Times have been unpleasant, but they have been particularly dreadful for the first-year students of all colleges. Every ounce of society has been affected by what’s going on, and DU’s freshers are no exception. Delhi University has always been praised for its academic prowess. But more often than not, what attracts its students to it in the first place is the plethora of extracurricular activities that it offers.
The attractive alumni base consisting of eminent personalities ranging from Amitabh Bacchan and Shahrukh Khan to Arun Jaitley and Atal Bihari Vajpayee puts the cherry on top.
This just motivates the students to push more and desire that kind of success. All the students except those freshers who haven’t even seen their college yet.
The rapid transition from being a mere school student under the umbrella of your parents to a college adult who gets to make most of the decisions independently happened in the comforts of the students’ home. And the first-year students transitioned from mere school students to meek college students, both under the umbrella of their guardians.
It’s so bad that it can’t even be called a transition yet. This article illustrates how the newly-acclaimed college students could not make out the maximum potential of a college that provides maximum college life.
The most affected areas about the college aspect are:
Delhi University ‘s Classes: Monotonous lectures
The classes which very mostly flunked to take part in the activities that DU is the most famous for *wink wink* (Source- cool seniors) are now replaced by their online substitutes that students usually attend. But now, that is done sleeping with an occasional ‘yes sir’ that comes up only when the teacher badly insists.
But the one thing that both the offline and online classes have in common is the studious first bencher. That person knows every question and responds wherever a response is required, be it online or offline.
But back, in the offline era, when most students disliked that person, now that very person is everyone’s savior. Be it forwarding the screenshots of the teacher’s presentation or telling everyone what assignment is to be done.
Even those who are considered of the average category, who studied when necessary and responded when they felt like, have become lazy and their most attributes now resemble those of very prominent back-benchers.
This shift from the traditional chalkboard classes to Google Jam-board classes isn’t something that the students have taken very well. Nonetheless, both the university and the students are doing their best and accommodating to these new circumstances.
DU Assignments and Practicals: Easy Excuses
The practicals actually used to be a big thing, because the majority of students turned up for them, which is pretty rare when talking about a DU classroom.
But now, much to the teachers’ plight, they have been reduced to the level of the regular classes, where half the students are asleep and the other half don’t respond.
The assignments were last-minute things back then, and they are last-minute things now. But the excuses to submit the assignment once the deadline has passed have tremendously evolved.
From seeking teacher’s sympathy to the classic ‘network issue ma’am!’, everything works, cue the tired voice and the casual coughs to make it sound more believable.
The transition from the handwritten assignments that were made with colored pens and papers to the Word documents that are more or less copy-pasted from the internet wasn’t a really interesting one, because, despite the less work that comes with it, the online assignments just lack the feel.
Delhi University ‘s Societies: No Real Bondings
Coming to the most captivating part of Delhi University, the student-run initiatives are commonly known as societies. The amount and kind of societies vary from college to college, but they are kind of a big deal because a college’s reputation highly depends on the societies that it offers.
With the start of the COVID era, the hustle-and-run that was required to run a society was transformed into the frantic phone calls and the all-in-bold WhatsApp messages that warn members ‘to be more active or else…’.
The apparent dominance that the seniors have over juniors in societies was also reduced to seniors being all polite so that their lousy and all lazy juniors would just work.
These student bodies have a charm, but that charm resides in the bonding that takes place over a plate of momos that a whole group shared while brainstorming ideas. This is somewhere lost in the google meets or zoom calls.
Delhi University ‘s Fests: Tedious Events
A senior told me that the highlight of her year was the fest season. The wind of preparation and the air of festivity that looms over during this time is addicting and once you get to experience it, there’s no going back.
This is the time when the whole of Delhi is filled with DU students bustling here and there to gather sponsorships, make props, collect banners or just buy the necessities to organize an envy-worthy fest. The poor freshers never got to experience it.
The fests are still happening in the online mode, but they require a different kind of preparation. It consists of trying to arrange for a free or subsidized zoom subscription and grooming the freshers for the activities over endless zoom calls.
It also includes the nervous sponsorship calls to the unwilling coaching centers and cafes who are either polite enough to decline or just hang up as soon as they hear the word ‘sponsorship’.
What fests meant earlier and what fests mean now are two very different things. But their very essence is somewhere still there.
DU Students’ Exploring Delhi: Online Mass Bunks
It can be said without a doubt that Delhi comes with an ethereal beauty attached to it whose hangover can last a lifetime. Be it the spicy scent that surrounds the streets of Chandni Chowk or the shopping hauls that happen at Janpath, the swarming metro stations, or the enchanting monuments. The intoxicating restaurants and the conventional food stalls here can make anyone a foodie.
Outstation students never got to witness it. Even the ones who live in Delhi and nearby couldn’t experience what it was like to bunk classes and go to Qutub Minar and share a plate of momos. The closest thing that one could have done is to plan an online mass bunk only to end up video calling their friends and bitching about life.
Delhi University ‘s Exams: No Learnings
It’s not a secret that students love online exams and neither is the reason for it. The exam season which earlier consisted of all-nighters before the exam day and last-minute panic attacks that ended up with half-hearted consolations from a friend is now completely replaced by the frantic page flipping or internet surfing to find answers.
Because who are we even kidding, no one actually studies these things. The exams now are followed by smug confessions of all the crazy things that students do before the exam only to end up scoring well.
The open book examination pattern may be better for the mental peace of the students but the learning that comes with it is close to null.