last semester


The even semester has begun, and so has the countdown to live your life as the final-year college students.

‘Knock knock’

‘Who’s there?’

‘Your last semester is here’

These must be hard-hitti ng lines for every third-year student right now. Applications, entrance exams, scholarships, internships, placements, interviews, and expectations-these are the words which define the life of a final year student. Most of us are stuck with the question of “Aage kya karna hai” (What should I do in future?). Days pass by and we still can’t find an answer to it. Most students define the last year of their college as stressful and exhausting. Some of us are applying for a job, some are preparing for entrance exams, and some are still trying to figure it out. With the beginning of the last semester of your college life, it is important to take a step back, breathe, and relax. If I look back, I don’t know how these three years passed by.

It is said that college really transforms you. It feels like yesterday when we were filling out the registration form to be a part of the University. Remember how we entered college with heavy bags of expectations and immaturity? First-year goes by completing assignments, attending morning lectures, and ‘trying to fit in the university culture’. The second-year brings about a more settled person in you. You are no longer a ‘fresher’ now, you are probably the one giving advice to the ‘freshers’. By the beginning of third-year, you have transformed into a mature, responsible adult, making decisions for yourself. The final-year of college is an emotional roller coaster ride, where your life will revolve around the happiness of graduating, and the sadness of leaving your college life behind. This phase is often accompanied by self-doubt, anxiety, insecurities, and nostalgia. Everyone around you will have only one question: ‘What next?’, and before you realize, you are already sailing in the sea of disquietude.

So how to keep yourself calm in this storm? My only advice will be to take one step at a ti me. Francis Assisi quoted, “Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” I think this is probably the solution we are looking for. Most of us are also stuck in the dilemma of whether to pursue a Master’s degree or a job. While all of us have preferences, this decision is extremely important and can define how your life shapes up. Enlist the pros and cons, talk to your family and friends. Don’t take such critical decisions in haste. As a final-year student, there are some important lessons that I would like to share with the juniors. Firstly, utilise the ti me you have in your college days. Take up any activity which helps you build contacts, be it joining the Placement Cell of your college or a work from home internship. College is the best ti me to build your resume. Secondly, use the internet for activities that do not involve Netflix and Instagram. You can probably set-up your LinkedIn profile or enroll yourself in an online course. Participate and attend events or gatherings. The events don’t have to be related to your field of study. It can also be a seminar on the involvement of youth in politics or a talk on a completely different subject like Botany. Lastly, give yourself some ti me and space. Most of us while struggling with applications and placements, forget enjoying the last year as a college student. Sometimes we make ourselves “too busy” to enjoy the moments we will cherish once we graduate. Don’t forget to live the wholesome experience of the University of Delhi. In the end, my fellow thirdyear students, whether you have figured it out or are still clueless, remember to breathe. Take each day as it comes.

Anoushka Sharma

[email protected]

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]