TED talk


The much dreaded moment is finally here. It’s the third year. Since the beginning of my college life I have always been afraid of the third year. It is the last year, just like Class 12th was the last grade. I’ll speak for myself and won’t generalize, that I’m always afraid of thresholds, the point of the horizon beyond which your sight can’t travel.

Like a medieval age person, I have begun to think that where the sea ends, is a deep waterfall that engulfs you and you fall if you sail further. But I’d like to be the renaissance woman and believe that the horizon is but another milestone in a never ending journey we like to romantically call ‘life’.

So, a quick overview of the things this article will not tell you to do –

  •    How to prepare for GRE/TOEFL/IELTS/GMAT/SAT.
  • Publish a research paper.
  •  How to obtain good letters of recommendation.
  • How to write a good statement of purpose.
  • How to be more “focused” towards academics and placements.

I’m not saying that the above mentioned things are not important for a student, but they are not important in the context of my writing, simply put. People, newspapers, V channels and counselors will tell you to buck up, be more focused towards your future and start planning. No harm. Nothing wrong. Wait, did I say nothing wrong?

I recently watched a TED talk (the midnight before I was supposed to submit the article) and had I not seen that talk, the article would have pretty much been about the list mentioned above. It was by this person Carl (I’m aversive to caste, I can’t remember last names. Strangely enough, even of foreigners) who’d written a book about the need to detach from the blind rush of life and slow down. Be slow, be a good slow. Savor life.

We’re always conditioned to create a timeline for our lives. Graduate by 21, job by 23, settled by 25, married by 28, kids by 30. Even if there is no direct pressure, most of us pretty much go that way, for the sheer convenience and logic we see in how our life has been laid out in front of us. We’re so consumed by the idea of finishing things “in time” that we have unconsciously created a timeline for ourselves already, to ‘finish off’ and ‘settle down‘ in ‘good time’.

Time then becomes a finite resource which is depleting by the second and we need to tap it. Not knowing that time also replenishes itself, time also stops in the breathlessness of a sunset, in the vastness of the sky, in the swinging of a boat in water and in the rediscovering of a life not bound by time, yet beautifully strung around it.

Therefore a personal suggestion from this writer would be, to fall in love. No, not like Kajol and SRK did in DDLJ after finishing college (although if you want, go ahead by all means. I’m not judging), but with yourself, with your subject, with your environment.

Read more books, travel a little, write a little into catharsis, take a deep breath, and relax. There is no hurry.

Exist in a timeless space that allows you to discover your subject in an entirely new light, and you’ll suddenly find yourself automatically studying without your mother’s slippers on your head. You’ll automatically find yourself writing better assignments, being more productive, having better attention levels and initiating conversations with teachers outside classrooms, and trust me those are priceless.

But, even if all this doesn’t happen, it’s okay. It will sooner or later. We’re humans, we take time.  But of all the things we could ever learn from life, we learn that time and tide wait for none. So don’t let this one year fly by ordinarily, feel every moment instead, savor the taste of it all. Do new things, meet new people, for as I said, horizon is but another milestone in a never ending journey we like to romantically call life.