This post was submitted to Ergo by Ritwika Pati, a first-year at the NLU-Orissa.
“Shedding the mask of fear and doubt
Revealing our tragedies all around
Only in a state of unusual peace…..Crawling out of bed at 12 o’clock
Screaming at their bitter thoughts
Where’s my pen when i need it the most?”
This is about the drastic change that your whole existence undergoes in less than a year; the impossible things that you realize you are capable of doing; finding out that all you had planned for your life and future make you feel like a dimwit and many other such happy realisations.
So having spent a year studying English Literature in a not-so-popular college back in Kolkata, and then deciding to opt for law because legal reasoning seemed more interesting than trying to analyse the reason behind Edmund Spenser being a hopeless romantic, the transition hit hard like a crashing wave (without the build up obviously). Not that it was harrowing, but it was like entering a different world abruptly. A world with as much pressure as the number of judgmental people in the campus… prying eyes…sneaky eyes….criticising eyes…creepy eyes…bewitching eyes…tricky eyes…and still discovering new ones. There have been times when I have felt like huddling in a ball and pretend that I don’t exist; then again, other times have kicked me in my head to do something recognisable and be acknowledged. As appropriately pointed out in another article here, the concept of the ‘ideal student’ does not paint a picture of a nerd sitting in library all day, with oversized glasses and nose buried into a book we vowed to stay away from, the first time we checked out the library. Rather, the guy or the girl actively participating in everything possible for a sane person to participate in, still passing exams with good marks (alluring enough for top law firms), acing moots, debates etc is labelled as THE STUD. So it gives a sense that this scene is pretty common in law schools.
There was a lack of good friends in my life when I was in school. Everybody was quite distant, and coated with fabrication when it came to proving their friendship. The first day after moving into the hostel, there was a lot of bonding with the ones I had around me. A tad too surprising for the first day. (Pretence alert!) But took me not even a day to get how genuine some people are actually. And this is probably the best thing that NLUO has given me so far. Understanding how important they are in my life was the realization of the first month.
Good many memories were made in the first semester itself, though it still appears weird how quickly the time flew by. Late night birthday parties, self proclaimed DJs in the house, 4 am life advice in times of intense crisis, riverside sunrise at 5 am, dressing up nicely for the DJ nights and looking like you just had a shower when it ends (humidity goals- Orissa), waking up at 3 am and deciding to watch horror movies…wait. Our whole life seems nocturnal.The exciting things during daytime are classes and lectures. The nocturnal life is more exciting. I still can’t believe we made such uncountable memories in 6 months!
Along with that came six subjects, strict class hours, strict attendance, decent dress code, curfew timings, projects, viva…kind of like a…School? But with a lot more fun, chilling scenes, freedom, sensibility and a sprawling campus! The realisation had dawned, that an NLU not only teaches you law but also shapes and moulds you as a person. From pulling you out of your seats in the farthest corner of the classroom and forcing you to speak in front of everyone, making you realize the hidden potential that you had in yourself to finish three projects in two nights, having it in yourself to study till 6 in the morning without mom or dad pushing you, being able to comment like a middle aged man on where the politicians are taking the country to, starting to not care about the judgmental souls, surviving the hour long grilling in moots, securing internships, working in actual offices, to understanding the importance of career, life goals and relationships; I owe it all to the law school life. It’s something that broadens your mental horizon by so many levels. Once you step out of the tiny confinement of your own world, you learn the realities of life, the harsh truths, and the practicalities. And at this juncture, I believe the people in my college are better shaped as a person than the non-NLU counterparts, smarter and bolder than the lot.
But all this to say, wouldn’t pacify the entity inside that is still trying to huddle into a ball and pretend that it doesn’t exist. Talking about the times you feel so exposed, out in the open; you want to leave everything and run away, but can’t. You feel so confused about yourself, asking that million dollar question way too frequently now, “What am I doing with my life?” well that will only waste the precious time you have got. In the end, you do need a future, marks, attendance…it is that endless cycle again. And this is just the first year. It seems that most of the things done are too superficial to go unnoticed. The entity inside has gone into hibernation… till September ends. The next September, that is.
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