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Every year, lakhs of students apply to the prestigious University of Delhi, thousands get it, and a few hundred join the college societies. The month of August in the University calendar witnesses orientation programs, society auditions, WhatsApp forwards to the freshers, and posters on notice board informing about the society. 

Amidst the arduousness of the ensuing academic pursuit, a college society plays an important role in giving its members the kind of experience they have never witnessed. Most of the students join these societies in order to enhance their curriculum vitae. However, down the line, they also understand that the exposure from the society not only transforms them, but also plays an important part in their holistic and professional development. It helps them express themselves, raise their voice against something which can create an impact in the university space. Meeting the deadlines, working in a team, recruiting people, generating revenue, and day-to-day management are some of the responsibilities handled by the society members. This extensive work that goes into making of any society, be it a newly formed one or an already existing one, demands enormous amount of energy and dedication. Shreya, a member of the fashion society of her college said, “Like every coin has two sides, it is the same with societies. Sometimes, the job is taxing. There is a schedule to be followed, a number of things to be done, paper work, coordinating with the society members, and what not. But at the same time, it is fulfilling. I have become confident. I know how to manage a team. Over the years, the society members become your family, you practise with them, eat with them, travel with them. Half your day is spent with the members. Your seniors teach you so much, and probably that is the best thing. When you see them working with sincerity and dedication, it really pushes you from within to strive for better, each and every day.” It is true that society is a gateway for finding friends in college. It helps build a mutual relationship of trust and respect, and also paves a way for healthy discussions.

Having said all this, I do realise some of us are not a part of any society. There can be multiple reasons, though. Some of us didn’t get in, some may have left the societies after having an idea of the hectic schedule, or probably some of us did not bother to join a society at all! A common factor the students who were not a part of any society talked about was the work and hours of practice. Some of the students live far away and dread reaching the college sharp at seven in the morning. Others believe that it is important to prioritise academics over extracurricular activities. Amanya, a recent graduate who was a part of the western dance society of her college said, “I joined the society in my first year. Hours of practice, missing classes, not being able to cope with my studies, and reaching college early in the morning were the reasons I had to leave my society. The fest season drove me crazy, I used to reach home late and had no energy to do anything productive after that. It was extremely difficult to manage. After a point of time, it felt like a burden.”

Coming to the those of you who did not get into any society this year- it’s okay if you failed that society audition. Your college life is much more than one audition. I have always believed that something better awaits all of us. Having given your best and still not being selected is something most of us have experienced at some point of time in our lives. You might feel disheartened and dejected. But utilising our potential in a productive way is totally up to us. Keep an eye on other societies, if not western music society, you might end up being a part of Enactus of your college. If not all this, make sure you indulge in something you like, maybe you can join a certificate course or try learning a new language. College life is about discovering yourself and your abilities. There are a variety of options available in this free world. Being or not being a part of any society, I hope your college years transform you into a confident, informed, and a more responsible individual.

Anoushka Sharma

[email protected]

If you are reading this in a North Campus college’s canteen, you have your fortunes to thank for. You have made it to The Inaccessible.

The paid admission applications stood at 2,58,388 after the last date of registration at the undergraduate portal this year. The University of Delhi (DU), one of the most coveted education-hub of the country has provision of seats for less than a quarter of these applicants. To make up for this “exclusivity”, the University has a presumably foolproof hack: astounding cut-offs. With every year, the poor standard of education is validated by the rich number-game of cut-offs. National headlines in dailies are blaring announcements of which college set the highest cut-off percentage this year.

This practice necessitates the question of alarming ambitions that we are handing out to young high-school students, and for the sake of what? The University is a lot of things, but not the best academic space. How important is it, then, getting a whopping 99% if you wish to pursue B.A. (Honours) Political Science from Hindu College?

Our school system has been reduced to unhealthy academic pressures, topped with the co-curricular necessity to be an “all-rounder”. School teachers are critical when a student underperforms. The acknowledgement of good work is brushed aside with “you have to do even better in the Board exams”.

The severe and mortal fear of Board exams, as you will relate with, dear fresher, presents the most harrowing March ever. The DU cut-offs soaring through the roof have sustained the brand-value of colleges like Shri Ram College of Commerce, but their effect on the lives of high-school students have been largely treated as ambitions. “I remember my Business Studies teacher chiding me in front of a class of fifty-odd students, ‘If you plan on getting a 90 in your Board exam, better do not consider appearing for it in the first place.’ This was 15 days before the Board exams started, and till date, I am not over this statement, despite getting a good score. I remember it flashing in my mind every second during my Board exam.”

Truly, getting 95% today is disturbing. If you wish to pursue Economics Honours from Lady Shri Ram College, you need at least 97% or above, which is more or less saying that you must not lose more than 2.5 marks in each of your Best of Four Subjects. The Central Board of Secondary Education and other boards have also adjusted to the demand. 100s are tirelessly awarded to students in language papers. Such distribution puts to question the idea of 100s. But then, as long as you are getting a seat for English Honours at St. Stephen’s, how does your English proficiency matter? College comes with its opportunities, and hiding behind these opportunities are insecurities and vulnerabilities. The definition of a good college is earmarked in its history and brand-value. Most school students are blasted with the academic pressure by their parents and teachers, all to enable them to make it to their dream college. The inconsistent debate of the quality of our education system, along with the question of the inconsequential social exposure that we allow to our students pointedly screams at the alarming ambitions that we have enforced on the youth.

India is one of the leading countries in terms of its rich human-resources under the age of 35, but how effectively can we translate this resource into its most conducive form? Surely, not by falsely feeding the inadequate need for validation of the “top colleges of DU”.


Feature Image Credits: Manjit Thapp via Instagram


Kartik Chauhan

[email protected]

Every year the headlines flash myriad versions of “CBSE XII Board Results Tomorrow”, producing infinite anxiety and suspense. Today, another lot got their own dose of shock, reward, and disappointment. My only wish is to congratulate them, out of empathy for the system we survive in.

From birth until the very end, we succumb to the pressures of competition. While some pass with flying colours, yet most us settle with the not so great marksheet. Today, numerous posts will shout— “YOUR PERCENTAGE DOESN’T MATTER”, and, from personal experience, I must attest to this. From being a ‘straight A student‘  to barely entering the golden 90+ range, my journey has been one of depression, introspection, and strength.

In 2017, out of over 10 lakh students, only 10,091 students scored over 95 percent and 63,247 students scored over 90 percent. While these high bracket percentages grant the privilege of getting into top universities, a forgotten side of the story is of those who don’t get their choice of college due to an even higher cut-off. “[It] felt like failing all over again, but I didn’t have the luxury to complain or whine about it”, as Vineeta Rana, the former Editor of DU Beat, aptly puts it.

While the hype around the country, state, and city toppers top the charts, somewhere in a discreet corner of newspaper lies one column news about student suicides that occur around the country. The reality is that parents and society pressure the child into an expectation of outperforming everyone. Given the unpredictability of CBSE, such expectations prove damaging to one’s mental health. If you are having suicidal thoughts or know someone who is, please get in touch with the required intervention. For assistance, here is a document compiling the dos and don’ts for parents and teachers.

In the face of the result before you, I want every student to realise that — favourable or unfavourable — your marks do not reflect your talent, personality, or your intellect. These numbers will only decide the college that you’ll be placed into and nothing beyond that. Yes, it is easier to have a head-start in your professional journey but, success will dawn upon those who will climb up the ladder, no matter where they have landed, and reach the goals they have set out to achieve.

I could give numerous examples of people who weren’t academically bright, yet have reached a sense of success in their lives. But, not only does this condone a traditional definition of success, associated with wealth and power, but I also realise how little this consoling can help you. The ‘pissing my pants’ feeling to the shattering effect of punching your details on the CBSE website will last for a while. Though I assure you it won’t last long. Maybe, three years from now you can give a TEDx talk on your journey. The idea is to just take this moment and live in it, not what you could have done in the past to make it better or what will happen in the future. Look for alternatives, if your Plan A (getting great grades and qualifying the cut off) has failed then formulate Plan B. There are more than one way to enter in Delhi University. You can still study for the 12 entrance based courses. Remember: When the going gets tough, keep going. You can do it. 

All the best! Brave through!

Feature Image Credits: Kartik Kakkar for DU Beat


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