This article was submitted to Ergo by Kopal Garg, a second-year (Batch 2015-2020) student at the Maharashtra National Law University, Mumbai.
It was the summer of 2015. Life was a bit harsh. For me, CLAT 2015 was a do or die chance being a dropper. Failure to win the race of getting into NLSIU, Bangalore was heart-breaking. But I never knew that I will be cherishing that failure after landing up myself in MNLU, Mumbai.
To my surprise, my dream changed from “Going to the top University” to “Making the top University”. With several inhibitions in mind I embarked on this journey, full of ambitions. The new hope bloomed and I finally landed in the financial capital of our country, the city belonging to the courtroom genius Nani Palkhivala and other jurists. Though the University lacks its own campus, no seniors to guide us, no prior placement statistics, the words of our Vice-Chancellor assured me every moment of the right decision I had taken. “You are the partners in the making of the university”, “it is the students that make or break an institution and not the lifeless buildings.” That was the time when I knew MNLU is something I always desired for. This university gave me the 3Es: Exposure, chance to Experiment and Experience from the mistakes.
But with great opportunities come great responsibilities. College life was not a cake walk. Semester I was an absolute experiment. We had to deal with the exhaustive class timings from 9 to 5, project submissions without Hostel Wi-Fi, library assignments; guest lectures on holidays and even the vacations were termed as “Internship breaks”.
Those days were obviously the tough time for every MNLUITE, but hard learning is the best learning. We learnt to face challenges. We learnt to manage ourselves with the little resources we had. We learnt how zeal to work hard can remove all the obstacles. Above all, I found a new family which is so diverse inherently with respect to the culture, language, religion, etc.
Being a batch of just 60 students, almost everyone got an opportunity to be a part of some or the other committee. Pursuing my favourite hobby, I decided to be a part of the Event Management Committee, Photography and Social Media Club and Website Committee. This was probably my first step in contributing to this university. It gave me an opportunity to boost my confidence which finally gave me a chance in my 2nd semester to represent my university to NLSIU Bangalore in the Client Counselling Competition. Later in the 3rd semester, I also became the first student member of the Legal Services Clinic which fulfilled my dream of serving the society and again gave me an opportunity to contribute to this university.
I would like to share that it was not us who struggled to bring this university what it is but our VC Sir and the wonderful team he had even before we joined this university. He is the person who made exceptional things possible, be it the guest lecture from a Partner of top law firms, a German professor, Judge from the Mumbai High Court or the Supreme Court or even the Chief Minister of the state.
I also must appreciate that we, being the first batch student of MNLU Mumbai get an opportunity to personally interact with VC Sir who not only takes our lectures but also emphasizes on the values we should have as individuals. I’ve personally learnt a lot from him. The experience he shares with us always motivates me to give my best. He is the true mentor for all of us and his love for all his students can be witnessed in his words. When we are at our lows, he is our counsellor. When we are celebrating, he is our friend. When we are missing our home, he is our family. And when we are distracted with our goal, he is the path.
At last, I would only like to say that in just one and a half year, I had the most amazing memories ever. In every step, I had my peers there for me. Our late night projects, endless debates made the journey a joyous ride. I made a new family, experienced new things, explored law and the opportunity to grow and develop here at MNLU can’t be compared.
For all this, I would like to extend my heartiest thanks to the Vice Chancellor Sir, my teachers, my parents, my friends and everyone who supported me to become a part of this university.