This article was submitted to Ergo by Anahita Pathak, a first-year student at the NLU, Jodhpur.
College will be the best time of your life, they said.
The first semester had me hunting this proverbial ‘they’ with the tenacity of a scorned telemarketer. I wondered which part of it came under the ambit of ‘best time of my life’- the rigorous schedule, peppered with a generous dollop of monthly exams, further garnished by an unending list of assignments. And all of this was what comprised of a laughably bare minimum of the workload. As though that wasn’t enough, the absolutely alien surroundings added to the merry pile I had mentally labelled ‘Do not think about unless willing to go into the abyss of depression’.
While people bonded over almost everything under the sun, I floundered, not finding any common grounds whatsoever. As cliched as it sounds, being from the ‘far flung distant corner’ of the nation seemed to be a factor which was making its presence felt in my life. Not that people would actively pick on me for my noticeably odd Hindi, or consciously make me feel out of place. But even the ridiculously optimistic delusional part of me could not ignore or deny the fact which regularly slapped me into shape- I did not fit into the mould that had become a cocoon of comfort and familiarity for most.
I spent most of my time, trying to drown out the chaotic din of my life in the numbing sensation brought about by work, multiple mindless T.V series and an obscene number of naps. Rather than me getting through the semester, the semester drilled a hole through me. By the end of the four months, I barely managed to crawl, claw, stagger my way to the finish line, but yes, I did make it. It was over, I was home.
Which was all hunky dory till I realised something felt wrong. Why was it that I woke up every morning and the lack of my shoe-box sized room left me reminiscing for the same? Why was it that the taste of wholesome home cooked meals left an after taste which made me yearn for the horribly unhealthy Aloo Bhujia sandwiches and sinfully sweet chai of the college mess (shout-outs to RK)? Why was it that the memories of the shared misery of invariable all-nighters the day before the exams left a ghost of a smile on my face?
That’s the thing about this place, it makes you cry rivers, bay for blood and scream bloody murder. But at the same time, it sneakily makes a place for itself, forcing a niche of its very own into your begrudging heart. Forget people, college is what has taught me the true essence of a passive-aggressive, love-hate relationship.
And here I am, a semester old, with nine more dauntingly staring me down, knowing I will probably not make it out of this in a single intact piece. But also knowing that I would have it no other way.
Editor’s Note: The Editor would like to put on record his thanks to Mayank Udhwani, a first-year at NLU, Jodhpur for his help in coordinating this article.
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