This article was sent to us by Aamer Shah, a first-year student at the Gujarat National Law University (GNLU). He has a cool personality, charming demeanour and an infectious smile. He loves to read, but hasn’t bought a kindle yet.
It’s 12:30 AM, 29th December 2015. As I relax on my favourite couch, I see myself aching to reflect at my time at Law School. I want to look back and relive those early memories. The first 6 months of joining university have been nothing short of incredible. But my attention is slightly corrupted by the screen in front of me.
Manchester United is playing Chelsea at Old Trafford. The competition is fierce. The score, equally balanced. Its 28 minutes on the clock. I see figures in blue and red trying to make a mark on the game. The game is punishing, harsh and fiery. Yet, I see players on both side passionately engaged to ensure that their team wins. That the tug-of-war ends in their favour.
What is a moot? The professor asks the class. Some smart-ass student answers.
This was when I first realized that Law School is going to be competitive. Of course, CLAT results had come out and I knew that there were tons of people who had fared better; the gravity of the situation only dawned on me when the question was asked. Maybe this was because I assumed that people knew much more than I did.
And as I look back, Law school has been competitive, but it’s never been about just the grades. Most students I find here are extremely opinionated. However, they are not the Arnab Goswami Types. There is a lot more logic in their argument. Ever so often, I find myself having a spirited conservation with one of my peers. The tone is never confrontational. Having a better argument provides a thrill to a lot of people. It surely is competitive in that sense.
It’s Half-time. The players are visibly distraught. Some are slightly disappointed that they couldn’t make anything of the 45 minutes that have passed. They limp away inside the tunnel for a much needed strategic time-out with their managers, who hold a poker face as the camera zooms in. They rush to the tunnel to make the most of the time they have exclusively with the players. Will either team make any substitutions? Will their tactics change as the game resumes? These are questions on everybody’s mind, including mine.
Half-time is much like the time after the mid-semester examinations. It feels like a huge burden has been lifted. We need not worry about passing percentages for a while. The dust settles down. I know that every friend I have at Law school, made several mental judgments in the week following the ‘mid-sems’. They judged everything, the university, the faculty, even the food served in the mess. Some were vocal about their judgements, others not so much.
And I made judgements too. Mostly about whether I had managed to fulfil goals I had set for myself. Whether I had learnt what I wanted to. Whether I had talked properly to the girl I liked. But mostly whether I was going wake up an hour early in the next few months to grab a decent bite. Or not.
The commercial advert break is over. The match resumes. Before long it reads 72 minutes on the clock. It is evident that neither team has made any substitutions but there is a visible change in tactics on both sides. The cheering has increased. The crowd becomes wilder. The commentary rambles on. The pressure to score and defend well, is noticeable on some faces on the pitch. I feel like changing the channel as things are still stuck at 0-0. I decide otherwise and let myself slip back.
It’s the time just before the end-sems and much after the mid-sems. Everyone is settled with the new life. Including myself. Friendships have been cemented that I believe would last the test of time. Course work had increased, what felt like ten-fold. There seemed no structure and passing days merged into one another. Studying took center stage. The thought of failing occurred much more than usual. Naturally, the library was crowded.
The only thing that seemed to be on my side were my friends. Everyone was passing through a similar phase and it felt like we were all united in the quest to master Law School. I also felt like my love for the Law increased as I came to know more about it. Instead of telling people I had an interest for what I was doing at Law school, it become more about passion for what I was doing.
Before I know it the game ends. The score still a dull, Nil-Nil. The players aren’t overjoyed yet look somewhat relieved that the game has come to an end. The managers shake hands like they know each other since years. The crowds start to head for the stairs.
It’s time to go home for a 2 month hiatus. A much deserved break after a grueling ‘end-sem’. While leaving the hostel to go back home I see a particular kind of expression on most people’s faces. They seem happy and relieved to go back home, yet hesitant to leave their friends.
Looking back during the winter break I miss my hostel life (even though I have just finished 1st semester and there are 9 semesters more). I miss all the people I haven’t been able to meet since what seems like eternity. I can’t wait to be back at college.
The greatest takeaway is what I feel. I feel mature having stepped up to various demands of college. I can clearly see who I am and what I need to do in the future. I believe this epiphany took place because college was difficult. I lost some, I won some during my first 6 months.
The teams have quite a few games left in the competition to make amends and improve their performance. The Premier League is a marathon, not a sprint.
Likewise, we all have the time to know more, explore more and be more. Keep coming back to ‘Queries of the Explorer’.
Manchester United vs. Chelsea ended 0-0. It was worth watching.
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