Change is the routine in our lives. Every day changes us, every experience and every interaction. College, most definitely is the perfect pedestal that induces a transformation.

Learning is a procedure, one that works in a circle. Just as you begin to feel that you have learnt a lesson, another excites you. But an important part of learning is the act of unlearning. Some transitions in the act of learning come to you as a first. But every now and then, you learn something that makes you want to question your prior knowledge of the matter. And that is precisely what makes this process an adventure.

A wondrous upheaval of sorts becomes a reality in college. We have all grown up in a systematised structure of our respective schools. From convent schools to arya-samajik schools, the diversity in our schools converges at more than one point. All schools prohibit use of mobile phones, for instance. We all will agree that schools, in one way or the other, impose on us a great burden to conform with a lot of rules and regulations. Our teachers claimed the true purpose of these ideal behaviors and manners readied us for a more sophisticated life ahead. But colleges are different. Professors will not criticise you for your mohawk, not openly at least.

My friend Sanchi Mehta, a third-year Literature student at Hindu College captures the transformation from school to college in a symbolic analogy. “The transition can be summarised as the symbolic shift from the stiflingly homogeneous uniform to a flitting, self fashioned attire, consciously choosen everyday until the point where one breaks free from these shackles of both overt or insidious determination to lounge in their favourite pair of jeans (or pyjamas),” says Sanchi. This is how growth can be routed in our decision making process once we access the endless possibilities in college. Everything matters, everything that you choose to affect your actions.

The Bollywood idea of college is far from real. In fact, it is just the opposite. Not everything makes perfect sense, not everything is compulsorily fancy. College is a smattering of crises and joys. And pointedly, there is often a balance between the two. The exclusivity of college-crises is evident in the realisation that here, these crises are dealt with a more serious individuality. Help is available, but unlike schools, where our teachers interacted more personally, in college, you have to reach out to the help. This is empowering as well as challenging, I feel. But this is the essence of college as well. Through these struggles come the brightest chances and opportunities. In college, spontaneity in decision-making and activity is not a pressing issue. In fact, in due course, it becomes the very sustenance of life in college- spontaneity.

Personally, I feel that college has been a metamorphosis. It is as Chahak Gupta, President of the Literary Society of Hindu College states, “The metamorphosis of an individual nourished with the fodder of conformity into someone who breaks away from the cocoon and embraces the world of subjectivity and difference.”

Prior to entering college we are allowed a very limited liberty. The experiences in school shape us for the experiences in life, truly, but not without limiting our thinking processes too. The embracing of this world of subjectivity and difference poses a challenge to us for this reason. We are too familiar with accepting definitions, that it becomes a challenge to delineate differences and diversities in them. It is the free-thinking atmosphere of college that proves conducive to such growth of our perspectives.

It is this metamorphosis that I have lived through, in this short span of college. And the most promising prospect to me is that there is a lot of growth that needs tapping still.


Feature Image Credits: Odyssey

Kartik Chauhan
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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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