The Shift: My College Life (Part 1)

As a girl and the only child of my parents, I’ve been brought up in a way that wouldn’t be the one, to be frank, consisting of many sacrifices. I have relatively got everything I ever asked for, sooner or later. My parents are no billionaires, nor do I ask for a new sports car or another trip to Europe every weekend — but it will be a lie, a very shameful lie — if I say that I am anything but demanding. I have always demanded things, the most ridiculous of which was to drop a year, change from science to arts stream as I had already had enough, thank you very much.
Outside of Asia that’s probably not a very big thing. People out there get to become DJs and chefs and writers and painters. But here in Asia and especially in India, you’re deemed useless by the society if you are not a doctor or an engineer. I knew the whole transition wasn’t going to be a cakewalk, but I refused to believe that it was absolutely impossible. One thing led to another and I was, in the end, given what I wanted.
I was born a rebel — or so I always thought. But when it came to my choice of subjects, I was no less than a replica of my father. I am the type of person who gets more excited about a political shift in the country than about the prospect of buying an automaton that can serve biscuits to the guests. Literature gives me goosebumps. Human psychology has intrigued me all my life. Unfortunately, I was foolish enough to think that two years of science won’t hurt — but not foolish enough to waste two years of my life doing something I had no wish to do, after I realized it. I had pressure from my friends, my parents and even my cousins. The society felt like the most vicious enemy. But I had to do it, anyway.
Unlike my presumptions, my parents were supportive enough through the whole transform. The situation was tough for all three of us, but we tackled it together and in less than two months I was asked to fill up the form that would get me into the biggest college in the town. The anticipation came to an end as in a few days, names were announced, mine was at the top and I got into the college cheerfully.
The journey had begun.
We all live in the same planet — no kidding — but we inarguably have very much different worlds that we call our own. Mine, until then, was my family and a few friends. Having studied the entirety of my schooling in English medium schools and among kids that belong to well off families, I had seen a rather easier part of the ‘real’ world. No chaos, no problems, no issues — at least none that serve a higher purpose.

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My friends, like me, did not have names that end with Ambani or Birla — but we were no less spoilt and spoon fed, dependent and as unready as one could ever be to enter the more complicated premises of the real world. Our lives were limited to homework struggles and football and cricket matches, which was it — we were a bunch of about to turn adults that didn’t know anything about the scope of i-n-d-e-p-e-n-d-e-n-c-e at all. We were all unprepared for the reality check that was more or less hovering over our respective heads like hanging swords. We were absolutely raw and we didn’t know what the real world was. We were destined to be pushed into it. Well, I didn’t. I chose it myself. And I chose it a year prior to everyone else.

~

When we enter foreign grounds, tread on unknown roads and meet new people — we don’t always start from the scratch. For example, if a man decides to visit London, he is likely to enquire about its weather and he would make sure that its possible for him to communicate with the people there. When he reaches there, he won’t wander about the streets without reading from a map or a guide book.
Similarly, when we enter into a new institution, we do try to know about it from people who might know. We don’t mind second hand information — pardon our laziness for we don’t even try to check its authenticity — and we are full of pre conceived notions, half baked ideas and tons of hesitation. It’s not a very good thing to say, I suppose, but I was no different.

image source: Meme Centre

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