First Semester


Through the drudgery and the delights – a perfect balance of all things great and small. The greatest lesson of all is to learn that you retain yourself even as you transform.

 The experience of the First is possibly the most everlasting. We always remember our firsts. As I recount my first semester in the University of Delhi, I am deemed inefficient to render all my emotions and experiences in words. But let’s use an image. It is like an ocean, and I have been surfing on its waves. The waves are turbulent, but even in that moment of tension there’s a greater sense of knowing, and there’s joy. Freshly out of schools, every fresher in Delhi University feels themselves to be in this ocean.

Unsurprisingly, surfing the tides of this ocean, we have come to settle with its moods. Naturally, we have acquired a safe-place in our small corners; a place of our own in this ocean. Now it feels that you can anticipate the next wave and adjust your balance accordingly. There is a lot that has been learned. And my lessons through the first semester in one of the most eminent institutions of the country have made a seemly figure out of me. It’s only a little that I have learnt, but it’s a lot still.

For instance, I learnt here, that everything is possible. Here, you are allowed your own space, a space where you can explore yourself in ways you have only imagined prior to this. The varsity is what you want it to be for you. And that is important to note.

But I have, in a short span, observed that this opportunity is as liberating as it is scary. And this complexity is what makes every experience worth it.

In a classroom of subject and stream-toppers from their respective schools, academic backgrounds, and ideologies, another important lesson was learnt. You are one amongst the crowd. Your specialization is everyone’s. That could possibly be a challenging truth to deal with, but in truth, it is a highly humanising one. Humility drives this bargain. There is so much to learn from someone’s ideology as much as there is so much for you to share with them. That is a liberating thought. The endless process of learning ever remains a wondrous possibility. “College is a place where you unlearn and learn a lot of things,” says my best friend. It is this journey from the known to the unknown that leads us to the known back again.

“I am not the best,” most of us were brought to this realisation in the first semester. Easily, this is a saddening discovery. The critique that hits home, the comment that comes at you when you are full to the brim, it forces you to a moment of analysis. “You are You, and that is your power.” I learnt how different we all are, and how I should, to respect my own differences within myself, and accept these differences. But I also learnt that everything cannot be accepted. Sometimes, we need to call out someone’s witticisms when they hit at more humiliation than humor. I learned not to be afraid of this calling-out. My voice is my own and that defines me. I am best at what I am, but I am open to growth too.

Openness to other’s concerns and expression of my own has become more empowering. I have realised that spontaneity is one of the most exciting exercises in college. I learned that the ‘sense of belonging’ dawns on its own course and duration.

Every experience, every place, every conversation has oscillated between good and bad, but each one of them has always taught me something or the other. Every lesson that I have learnt is rightfully accredited to these experiences, and the people I have had to share in these experiences. Much to my gratification, I have shared the best experience with the best people. But also, I have had some other experiences not so gratifying.

And I feel, it is in this oscillation that you learn the most.

Even in this I have learnt nothing more than I wanted to. But I know this too, that there is a lot that still needs to be unlearnt, and a lot more that needs to be learned.

And I look forward to all of it, with the thought that I am more learned every day.


Feature Image Credits: Kartik Chauhan for DU Beat.

 Kartik Chauhan
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Today while I was laying on my bed half conscious, I realised that I have been riding the bus of ‘Delhi University’ for six months now. Delhi University or perhaps the ‘Dream’ University for many students, was one of the best things that ever happened to me. It all started from the trial rooms of the Extra Curricular Activities quota. The first two months went by in running from one college to the other for my trials; it was probably the most challenging phase of my academic career. After going through the rigorous ECA trails, I made it to the University of Delhi through the Photography and English Debate ECA trials.

And once DU’s journey began, I knew it was not going to be a cakewalk. In all these months, DU showed me it’s various feathers. In all these months, DU showed me it’s various feathers. I dined with a different culture each day, bunked classes, and witnessed the clashes between the Red and Saffron. I also mastered the art of arrangement by assembling notes for the internals, hunting for a pen during the class, and counterfeiting attendance (proxy).

It dawned on me on the last day of the semester that I left behind my school life around nine months ago. In these six months of college, I have made friends that I will cherish for a very long time. I have been acquainted with their habits on which we sometimes laugh, and the rest never judge.              My seniors are always there to guide me about any and every situation whilst giving advice about assignments and tests. They are more mature than I am and give self-improvement advice like nobody else. I look forward to having another six months of bonding with them and loving them for a lifetime.

Delhi University as a whole has proved to be a boundless ocean of opportunities if only you have the eye to look out for them. There are opportunities that take you out of your comfort zone and responsibilities that teach you more skills. You’ll expand the horizons of your mind and your personality will become more versatile. I look forward to having the best three years of college life at Delhi University filled with memories, laughter, and deadlines.



Feature Image Credits:  IAS Paper

Prachi Mehra

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Being one of the most sought after courses in Delhi University, English Honours crests up the expectations of every literati who seeks admission in this course. The idea of meeting Shakespeare, Jane Austen or George Eliot everyday makes it nothing short of exciting. But how is the journey actually like, well, let’s find out here!

After braving the cut off crisis, entering college on the first day as an English Honours student is bound to elate any literature enthusiast who is looking forward to an expedition of the literary world! The initial days of study in this course certainly blurs the boundaries of literature exploration. Meeting great authors, playwrights and critics through their work takes some time to be familiarized with, yet, makes one feel like delving deeper into the sea of literature. How can we forget the joy of purchasing those new books that never fail to bring a wave of happiness with the smell of their new pages!

Seeing all that happiness, our dear friend – the syllabus, starts pouring us some more love with endless discussions, chapters which seem to never finish and, motley range of timeless drama and poetry. This is when we feel like telling this friend of ours to calm down! With the ever increasing number of texts and background readings, at times it starts getting difficult to manage academic reading and leisure reading at the same time. Adding on to it, friends from different courses keep envying us for reading mere “stories” in the syllabus and having an easy course structure. This is the moment when we feel like enlightening those friends about the difference between reading Blake and Swift for leisure and reading them as part of one’s syllabi. Thus, we join the brigade that breaks baseless myths about the course being a mere cake walk!

Just after the crest phase comes the road to the trough. The teachers expecting students to read their respective texts completely and “critically analyze” everything that comes our way starts getting a little too tricky! This is when we start shifting from mere readers to critical readers of literature. But the road doesn’t seem all that easy in the first semester of the course. With loads of narratives and analysis to remember, one definitely gets overwhelmed with the amount of reading to be done, while being unaware of the questions that can be asked for such study. After putting in much effort, we’re forced to rely on help books to help us sail through the semester. However, the ultimate test of literature love for a first semester student is the semester examination. A study loaded with truckloads of texts, the first semester exams of the course resurface the general emotion for studies in no time.

Nonetheless, English Honours sure makes every seeker a thinker beyond the average one. Despite the initial hiccups, this course is not a mere study, but a leap ahead in the understanding of the world.


Feature Image Credits: www.flavorwire.com

Priyal Mahtta

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