The Shift – My College Life (Part 2 of 2)

After my admission into the college, I was to wait for a month before the classes would begin. It was enough for everyone around me to rev up the speed of my rational thinking. I was politely told that I was about to undergo two long years of sexism filled life for my college was (still is) highly infamous for all the Roadside Romeos it proudly possessed. I have been a rather vicious feminist for as long as I can remember. I wasn’t really afraid for nothing is difficult for the one brave at heart. However, it was easier said than done.


Classes began and I was unfortunately the centre of attraction in my batch. The teachers liked me a lot (they still do) — which was (is) a good thing I suppose, but what bothered me was the unwanted attention it earned me, especially from the opposite sex. It led me to be alone almost all the time as more friends would have meant even more attention (no, thanks). Sadly, my best friend for two years had been self imposed isolation. In a nutshell, my experience with the opposite sex isn’t something I’d laugh about after a few years when I remember it, saying, “Oh, I miss those days so much!” Because honestly, I won’t. I have been leered at, misbehaved with and at times even emotionally harassed by them, which doesn’t especially change my insight about the whole not all men are equal thing. I know not all of them are same, however I don’t think I’ll take the chance with someone from the other sex I don’t already know nicely enough.
My college life, sans the boys, was not exactly bad. I personally feel I have learnt more in the few days at my college than I have learnt from my entire schooling. The teachers were more like good (and very wise) friends. They were at times our guides, sometimes strict disciplinarians and sometimes open books that never shied away from telling us about their own younger days.
The relationship I’ve had with my teachers here was much less complicated than what I had established with my teachers at school. The teachers at college were as supportive as teachers can get and as easy as it is to guess, they were amazingly well at teaching.
My batch consisted of more than six hundred students. At my school, that would have meant four different grades with four different sections. The numbers were overwhelming and the ‘variety’ of students was large in number too.
At first I didn’t really gel up that well with my classmates as they were a bit too different than me. But as time rolled by, I started liking them eventually. I haven’t been with them anything like I had with my friends at school but they were good enough — people I’d like to be in touch with even after I move ahead in my life.
People at college were from different places of the state, from very different types of households and with beliefs much different than mine. I’ve never worked in the kitchen — for one — unless for recreational purposes (I am not proud of that, I swear), let alone making a full meal someday. I kind of had the shock of my life when I heard one of my classmates saying that she liked coming to college because she would have to do the household chores had she been home. Last year my best friend from school had tried to make a cake and she practically ripped the whole kitchen (along with herself, of course) apart in the process that followed. The most pleasing thing about the whole experience, for me, was that I got to not only know but also closely see various human attitudes.

I can now proudly say that I have seen a part — a rather small part for that matter — of the real world as well.
My college was the most amazing learning experience of my life. I’ve had my own bitter sweet moments but I am pretty sure that whenever I’ll remember it, after a few years, it’ll bring a smile to my face.

image source: Los Angeles Times


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.


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