise concentration. Dehydration can make you feel drowsy and can reduce your attentiveness in the examination hall. Drink plenty of liquids before appearing for the exam.

Breakfast on exam day becomes pivotal as you need your concentration on your exam and not your hunger. Risking your breakfast just for the two minutes of extra revision can result in fatigue and have adverse consequences.

Now, for students living in PG and hostels, skipping breakfast is prudence, rather than waiting in the line to get it.  Some quick fixes in such situation can be to have some brain boosting food which includes food high in protein and whole-grain cereal.  Fruit platter, milk, boiled eggs, etc. are easy solutions.

The right food at the right time will prove to be the best tonic to handle anxiety and nervousness. To avoid the last minute hassle, plan your meals beforehand and don’t miss the morning breakfast. The right choices you make and some steps towards healthy lifestyle practices will surely help you perform better and, as a consequence, will improve your grades.

Feature Image Credits: Rishabh Gogoi for DU Beat

Sriya Rane

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Clashes between the students and administration broke out at Vivekananda College Friday as students with low attendance were denied admit cards. The administration is allegedly manhandling the students, the teachers not signing the medical certificates, and the Students’ Union, too, is being uncooperative. 

 Violence broke out in Vivekananda College on Monday when the students whose attendance fell short were not given admit cards. These students also went on a hunger strike from the 30th April to the 1st May.

On 25th April, a list had been circulated, which mentioned the names of students whose attendance was lower than 67%. It also said that these students were not applicable for receiving admit cards unless they presented a medical certificate. The students’ pleas to the administration went unanswered, so they resorted to violence, breaking the windows etc. of the college.

The strike finally came to a halt when the officiating Principal, Dr Hina Nandrajog, met the students. Priyanka, the President of the Students’ Union, said that the Principal agreed to accept medical certificates for the fifth and the sixth semesters. According to our sources, many teachers have refused to sign the medical certificates saying that it is ‘unethical’ and they might lose their jobs if they do.

The detained students haven’t been allowed to enter the college in the last two days, security forces have been deployed to stop them from coming in. A new rule dictates that the students must be accompanied by teachers in order to enter college premises. According to the protesters, the teachers have stopped answering their phone calls.

“Students have protested and a hunger strike also happened but the admin remains unshaken. Now she (the Principal) has banned our entry in the college and there is police force to stop us from entering our own college. We are the ID card holders of the college and still, we are not allowed to enter…(sic) So, I guess that isn’t fair. Though we have short attendance, I guess the principal should listen to us and provide us with a solution rather than just declaring that we need to repeat the session,” said a detained student who wished to stay anonymous.

For many students, the semester exam begins on the 6th of May, and for some, the looming fear of repeating the session hangs in the air. “Some people could have genuine issues and some students have financial issues and cannot repeat the session at any cost. What about them? I do understand the rules of the college but there is a solution if the principal is fair enough,” added another student.

Priyanka denied the allegation that students couldn’t get their medical certificate signed. “They stirred up violence in the college, they protested, I asked them to calm down but they didn’t listen. They must be polite with the teachers and respect them; nothing can move forward otherwise.”

The protesters, on the other hand, claim that the Students’ Union has barely shown any support.

“They didn’t work for us all year, they don’t even come to college these days, they told us that they need to study for their exams and stayed home while we were being manhandled by the administration and the police. How do we trust them?” added another detained student.

“I waited outside the college gate in this heat for hours today, they wouldn’t let me in,” said a detained student “I don’t know what options do we have left anymore, we wrote applications to the principal, Dean of social welfare and the Vice Chancellor of the university. We are awaiting their response.”

Speaking to DU Beat, Sidharth Yadav, State Secretary, Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) Delhi said, “Students from various colleges are suffering because the university is strictly imposing the requirement for minimum attendance but have ignored the prerequisite condition of the minimum number of classes in an academic year. ABVP has taken up the issue in various colleges like Vivekanand, Ram Lal Anand, Ramanujan, Janaki Devi Memorial College, Jesus and Mary College, amongst others and we are fighting so that students don’t suffer. The strike by the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) had suspended the classes for a long time and so the students are at the suffering end. Few colleges are even not accepting medical certificates or are not acknowledging ECA certificates. This is a sad state. We demand that either university should have organised tutorial/remedial classes or there should be relaxation to the criteria.

In a video posted online, protesters are seen banging against the big black metal college gate in a fit of rage, they swing it around in hopes to break it open. In light of the same, many from both the teacher and the student community are of the opinion that it was the protesting students who were in the wrong. “These students have very low attendance,” says Bhavya, a student of Vivekananda College. “After being denied the admit card, they resorted to violence. Windows were shattered and they were abusing our principal, after which the principal decided to call the police. A friend told me that the protesters tried to disrupt the practical exams last week. Their behaviour towards the administration was completely unacceptable and wrong.”

The President ensures that most of the students will get their admit cards by Monday; however, the protesters remain doubtful, their future uncertain.

Shakti Singh came to the college on 7th May, broke open the gates along with the protesters and barged into the Principal’s office. Even after repeated pleas of the students, Nandrajog refused to budge from her decision to not grant admit cards to students with attendance of less than 67%.
The protesters even sat in front of her car to block the way, but were forcibly removed by the police. They are thinking of moving to the HC with a case against her.
Today, 8th May, parents of the students will come to the college to have a word with the Principal.

Image Credits: DU Beat



Jaishree Kumar

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With the ongoing examinations, stress and anxiety increase tremendously. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you prepare well for your exams.

It’s that time of the year when the third-year students will bid adieu to their colleges to embark upon a new journey. This is also the time when anxiety regarding the future will be at its peak with the entrance exams approaching. Semester examinations and assignments have only added to the misery. Thus, preparing for entrance examinations is one herculean task.

Here are a few tips and tricks to ease this pressure and help you prepare for your entrance examinations.

Image Credits: Etoos Blog
Image Credits: Etoos Blog
  • Make a plan-Write down how many exams you have and the amount of time left for each of them. Allocate more time to subjects which you think are difficult. Do not leave anything for the last minute. We often end up making a plan which is unrealistic. Keep in mind your strengths and weaknesses while making a plan. This will help you develop better study habits.
  • Be strict with yourself- Execution of your plan is the most difficult thing. You are bound to get distracted while studying. But it is important to be strict with yourself and follow your plan rigorously.  Studies have shown for long-term retention of knowledge, short study breaks are vital.
Image Credits: Asana Academy
Image Credits: Asana Academy
  •  Prioritize  well- With a number of things going on- assignments, semester exams, internal assessments, party plans with friends, make sure you learn the art of prioritizing and decide what is more important for you. This will eliminate the waste of time.
  • Practice previous year question papers- The best way to know the status of your exam preparation is by solving previous year question papers. A mock test will help you understand the format of the questions. It is also a worthy practice for measuring the time you need for the actual test.
Image Credits: Pinterest
Image Credits: Pinterest
  • Keep calm and believe in yourself- Anxiety and stress tag along with any exam preparation and hamper your productivity. Thus, it is important to not lose your calm. Practice meditation to release stress.  Eat healthy food and stay hydrated. Most importantly, believe in yourself.

All the best!

Feature Image Credits: Institute Skill

Shreya Agrawal

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