Life at Delhi University


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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The festive season can be a daunting time for all those who celebrated it away from home. In this festival of lights, it is important to realise that home is where the heart is, and not within those four walls.

It is that time of the year when every house on the street is adorned with a variety of fairy lights, the smell of newly made sweets wafts through the house, filling all corners and the soul of those it reaches, and everybody dons their best traditional wear. The sky is illuminated with the burst of a thousand crackers. The diyas are lighted one by one with the belief that they will ward off the negativity, and welcome the godly spirits. Diwali is a feeling that is often associated with being home and celebrating it with your loved ones.
For all those who celebrated Diwali away from home this year, I know how it feels. I know that you craved to be back
home, be just as much a part of this festival as much as you’ve been for the past 18 years of your life. You longed to
help your mother with the rangolis, taste the sweets while they were still being made, embellish the house with lights and flowers, and wake up in your own bed that very day. It might have been a daunting task to even get through the day without having any family around. Everything about it, all that you encounter on the street, might just fill you with nostalgia and longing. You might have stayed in your cocoon till the Diwali madness passed and the world returned to its ordinary workings. You might have considered passing your time by resorting to Netflix or other activities that you engage in daily, probably giving you the illusion that that day might just not be any different from any other day in the year. The prospect of staying in was any way gloomier than going out and celebrating like everyone else did in Diwali.

Fun is in company. The new city would probably not carry the same charm, your roommates probably won’t share your blood, and your hostel room might have just seemed too small and suffocating. In other words, it just wouldn’t have been home. However, it is important to believe that celebration comes in all shapes and forms and should never be restricted. Just because you’ve known something to exist in a certain way, does not mean that you cease to modify it with time. Your new city pulls you in its embrace; unfamiliarity might seem familiar to you eventually. Your
roommates will always be your family, home away from home. Your hostel room might only serve the purpose of
you sleeping after a long tiresome day, but it will become a place that holds all kinds of bittersweet memories. It will be home, even though it is hard to believe so right now.

Feature Image Credits: Daily Express

Anoushka Singh
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Some people use their appearance to reflect their true selves, while others use it as a blank canvas to expresses their art.

School protocol requires for every student to wear the same uniform all day, every day. The length of skirts, elasticity of sock bands, shiny-ness of black shoes, etc. is all specified, and meticulously laid down under “Uniform Guidelines,” in our diaries. While the intention behind the creation of a uniform is noble, it hampers creative expression. Almost all Indian schools have uniforms, in a bid to erase socio-economic inequalities, and promote a sense of unified identity amongst its students.

College acts as the hot knife of freedom, cutting through the (sometimes) suffocating butter of unoriginality that schools forces upon us for all these years. It acts as the saviour of whatever little imaginative abilities most of us have left. Hair usually ends up being the first victim of expression. The possibilities are limitless, bold, blunt, bob, or balayage. Cut, colour, and style, marks the exit of a school child, and the entry of a strong free, independent individual, whose hair exuberates confidence and fierceness.

The way of dressing too undergoes a drastic transformation. Most follow their own good sense and dress as they will, while others may buy into the University of Delhi culture of kurtas and jhola. The khadi way of life, is an indicator of successful integration into one’s own culture, as well as an ode to Gandhiji. After years of buying into the colonisers capitalism, returning to one’s own roots, is never a bad idea.

Clothes and hair manage to scratch the surface, but the real transformation is best observed in body language. Our way of speaking, posture, hand and facial gestures go through a radical change, over the three years. You may find yourself subconsciously aping your professors’ mannerisms, which usually is a result of your admiration for that person. The way you carry yourself in public and private spaces becomes more distinct, as a result of maturity and exposure.

The first-year identity crisis finds its resolution in the third-year of college. You may find yourself not caring about physical appearance at all, or perhaps, the complete opposite. The art of not caring about what others say is mastered, and you find a version of yourself which is completely authentic. No matter the clothes and hair, by the end of your college journey, you reach a stage in life where beauty lies in diversity and acceptance, and the art of giving and receiving love.


Feature Image Credits: DU Beat

Meher Gill
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It is a fact universally acknowledged that people make experiences. But can anyone put a number on the latter? Can experiences matter more than people?

 The general consensus about life will advocate the importance of people in life. All the memories that we create are fragments of people we choose to savor. I think it is partially true. My partial doubt is based on the fact that sometimes, in our quests to unravel the ideas of happiness in life, we cross certain limits. These limits are those of truth, the truth of our own identities. When we start giving importance to people over ourselves, my doubt comes into play. In college, this problem of self-actualisation takes a sidetrack as we seek for validation, more than anything else. It is a challenge now, to contain your identity. You start a battle with yourself, fighting hard against the tide of truth, for the simple reason that people will matter a lot in your explorations. It is true but to an extent. These people will be your best places at times, but some people might make you question your ideals, push you down or trample you. The only wise choice you have then is to trudge a path of your own making. I must mention this at the outset, experiences will gain meaning with your indulgence, and the involvement of others will always be secondary.

A few days ago, as many other Freshers, I dealt with a minor crisis of emotions. We come to a new world, anticipating great things. Somehow, we fail to see that prejudices and vanities are scattered everywhere in this world. When unreal standards are met with reality, especially when you are caught off-guard, the smallest instances can be troublesome. The moment you begin to see your opinions being shaped forcibly by an outer element, return to your guard. It is never right to let others feed on your vulnerabilities. Talk them out. As Tyrion Lannister tells Jon Snow, “Once you have accepted your flaws, no one can use them against you.”

Acceptance is always the answer. Analyse yourself. In a moment of doubt, seeking advice is helpful. One of my seniors once told me that college is all about experiences. Some you will share with people, others will be your own. Every experience that is your own delivers a powerful lesson. Remember yourself in all this chaos that mandates the presence of people to ensure the best days. You are the people you need. You are your experiences.

There is something extremely important that requires our remembrance. These three years are meant for us, after the completion of this phase, there is a greater reality that awaits us. Every senior will narrate to you the stories of their survival and transformation through their time spent in college. This is only a pedestal. There are uncountable rungs that must be climbed yet. A thousand joys await you, a million smiles, because you are here, in the midst of an opportune haven. Give yourself these wings. Become the best version of yourself, and do not be a pleaser. The best people, the best relationships, the deepest bonds are established of their own accord. Something as soulful as friendship cannot feed on falseness. There will always be love. People will make you question this at times. But I firmly believe, that your experiences will tell you otherwise.

So indulge in all experiences. It is true, experiences require the involvement of people, but people are only party to the experiences. The adventures you go on will supersede the company. I do not wish to demolish the idea of relationships. In fact, all I wish to say is that people will find you, and adventures will too; all that matters is that you give priority to yourself. ‘Into the Wild’ taught me a valuable lesson. I suggest everyone to watch this cathartic joy of a movie. I read once, that shyness can ruin the best of opportunities. Do not withhold yourself from this exposure. Remember these days, for the days they are, not necessarily the ones you spent them with, to revel in earnest.



Feature Image Credits: tico.ca

 Kartik Chauhan
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