The adrenalin rush on the first day of college, to the jitters on the first day of fests, college gives you a taste of it all. But how different is the teacher-student equation in college from the equation in school? Let’s find out.

For most of us, the transition from school to colleges has been fascinating at the very least, as we learn to navigate through the freedom in the college corridors. After twelve years of getting discipline ingrained into every cell of our body, college sweeps in like fresh air. This evolution from schools to colleges impacts our relationships too- be it friendships, or teacher-student relationships. While our friendships also change as we enter the Delhi University (DU), there is a stark difference in the way our relationships build with professors in DU.

In schools, we were used to the everyday prayers and good morning greetings as soon as the teacher entered the class. In DU, though, the obligatory “good morning, ma’am/sir” rituals bid you farewell.

A prime characteristic of the teacher-student relationship in school life was the presence of this teachers’ pet, no matter the school or the subject. The child who would always butter up the teacher and volunteer for all the work (and who we all were secretly annoyed with) to get those extra two marks in exams. However, in college, barely any of that works. “Forget favouritism from professors, they teach and that’s it. That buttering doesn’t work here,” says Leha Biswas, a student at Lady Shri Ram College.

In schools, we always had this one teacher who would make it their mission to personally be updated with what is happening in their students’ lives. Through summons to the staff room to hushed conversations in the class, this teacher knew more about you than your classmates did. At the same time, you could somehow always count on them to get you out of those principal’s detentions. In college, though, the relationship cools down. “I have the coolest teachers, so we have a professor who would be leaving soon, we told him that we would miss him. His response was the best – “Oh come on, it’s too soon to miss me.”

We all were also very used to the teachers scolding us for not finishing our classwork, for not submitting our assignments, for not faring well in exams, for not being quiet in class, for not… you get the point! School was indeed a second home where sometimes the only right way to behave was how your superiors wanted you to. Coming to college did make us all realise it is okay to let go sometimes. Moreover, the professors don’t mind a few mass bunks, which was a sin back in school. Harsh Singh, a first-year student at Shri Ram College of Commerce said, “In just the first week of college we bunked a class, casually walked our way to Hudson lane for lunch! I guess this sounds quite normal, but for people coming fresh from school where all sorts of fire alarms would go off and the school would come charging at you with tear gas bombs, lasers, and tranquillising darts, even if you step out of your classroom in a free period, I must say that there is definitely some contrast here”.

Teachers at DU have an ornamented CV, jewelled with achievements and degrees. Well, it would be tough to generalise them, but, if you love your course then they would make you sing. Nevertheless, they would make you yawn as well! They don’t restrict you to be glued to your books – they want you to participate (but not too much!). They address every taboo for which you were shush-ed in school. They know that their students are adults and dialogues form a part eventually. Be it the menace of the education system or random talks, casual to heated discussions are pretty usual.

And let’s address the elephant in the room; they do know your craze for the much-awaited fests. And hold on for a second, brushing off the dust from books ten days before semester examinations, well that is not a secret, professors know that deal! The attendance fiasco, although, remains a challenge as getting their sympathy over Extra Curricular Activities is a hard nut to crack.

Where school provided comfort, college provides novelty. Nighat, a first-year student at  Aryabhatta College says, “In school, we were attached to the teachers on an emotional level. In college, we can relate to our professors on a spiritual level.”

Both relationships have their own charms. Familiarising ourselves with the new environment should not make us forget our roots. And as students, it is for us to cherish our school teachers and look forward to our college professors!


Feature Image Credits: Saubhagya Saxena for DU Beat


Priyanshi Banerjee

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Satviki Sanjay

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Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,  Old Time is still a-flying;

And the same flower that smiles today Tomorrow will be dying.

It would be blasphemous to start this article on any other note than Professor John Keating himself ordained. For those of us who have watched Dead Poets’ Society, Keating is no less than a miracle that happened to his students – both onscreen and off screen. In his very first lesson, Keating instructs his students to rip out the introductory page of the poetry book, making it clear to the boys that poetry is supposed to be read, cherished, and most importantly, felt. It is not something that men of old have interpreted for us and we have to accept it. He let’s his pupils call him “O Captain, My Captain” after the immensely famous poem by Walt Whitman, which we all think exceeds all limits of cool.

Following are the reasons why Keating is the most perfect teacher:

  • Being a teacher of literature, the best and the most important thing that he does is letting his students know that words mean the world. He believes in the power of speech, of poetry, of literature and passes on the same belief to his students.


  • He understands the importance of your individual opinion – that that is what sets you apart. He tells his students to think for themselves, and voice out whatever they feel.


  • He knows the very purpose of language. And, might we say, he is not entirely wrong!


  • While education has become nothing more than passing tests and mugging up, he seems to know the real purpose of education.


  • He told us about the power of dreams, and made us believe how meaningless life would be without them.


  • When he taught us that uniqueness is a trait that we should never give up on. The sheer pleasure of being odd, being ahead of our time.


  • Keating taught us, that yes, we can have our own opinion of why the curtains are blue!


  • There is a time for daring, and there is a time for caution. What better way to say this than how Keating does?


  • The world is forever evolving, forever reforming. This is how Keating keeps up-to-date.


  • We cannot articulate how fundamental a yawp is! And our Professor taught us a thing or two out of syllabus, the yawp being one of them.


  • Uncle Whit makes an appearance several times in the movie, and his words are made alive by our dear teacher of English.


  • Carpe Diem, seize the day, is what this artist tells us in a world which is so bent on following rules.


  • And, finally, when he supports us liberal-arts students, and tells the world what it is alive for!



 Image Credits: Various

Maumil Mehraj

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Teacher and student relationships are generally sources of great warmth and discussion and occasionally even friendship. However, it takes a different turn when students start developing feelings for their teachers.

It is almost like a rite of passage to pass through the feeling of being awestruck by your teacher. Your teacher is most likely a highly intelligent person (with a good dressing sense, probably) and can make esoteric concepts not just understandable but interesting for you. In such a case, it is easy to develop genuine admiration and love for your teacher. But what happens when you start having a crush on the same person?

First of all, it is important to remember that in most colleges, romantic relationships between teachers and students are illegal and would generally lead to the termination of both the parties (if found guilty). Such a relationship thus contains an element of toxicity. So, for all purposes, know that it is highly unlikely that you will end up marrying your teacher.

Having mentioned this, there have also been certain extraordinary instances where teachers and students have actually gotten together, stayed like that and even married. This does not presuppose that their love is any lesser than that of age-appropriate relationships. After all, age is just a number, right?

But, it is equally possible that the feelings you develop for your teacher is only because of your idea of him or her, and not because of the person. A teacher exerts enormous influence over a student’s life because, through him or her, the student gets exposed to different views and learns new ideas and theories. Praise lauded by teachers feels like an incentive to start working harder. Yet, it is like falling for your therapist: you actually have no real idea of who your teacher is until you actually spend some time alone with them. Teachers are like public figures, whom we put on pedestals. This means that we rarely know about their true self, their likes and dislikes, desires in life and so on. Teachers appear like a guardian angel to us and we start to depend on them immensely, especially when we are away from home. Their experience and guidance give us a sense of security.

Students for generations have waited in bated breath for their favourite teacher to come, worked extra-hard in their classes and lingered after class to have discussions with them. While this is all harmless and part of the process of attaining maturity, exploring other options is always a good idea. So, go out with your friends, exercise, listen to music, dance, cook, work hard (and not just in your crush’s subjects). These are healthy ways of not letting your teenage crush turn into an obsession.

So while you tenderly look for his face in the hallways and try to catch his eye in class, remember that if you just wait for a little while, there is always someone better around the corner. And while you do that, go ahead and stare at his cute dimples. They always make your days better. I understand.

Feature Image Credits: Pretty Little Liars via Freeform 

Sara Sohail

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