With graduation right around the corner, third-years sit by as they lose all hope of getting a physical farewell, or any of the college experiences for that matter. DU Beat spoke to some of them in order to get an insight into their psyche and know the popular opinion that has been going around.

The pandemic has taken away a lot of things from us, but most of all, it has stolen away some of the most beautiful days of one’s life — a real chance at a college experience. With having completed a year, confined to the four walls of our room, we sit and wonder as our dreams, hopes, ambitions fade away into the lone. 

Anushree Joshi, a third-year student at LSR says, “The greatest loss of finishing college online is the ability to sit and look my peers in the eyes as they tell me about their days and I tell them about mine. The anxiety of things ending, in any normal year, would be wrapped up in the hullabaloo of celebration — multiple farewells, graduation dinners, and the lasts of meals and outings.”

But there’s a pang of ineffable sadness now, in knowing that some of the teachers who have changed the way I look at life have never even seen my face in real life, or might not remember it. It’s a loss much less significant than what this world is experiencing right now in different ways, but it’s a loss incredibly personal and irreparable,” she added.

Another, 3rd-year History major Aanya Wig elaborated on her wishlist for the New Year’s this year, “I wished to go back to campus, I wish I could sit in class and attend a lecture, I wished I could sit in the sun in the front lawns, I wished to get another vada pao, I wished I could hear the chirpy voices in the corridor, I wished to walk on campus again, and I wished to spend a little more time with the wonderful women at college.”

How does one then even begin to grapple with such questions, then? During the past year, people have lost people, their incomes, and even their interest in anything and everything around. The thought of bidding goodbye to such spaces of liberalism and inclusivity to be out there in the ‘real world’ is frightening enough that now, we even have to deal with not being able to go back to college for that one last time: sit in those lush green lawns, or juggle between classes as you order that cup of ice tea or chilly cheese Maggi from the Nescafé and sit at your favourite spot which makes you feel home with people who have stayed with you during the past three years, even when everyone else left. How does one even begin to get closure?

I don’t think the idea of online classes was bad in itself because yes, it was the need of the hour, but like million other things, this idea was also not executed well. Not only the students, but the teachers also faced a lot of issues to get adjusted to this new normal. Not to mention how it has adversely affected the process of learning in itself,” expressed Somya Jain, an Economics major at LSR.

Shivani Dadhwal, a KNC student elaborated on the losses we have all faced as a collective,

Having spent 50% of the time at online college is sad, there are so many unfinished Nescafé ice teas, college gang trips, classes, fests, outfits to wear to college, impromptu plans, whacky canteen food combinations, conversations and jokes. Abruptly, one was made to pack it all up and just walk away.”

It’s okay to mourn, it’s okay to get disheartened or even feel at loss here, but it’s not okay to not gift yourself the right to celebrate your own graduation. You deserve this farewell (even if it’s online) more than anyone else and hold on to your memories, learnings, and celebrations for your tomorrow will find you much farther than where you are today.


Featured Image Credits: DU Updates


Annanya Chaturvedi

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Getting admitted to the best college or university? Graduating with a high GPA? Becoming the CEO of a Multi-National Company? Or rolling around in dollar bills? In short, being ridiculously amazing at everything? 

Well, that’s where I disagree.

We all have our own versions of being ‘Extraordinary’. The things mentioned above are the universally set standards which are used to judge and actually criticize how much a person is ‘ordinary’. Just so you know, having the courage to follow your dreams is better than having to live up to all these expectations just to PROVE the world that you are something which you probably don’t even want to be in the first place.

I believe that we all are extraordinary as per our own standards. And let me tell you, spending half of your life being a world-class manager of a company that you don’t even like, doing a 9-5 job which is extremely boring and working your ass off is soooo ‘ordinary’. For me, getting to pursue and excel at what I love would be the most extraordinary life that I could imagine for myself.

Varada, a high school student said “I think that people often lose sight of their dreams as they grow older and fall into the “ordinary” lifestyle. By seeing that lifestyle as “normal”, people just accept that and stop thinking outside the box or about the things they once used to dream of. Those dreams just become irrational thoughts that will never turn to reality. Expectations and pressure mould us into a person we don’t recognize but are forced to live with. It’s up to a person if they give in to the society or if they choose to be their own person.”

However, on the contrary, keeping in mind the diverse human mindset, Arnav, an engineering student said, “I feel ordinary and extraordinary is a relative concept. So, I feel it depends completely on the person, what their expectations are and if they’re happy with their seemingly “ordinary” expectations, probably because it means a lot to them. At the end of the day, if you’re satisfied with the work that you’ve put in to achieve your goals, then no expectations are too ordinary.”

Life is extraordinary when you walk that ‘extra’ mile, take that leap of faith, and believe in yourself and your vision of life, making your dream a living reality. Working towards what you want rather than what others want you to have is the first step in being happy and ‘extraordinary’.

Shaurya Thapa, Web Editor, DU Beat added a rather different stance and said, “So, I for one feel ordinary expectations is fine, but it depends from person to person. At least in youth, a person should have high aspirations but then an equal amount of effort needs to be put with it. Even if we fail despite all that, it’s fine to have little ordinary expectations then, as at least we tried.”

At the end, one shouldn’t let people who are drowning in their own misery of not being able to achieve their ‘extraordinary’ goals, tell you how to achieve yours.

Feature Image Credits: Career Pivot

Anukriti Mudgil 

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There are a few and minute things in everybody’s lives which make them simply happy and satisfied. These things can be anything and not necessarily be distinctive and extraordinary objects of public awe, but anything. A specific corner in the house, the dish of food that makes you drool, a movie, a place or even a person. Everyone has their happy space in life. However, only few are aware of it.

To elaborate on what a ‘happy space’ is, it is a place, a person, or an object where or around which a person feels the most alive and doesn’t perceive an urge to scroll their smartphones to seek any sort of virtual pleasures. Just stepping into that very space, those very surroundings feeds our soul with positivity and the calm we all require in our stressful lifestyle. 

This happy space can also be referred as the home since it makes us feel at home; a place where we find the utmost comfort. Just like we retire to our beds after surviving a tiring day at work or college to rest and gather the energy to face the everyday challenges all over again, our happy space has the same effect that our home or beds have.

Finding your spot of peace is not simple. Some people are not aware of it even in their 50’s and hence find it difficult to pull themselves out of  difficult situations. One should always have their doors open to exploring new places or activities that keep them calm, happy and positive. For some, a happy space can be their daily dose of workout at the gym, for others, it can be their favourite resort in an isolated hill station or  just spending an hour with kids in their nearby NGO. 

Solo trips and tours are the best when it comes to the discovery of one’s happy place. Sure, at most times, going to far off places is not possible due to financial or time restrictions, but you can still go to places that are around your city, for a short period of time. Taking some time off the routine and mundane lifestyle, a short vacation puts the mind at peace. If you derive happiness from this, then you have surely discovered a happy space in your life. 

Think about the thing that makes you feel rested or revitalized. Is it lying down on your comfy pillow, or being surrounded by the people you love? Is it dancing to the beats of your favourite songs or singing the retro melodies with your buddies? After identifying the activity or a couple of activities, try connecting to the places where you can find those, and sooner or later you will be having that one site, that one spot that makes you truly happy. 


Feature Image credits – Scopio

Kriti Gupta 

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With some serious facts staring at us in the face, how are our educational structures evolving to cater to the deteriorating mental health?

In a study conducted by World Health Organisation (WHO) late last year, we were made aware of some devastating facts. India is one of the most depressed countries in the world, over five crore people suffer from mental health disorders and we recorded one of the highest numbers of work-place stress cases. From the 21st century, problems faced by teenagers have changed from excess alcohol consumption and teenage pregnancy to bullying, stress, depression, and body image and self-esteem issues. Distorted ideas of productivity, social media platforms, social stigma attached to mental health have all contributed to this, but our textbooks give the idea that these problems simply do not exist. The content in books in school, colleges and Universities remains largely outdated.

Societies can prove to be a good medium in college to initiate change. They can go beyond being performing and competitive, to providing guidance and support to students who need it. The biggest risk attached to mental health issues is that they are not visible, and so, regularly meeting people, developing friendships, finding a confidante can help in reducing stress.

Nithya, the President of Friends’ Corner of Hindu College, explained the impact of the society and peer counselling, “One can be an effective, empathetic listener, and a great shoulder to cry on among their own peers. We strive to make the college more empathetic, by making them realise every person is fighting their own battles, and if you are struggling, you are not alone. Conversations and sharing can really help in making individuals realise how similar their thoughts, anxieties and worries are.”

The Friends’ Corner also has a Good Vibes tree in the campus for freshers, who expressed on different coloured sheets representative of different emotions, how they felt on their first day,  which was then put up on the tree. Beyond having discussions, group sessions, and a flagship event: ‘Mental Health Summit’, they also have a page called “Humans of Hindu” for people to share their life stories.

A cell or society working towards mental health can prove to be very beneficial for the whole college. It can begin with a small step of approaching your administration. Discussions and talks can take place on individual problems, mental health issues and the society, stigmas, therapy and support groups. In order to create a safe space, confidentiality becomes a key factor, so certain measures can be taken to ensure that members can have a medium to vent in privacy as well. The society needs to be run by dedicated and proactive students to prevent it from become an inactive society.

In no way does this cell or society take the place of a counsellor or therapist. The dire need for college counsellors still remains and needs to be stressed on. Most colleges either lack a counsellor or have a temporary one, often close to no student approach this largely unavailable counsellor, and the whole process goes in vain. But this (society) can become a facilitator in that journey of betterment. Furthermore, creating these spaces can also set a chain reaction in other colleges. With around 90 colleges in DU, the reach can be tremendous. One can also reach out to other colleges, like Hindu College, to know more about a mental health and counselling cell.

Recently what gained traction was the introduction of a six-month certificate course on Happiness in Ramanujan College. It is a free of cost course, for which forty-five students have already been enrolled. It will judge students based on their attendance, project and course work. This step sets precedence for other institutes to also follow its lead.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal introduced Happiness Curriculum till class eighth in all government schools. This pioneering step will tackle mental health problems from a young age, yet for now it stands the test of time.

While the reason behind mental health deterioration are many, it has been romanticised by shows and memes, further aggravated by our economy and job pressures, and absence of acceptance. When the recent budget came out, I anticipated whether our country would also take a step like New Zealand. In a revolutionary step, Prime Minister Jacinda Arden’s Well Being budget prioritised poverty and mental health. What cannot be ignored is that this issue creeps in through some crevices. Different steps are being taken, but more comprehensive and structural changes need to be brought by all bodies, including our University.

Feature Image Credits: The Central Digest

Shivani Dadhwal

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Ramanujan College offers a six-month course in ‘happiness’ free of cost for undergraduate students, aimed at tackling rising stress.

The University of Delhi’s (DU) Ramanujan College is offering a free six-month certificate course for students in happiness. The course is being offered by the college’s School of Happiness which was inaugurated last year. Turned into a full-fledged morning college from Deshbandhu College, Evening in 2013, Ramanujan College, located in the heart of South Delhi is well-known for its promising infrastructure and top rankings.

The proposed certificate course has six components to its curriculum – community service, yoga and meditation, life skills, communication skills, personality development, and glimpses into our Vedas and spirituality which comprise to a total of a hundred points.

Under a memorandum of understanding with the Management Centre in Innsbruck, Austria, four meritorious students participating in this course will also be offered an opportunity to pursue higher education there, and two students will be selected for a student exchange program with them as well. Other incentives of pursuing this add-on course include Indian heritage-cum-educational tours, special certificates and a letter of recommendation for the students. Students would also be given relaxation in the attendance of regular classes in case they decide to take up this course.

In an interview with the Hindustan Times, the Convenor of the School of Happiness of Ramanujan College which is run under the College’s Centre for Ethics and Values said, “After workshops and seminars on the subject, we realised that students would benefit from a certificate course on the subject of happiness. Psychologists and members of our Applied Psychology department will interact with students and we have also partnered with NGOs to bring in instructors for the course.”

The College’s Principal, SP Aggarwal added, “The students want to learn new things. They come here from different regions to study and often there is a lot of stress. Even employers said that certain life skills like confidence,etc. were lacking in them,” while highlighting the importance of the course.

To enrol, students are required to fill up an online form and appear before an interview panel. The course will commence from 25th July 2019 in the college premises and the classes are scheduled to be held on Tuesdays, Thursday and Fridays from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM. More details regarding the procedure to apply for the course can be found on the college’s official website or by clicking on the following link – here



Feature Image Credits: Vaibhav Tekchandani for DU Beat


Bhavya Pandey

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In the age of optimism and positivity, happiness is an obligatory emotion to be experienced. The feeling is undermined as the feeling is overstated.

Happiness excites a certain rush in us. The feeling of pure joy is a mix of celebration, and satisfaction. More often than not, happiness comes to us as returns to an investment. There is the cost of effort involved that yields benefits, the reaping of these benefits is most certain, even if the duration sometimes hints otherwise. However it is this attainability of benefits that becomes increasingly expected and in the event of losses, it builds up to a mounting sense of grief.

It is important to acknowledge the fact that happiness cannot be a permanent emotion. And by that logic, it is only reasonable to say that neither is sadness. It is often felt that the phases of sadness last longer than those of happiness, and that it is because of this disequilibrium that we as students, and more broadly as people, feel sadness to be stronger emotion than happiness. In fact, it is really a matter of perception. I feel that sadness makes us think more deeply. It makes us question more objectively everything that is seemingly “wrong” around us – or more personally, within ourselves – a questioning that shakes our respective opinions and often remodels them.

In the aforementioned dilemma, it is natural to feel miserable. The disillusionment that comes from experiencing a moral conflict is in itself educational. You cannot expect to overcome such conflicts rashly. An important task is to extract the best lessons out of every challenge. Not feeling happy about something is such a challenge. Sadness felt due to a relationship, or due to academic inefficiencies can sometimes mean a change of heart or behavior. It is never advisable to stick to a challenge so as to let it feed on you eternally. In such a situation, letting go is a valid solution. Feeling sad is not so much a problem as feeling incapable of happiness is.

Many people define their goal in life as: to be happy. As different as this ideal setup is from reality, it is also an interesting perspective. That you could feel happy even in conflict, and keep up the resistance. The emotive thinking then, becomes an initially instinctive feeling. A feeling which later becomes a choice in that the emotion becomes a choice for you to act on. Dwelling on a positive emotion exhausts us in due course, whereas for a negative choice, it is otherwise. Why do we feel trapped in sadness? It is because we let go of the truth that happiness is inevitable and more importantly, that it always within. Darkness is a comfort, because it gives us an excuse to explain the absence of light; an excuse to evade responsibility. It is not wrong to feel misery, because that feeling is itself important to revel in the subsequent joy. But it is just that stepping out of it is really the important action to allow the balance of sadness-happiness to restore.

Remember that neither happiness nor sadness is a permanent emotion. And that neither is an obligation. Live in them, with the belief of a balance, because the balance always strikes.


Feature Image Credits: Unsplash


Kartik Chauhan

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In 2013, Dmitry Golubnichy started a personal challenge called the 100 Days of Happiness Challenge. To increase chances that he will actually finish this personal challenge, he made posts public over the social network with #100happydays hashtag. It soon became a Twitter trend that went viral. It requires a person to find one thing each day that makes them happy, for 100 days straight, and to post a picture of the same on their social media. He even created a website for the same (http://100happydays.com).

At the moment, the challenge has been taken by more than 8 000 000 people from 160 countries and territories around the world, and he has quit his job to inspire more people to choose happier living.

He has also given a Ted Talk for the same! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4UtPDaR3cA)

The website claims the following benefits of the challenge:

– Start noticing what makes you happy every day;

– Be in a better mood every day;

– Start receiving more compliments from other people;

– Realize how lucky you are to have the life you have;

– Become more optimistic;

– Fall in love during the challenge.

However, there has been some strong criticism of the movement as well. Major ones include:

  1. Being too materialistic in the process, since a picture would mostly require something tangible
  2. Boring friends on social media
  3. Forcing happiness since it is impossible to be happy for 100 days straight
  4. Feeling a constant pressure and actually feeling ‘unhappy’ if they forgot to post for one day and broke the streak
  5. Making the exercise public, couldn’t let them share the personal, happy moments

It is essential to learn where the challenge emerged from, why was it public and why it helped Dmitry. It is advisable to rather just pick what one likes from the challenge, maybe mold it to one’s convenience as long as the essence of it remains unchanged, which is finding something to be grateful for on your not-so-good days.


 Feature Image Credits: Unsplash

 Khyati Sanger
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Contrary to popular opinion that India is the land of merrymaking and celebrations, there has been a significant dip in India’s ranking in the World Happiness Report over the past few years. We examine the reasons behind this at the university level.

The World Happiness Report is an annual publication by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) which has been impaneled with the charge of calculating the rankings of national happiness and analysing the data from various perspectives.

The 2018 World Happiness report was released on 14th March. Finland was crowned as the happiest country out of the 156 countries that were surveyed. India’s ranking has dipped further in Global Happiness Index, in comparison to previous years. The parameters used to evaluate the levels of happiness were GDP, per capita income, social support, healthy life expectancy, social freedom, generosity, and absence of corruption. India’s ranking was far behind from other neighboring countries such as Pakistan (75th), Nepal (101st), and Bangladesh (115th), to name a few.

As we know that university spaces are simulations of the real world, it is prudent to examine the happiness index from the perspective of colleges and universities in India.

Financial inequality and sharp economic disparity among the population has long haunted India. People living in equal societies are happier. Similarly, students hail from different strata of financial strength. There is sharp incongruity on financial lines among students. This might evoke a sense of insecurity among students.

Home to a population of 1.3 billion people and growing, an entry in premier education institutions necessitates vicious competition among students, thereby evoking acute stress. Meeting high expectations from society and family becomes difficult which renders students helplessness. A majority of the students don’t feel satisfied with their course or college.

Lack of proper infrastructure in the field of education is also a biting factor when compared to counterparts in the foreign countries. Students don’t get the required machinery in the country to hone their skills before they go out seeking jobs.

Campus spaces have become increasingly unsafe for women and for the students who have little offbeat opinion. Cases of harassment are on rise. India can never be happy if 50% of the population is always on an alert or alarmed and don’t feel secure. All of these make way for a public perception that women’s safety has not ameliorated since the indignation following the Nirbhaya case in 2012.

Despite making progressive strides on the health front, the mental health has been left largely unaddressed. The government spends 0.06 per cent of its total health spending on mental care. The same situation corresponds to our universities and colleges; students facing mental health issues don’t find the proper affordable treatment for it.

One might argue that the sample size for the concerned survey was very small when compared to a 1.3 billion population, but visibly things are not at right place and the entire country has been painted grim. The NDA government needs to consider this report as an indicator of the youth’s falling trust for the current government.

Feature Image Credits: Hindustan Times

Sandeep Samal

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The Happiness Equation is a Self-Help book published in 2016. It is written by the Canadian author, entrepreneur and public speaker Neil Pasricha who gives science-based secrets to stay happy.

“Want Nothing + Do Anything= Have Everything” reads the slogan of the book titled “The Happiness Equation”. It is a self-help book published by the Canadian author, entrepreneur and public speaker Neil Pasricha who talks about how people fail to stay content with their lives providing science-backed tips and tricks to achieve happiness.

Staying happy is the essential purpose and yet people struggle to do anything but be happy regardless of what they are doing. And this is not just about being financially solvent or well-qualified, people at every level are competing to be better and be happy. This is the basic focus of the book where the author addresses the issue giving reasons as to why people are not happy. Most importantly, the author attempts to answer the question “How to stay Happy?”

There are elements of science and various methods of their applications which can result in finding the solution. Some of them are like the “Ikigai” and the “Saturday Morning Test”. “Ikigai” is a concept followed by Japanese people in a far-off island which translates to “Reason for waking up in the morning”. He wants to convey that having a purpose to wake up every morning can stimulate a person to work and achieving the same at the end of the day can help people stay content. The latter concept is about asking oneself about the things we would like to do if we had no obligation to fulfil. The answer to these simple yet significant questions can help a person understand their needs and interests better.

As to how the book is written, it is unique and catches the eye. Pasricha has mentioned “Nine Secrets to Success” which when discovered can help us answer the question. The mention of different “tests” and concepts intrigue the reader and the content is as helpful. The book is not continuous as in it is not portrayed as a story moving along as the book progresses. The different chapters are more like independent topics that convey a different message with reference to something. It more like a collection of different elements placed together in a single but has been bifurcated on some broad lines.

Personally, apart from the various tips and tricks mentioned in the book, it is the presentation of the book that is particularly helpful to the cause of the book. The book has small chapters that are not bombarded with content; instead, they convey the idea behind the book with simplicity rather than imposing it. Leafing through the pages, one feels very relaxed and enjoys the book rather than being on a mission to unearth some miraculous secret. In fact, because the book is so simply presented, one can connect to the book helping in the assimilation of the lessons given.

Overall, the book can help us understand ourselves better. It provides a different viewpoint of attaining happiness. It is worth the read!


Feature Image Credits: Thought Catalogue

Karan Singhania

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What is happiness?

Happiness is independent.

Life has or will soon teach you that happiness is never an outcome or a corollary of a situation. Someone or something might bring you to believe that they are inextricably bound to the conditions of your happiness. However, it is only a few who realise that to be untrue. Happiness is sure an expression but it will remain as your condition only when it is independent. The durability of your happiness lies only and only with the independence it constitutes.

At one point in our lives we believe contemplation and introspection to be integral to a feeling of being low. Sorrow or misery is taken to be essential and enriching to one’s ability to think or even to produce art. For some mind and how much it forces one to think decides on how much you are bothered by life. Why wouldn’t we? Life as we realise with each pensive night is not indeed a bed of roses. Overthinking is considered to be a cause of one’s misery. An uncritical mind is upheld as a prerequisite of happiness. If it is not your uncritical mind, then it is that one person or thing that gives you hope which makes you happy. It is only a matter of time that you see life take that hope, that person from you. You see your hope gone; life appears difficult and dull. Gradually truth prevails; this life is not worth living. Then someone or something takes the place of that lost hope. This new hope leaves you soon too. It is only a matter of time that you realise that hope is not beautiful. Then how do we remain happy in this cycle of hopelessness?

Happiness, we have to realise, is intrinsic not to your surroundings or attachments but to yourself. Happiness is not uncritical, it is acceptance and endurance. You don’t have to be unmindful, careless and carefree to be happy. Happiness requires a supreme intelligence to see things as they are and know that they will remain so. Happiness is severely detached from your external condition, to people or things. Happiness is hopelessness from external aid or cosmic bliss. It is in strength, and a clear understanding of the world around you.

Unless you do not realise how important it is to accept the misery of life, you cannot make anyone happy. It is only when you know how to produce happiness that you can bring happiness to someone. As a producer of happiness when you bring happiness to someone, you will never facilitate dependence on the person you are aiding.

“Everything will be okay,” is never the best thing to say. “You make everything okay,” is in my understanding, better.

Image credits: www.pintrest.com

Tooba Towfiq

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