Keep the Faith: First-Yr DU Scholar’s Message to Board Students
Remaining hopeful in these extraordinary times & doing things we are truly passionate about is not going to hurt.
As the second wave of the virus takes its course all over the nation, discussions that revolve around the pandemic have become so commonplace that they hardly generate the same emotions we encountered just a year back, when the virus first hit the nation.
Nevertheless, if I take a stroll down memory lane, I can still remember how we were all in a state of pandemonium, even days before the virus had held the nation by its clutches.
Conversations during our recess – after we were just done with our boards practicals – revolved around the countless stories we might have picked up from the news about this unknown virus.
The next thing you know, as if in a blink of an eye, the said mysterious virus that you might have encountered through your TV sets is now going to affect your life in ways unimaginable.
An Uncertain Farewell
I was on the 10th day of this long study leave – that we got before we had our last exam – when the news broke out about how the same will be postponed to a date that was still undecided.
Strangely, in the latter half of the final year of high school, no matter how much you might have loathed your school life at one point, you still develop a sweet spot for the same. You wish school hadn’t ended that soon.
But, with CBSE keeping you in the dark about your own future and the long wait that comes with it I’m sure is not your ideal way to spend the last few days of your so called school life.
From how I perceived it, my life had basically come to a standstill. I didn’t feel the need to attend to my chapters for an exam that I didn't even know was going to commence in the first place.
Because, for all I knew, there was always some talk about our internal assessment marks to be substituting our final scores in the report card.
By the month of May, when my juniors were directly promoted without having the need to sit for an exam and started with their online classes, I would still wonder as to what answer do I give to my relatives when they inquire about which class I’m in.
I was definitely not in Class 12 when a batch lower to me was studying the same course as me and neither was I looking out for colleges. The latter reminds me of how we all must have planned out this entire road map about which colleges we’d apply for and the cities that we’d eventually move to.
To say that we were off the course in the said roadmap would be an understatement when we didn’t even know what the future held for us.
Ukulele on YouTube: How I Kept Going
It felt like years since I last saw my friends. What we planned to be small meetups at cafes had then changed into virtual meetings.
But that didn’t in any way dull the ardent desire to actually go out because no matter how much I loved to just laze around on the couch with a favourite book, the lockdown proved to be difficult when I would realise that the last time I was actually out was to sit for my Economics exam and how I thought this was funny but it irked me at the same time.
Times were already grim every time we saw a fresh surge in the COVID cases.
Needless to say all of this was taking a serious toll on my mental health, with my sleep schedule in absolute ruins. Sure, I didn’t know when all of this was going to end but that didn’t mean I couldn’t make the most of what people addressed as the ‘new normal’ now.
Now that I didn’t have to worry about assignment deadlines and tuitions, I realised I could focus my energy and my time on all those things that I always wanted to do, which my otherwise busy schedule prevented me from doing so.
- YouTube had come to my rescue when I wanted to learn the ukulele.
- The DSLR at the far corner of my room that I had once purchased in hopes of trying my hand at ‘filmmaking’ now had my undivided attention as I went on countless shoots in my terrace trying different camera movements to imitate those of my favourite directors (one that I failed miserably in)
- And, of course the many graphic illustrations that I made just because I always wanted to try my hand at designing that I am never going to show to anyone because I failed at this one too.
At the end of the day, even though most of my endeavours didn’t really prove to be a success, I was still content in a way because now I at least don't bear the regret of not having tried the same things earlier.
Inventions in Isolation
If you come to think about it, Shakespeare gave us some of his best literary work while he was in quarantine during the plague. Newton began his work on optics and invented Calculus during the Great Plague of 1665-64 and even though I’m in no way romanticising the current dreadful situation that we are in, remaining hopeful in these extraordinary times and doing things that we are truly passionate about is not going to hurt.
Because you never know at the end of the day, you might just end up giving us a ‘New York Times Bestseller’ or your happy mistakes leading to a groundbreaking invention. My little success lies in the fact that the short period of dormancy that I had made me think about the things that I actually love doing and reflect upon my choices.
Now as I start my second semester as a student of Delhi University, I still find it so hard to believe that most of my classmates that have become such good friends of mine in such a short span of time are actually people who I’ve never even met in person.
Sure, I sometimes wish things were different and I would get to work and associate with them over coffee at some cosy cafe but for now sharing google docs, google drive folders, and making collaborative playlists on Spotify will do.
All of this just serves as a reminder about how life goes on no matter what and what I perceived earlier as this period in my life of complete inactivity has actually taught me to introspect and be patient whenever life throws curveballs at me.
All of this at the end of the day has taught me to remain hopeful about meeting my new friends some day and having this campus life that I always wanted to have. As the famous line from The Shawshank Redemption goes, ‘hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things and no good thing ever dies.’
(The author is a first year student of BA Sociology (Hons) at the University of Delhi. This is a blog and the views expressed are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for them.)
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