This article was submitted to us by Prerana Keshav, a first-year student at the Gujarat National Law University (GNLU). She enjoys reading, music, trekking, and is currently on a hunt for the best coffee shop in Bangalore.
It is the morning before I am set to head back to college for my second semester. The clock reads 10:13 AM, and my mind absently notes that this time tomorrow, I’ll be back in Gujarat, headed back from the Mess after eating passably decent dosa and drinking unbelievably delicious cold chocolate. I am more than a little confused about how I feel. I am excited to be back in the hostel, eager to see all the people that became almost a second family in as little as four months, but I’m also sad to leave the comfortable familiarity of home.
My first semester in Law school has been eventful to say the least. It’s been a period of learning – an overload of new data to process, both academically and otherwise. More than the bits of knowledge that have somehow (thankfully) sunk into my brain from the lectures, I remember in stark clarity the things that seem trivial: lunch should be avoided on the day they serve Rajma-Chaval; leaving clothes to soak in detergent for a while totally counts as washing them; you can function on an hour of sleep; if you leave your room door open, people will walk in casually, and this is acceptable behaviour.
I did not know what to expect of this transition from school to college, and honestly, after finishing a semester, I still can’t say that I’m prepared. The first big change that I felt was – predictably – the sudden freedom. The novelty of the idea that for the most part, the only person I was accountable to was myself was startling. The schedule of classes, the assignments that suddenly turn up (which, obviously, must be left unattended until the night they’re due), the extra-curricular activities – all of these were undeniably different from anything I’d previously experienced. And the people! For the most part of the semester, I just watched (more than a little overwhelmed) as people flung around their strong opinions left-right-and-centre. That’s the thing: everyone has an opinion on everything – from music to movies to classes to politics to the similarities between YoYo Ma and Yo Yo Honey Singh.
Of course, I would be amiss to not talk about the exams. When the mid-sems were done, you could tell everyone was thinking the same thing: all bets were off. When the results came out, there were just a lot of people smiling in shock, the looks on their faces saying “Does not compute.” All previous notions of my own academic capabilities were violently flung out the window as I came to the Earth shattering revelation that English was by far my worst subject. As if that were not bad enough, I also was forced to accept that Economics was one of my best. If you knew me in the 12th Grade, you would be Googling ways to identify an alien-impersonator, and you would not be alone. Then, finals roll around. You consider moving in to the Library permanently, you walk around like a zombie, you plead with whoever is listening to just please help you pass. And then you’re done, the only coherent thought you have being “Eh?”. Over those last three weeks, I felt like I lived through the events of a particularly fast-paced mess-with-your-head, intense-beyond-belief dystopian novels. Only, instead of the protagonist, I felt more like that character whose only purpose was comic relief, clinging on hopelessly, clueless from start to finish.
That’s what college has been like, for me. It has forced me out of my comfort zone, has ripped the proverbial carpet right out from under my two left feet, and has left me stumbling gracelessly, but in the best of ways. 0ver the last few months, it feels like my world has shifted, has expanded, and more times than I care to admit, I have felt thrown off my axis. There have been times when I have wanted to crawl under my sheets and never leave, times when I look up at my friend and declare (entirely seriously) “I can’t Law.” That being said, looking back on this first semester, I am so grateful to realize that I have had a great time. The course is challenging and engaging, and (despite all my whining), something I actually enjoy. I’ve met new people, tried new things, explored a new place, and made amazing friends.
And so, as I head back, I have nothing but hope for a great semester, or at least more stories to tell people over awkward family functions.
Editor’s Note: Do take time out to read Prerana’s wonderful work on her blog, http://maplestreettwirler.blogspot.in/
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