College years are often quoted as the best years of one’s life. From the first day you step into class to the time spent making new friends, connecting with teachers, hanging out at the college canteen and learning new things– the college journey is unforgettable. As Nagaland University examinations begin today, a 6th Semester student takes a walk down memory lane and looks at the lessons she has learnt over the past three years.
My College Journey
Life is like a roller coaster; full of twists and turns, ups and downs, and full of surprises. But when life’s journey is smooth, life is beautiful. Our college life is just as exciting, where we experience ups and downs like being on a roller coaster ride. There were exciting moments along with stressful, anxious, nervous, frightening, and victorious moments. The college years are genuinely surprising and a wonderful point in life where we take mature steps towards our future, meeting many friends, choosing our majors, finalising our careers, and preparing for the challenges of the real world.
So, with few days left to be in college and enjoy student life, I longingly look back at the three years gone by. I have gone through a lot of bumps during the first few semesters, but I’ve also enjoyed the ride in between. This has been an amazing ride, no matter the struggles I have faced. Many a time, I hear people complain about college life, saying that they could have done much more, but in my case, it is the best experience one could have had. I still remember the first day of college, wandering hither and thither, surrounded by strangers. I felt I was Alice in Wonderland; so much to see, so much to explore, full of fears, and unsure of the future.
In these three years of our college life, we have come across lots of struggles; be they our grades, or adjusting with the environment and new friends. There were times when we had faced problems such as learning to submit assignments online, making PowerPoint presentations, presenting seminar papers, and being stressed for semester exams. At times we complained and said we missed our high school life. As the roller coaster went higher, we also had to deal with many challenges, obstacles, and difficulties to get to our destination and goals, much like Ville from Easterine Kire’s When the River Sleeps. With the passage of time however, I learned to find the silver lining. Everyone has problems in their life. I learned from Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway to never give up! And then, everything began to get interesting: spending time with friends, enjoying the canteen food, at times bunking classes and lectures, debating with friends over silly questions, doing assignments, working together with friends as a team and winning it.
Recently, I had an interaction with one of our assistant professors about his college days. He shared his thoughts with me and stated that he thoroughly enjoyed the roller coaster ride of his college life. He had enrolled at Christ University in Bangalore. He said that the first day for him was extremely intimidating. The sheer confidence level of his peers shocked him; especially having come from a state where answering a question to a teacher in class was a phenomenon. Students over there didn’t just answer the questions but actually initiated intellectual discourses with their teaching faculties. It took him a while to cope with them, but he soon realised that he would have to drop his inhibitions and join the bandwagon so as to make the best use of his college days. He also said that friends provided solace and helped him with numerous assignments and presentations. He learnt that asking help at the right time was critical to his success as a student.
He had eventually transformed into an inquisitive person who didn’t shy away from questioning existing norms and critiquing various concepts seen as the absolute truth. By the end of his college, his ride levelled up and he was happy and confident since he had learnt all that he could have and was ready to face the adventures of the real world. He has also faced ups and downs, but he didn’t give up. He enjoyed that journey.
During my third semester, our class planned to stage an adaptation of the Sema folktale Nisapa and NIsala, during our Department’s annual fest Renaissance Clique. At first I was apprehensive. When would we practice? What if we forgot the dialogues? What if people laughed? What if we didn’t get the costumes? As days went on, owing to everyone’s cooperation and hard work, things fell into place, and the performance was appreciated by everyone. There was a lesson there for me, that one can never achieve success by giving up!
What we students need to learn from this is that in this ride, we are going to go through lots of bumps and face many problems and difficulties. However, at the end, we are also going to enjoy being at the top. It is up to us to choose whether we enjoy the ride, or simply waste our time complaining.
College life is not as easy as we think. We need to be fully prepared to accept the challenges and tough situations thrown our way. These experiences have taught us how to lose gracefully, and also enjoying winning. They have taught us how to have faith in our ideas and to believe in oneself. They have taught and prepared us to face the real world, and strive for excellence no matter what happens!
In order to enjoy the ride, one should know how to accept the fears and challenges that come our way. We should always be positive, no matter what the twists and turns. Enjoy the rise, the falls, and everything in between. I have had the time of my life, and I can’t wait to soar into the world of infinite possibilities.