Missing from college life — the DU experience

by mcdix

After two years of campus education disrupted by COVID-19, the 2022 graduating class has fewer memories and more laments.

SV Vaishnavi

Between July 2019, when the undergraduate students joined the colleges, and May 2022, when they wrote their graduate theses, there weren’t enough campus days to add their rich “DU experience” to the story. They came, they saw, and they graduated. That’s the story of Delhi University’s 2022 batch in short, maybe in the longer version. A deadly virus has disrupted the joys of teaching and learning for the past two years. One of the worst victims of the COVID-19 pandemic has been students who could only attend physical classes for six months before universities closed.

The experience of student life has gone unfulfilled for aspiring graduates. The 2022 batch is arguably the most unfortunate. They have to miss two substantial years of their academic life, be forced to stare at laptop screens instead of classroom boards, and switch to Netflix during online classes instead of perhaps stacking types for a cultural feast.

Freshman farewell

“We were at the freshman party and now at the farewell. Everything was lost during the intervening months of living in DU, making friends, organizing and attending cultural festivals, competitions, and club activities, interacting with professors and classmates,” rued Deepika, an English (Hon) student at Hansraj College. The six-month pre-COVID experience is all she cherishes about her college life now.

Like them, many dreams of studying at DU, being a part of the bustling beauty of the campus, and enjoying the hustle and bustle of events. “But it all remains unfulfilled now,” Deepika added. “The new normal was hard to adjust to; at first, I was happy about the mini-vacation; I took classes from the comfort of my bed and avoided the heat of Delhi,” said Isha, a political science student (Hon) at Sri Aurobindo College. “But then it took until two terrible years of humility; it became a struggle to deal with,” she said.

college life

Sejal, a B.Com student from Jesus and Mary College, was part of the college education program (JMCEP) that teaches underprivileged children living near the college. Many children did not have a smartphone to connect online. Some of their phones had WhatsApp functionality, and we used it to teach the kids and keep in touch with their parents,” she said, adding: “We managed to achieve the goal of the program.” Many others used the time to discover new hobbies and skills and rediscover themselves. Isha, head of a drama society, Moksh, said the pandemic ended their rehearsals and shows. “But as a team, we quickly adapted and trained ourselves and other new members to do things online, like recording monologues and acting solo in front of the camera, to capture the essence of theater,” she said.

Post-pandemic reopening of colleges this year allowed the 2022 batch to create a buzz in its final semester. “While there were many COVID-19 protocols to follow, we were happy to be back to experience classroom teaching and campus life in DU,” said Isha, recalling a concert by singer KK (who recently passed away). ) at the Hindu College party on March 25. “It was a homely show, and I was one of the many who climbed the wall to enter the arena. Would I get another chance to make such a memory? I’m glad I attended the concert,” she said.

Unfortunately, most students in the 2022 batch, who are soon to graduate, shared the same feeling of “FOMO (fear of missing out)”. They may have grown up watching and imagining life on the DU campus but lost the opportunity when it was their turn to enter the sacred portals of some of the best colleges in the country. The pandemic impacted their academic and co-curricular activities. As they prepare to enter the real world beyond their campuses, many students feel unequipped, and half are ready to meet the challenges of full-fledged graduates. To go. There is an underlying sense of incompleteness. “If I could, I’d love to go return do the training again. And this time on campus”, a student summed it up for her peers.

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