The words fierce and fearless best describes me, Pragya Bagri I’m also notoriously and lovingly known as the don of FLAME. However, under all this, I’m a big softie who loves to make people laugh and smile. It’s quite unlikely to have a day without drama in my life, and when you stay on a residential campus, the drama often multiples.
Going to a liberal arts college was an easy choice for me but it definitely did not make sense to a lot of my family members. However, when your parents have faith in you and your decisions, nothing else matters. Carrying forward this faith, I decided to wholeheartedly take a leap of faith and go to this college. Till date, I believe that this has been one of the most life-changing experiences of my life that has transformed me into the confident and bold person that I am today.
Before leaving for Flame, I met some of the seniors studying there, in a cafeteria near my house in Kolkata, and that’s when they made me understand how this university works. I slowly began to realize how different this place was from what I had expected; it was better. It was on the same day that my senior told me about the award for the best cultural student and from that day onwards, ‘eyes on the prize’ has been my motto.
When I first stepped into Flame, I felt as if I had come to a completely different environment- a whole new world in the middle of the valley. It was a new place, and I had to stay in that place 24*7 for the next 3 years of my life. As I gradually got accustomed to this thought, I also felt scared about being able to make a place for myself here. To be honest, I love the spotlight and I’m sure the spotlight loves me to. The question was, were the people here going to be able to see that?
‘Talent night’ was one of the events held on campus that allowed you to get to know your batchmates better. When I told some of the people that I was going to dance for the talent night, they didn’t take me seriously. They simply judged me because of my weight and had settled with their preconceived notions of ‘she can’t dance’ because of the way I looked. I was not disheartened, I was just more fiery than ever and wanted to make sure my actions spoke louder than my words. From that night onwards, I was known as the girl with too much energy and confidence that lit the stage on fire.
Eventually, more opportunities started coming and I started to make the most of them.
When it came the time to showcase my talent, I decided to be my most extra-self. I dressed up as Hanuman and entered the stage eating bananas- full of confidence and energy Usually, it is hard to make an audience truly laugh, but my act was successful in doing so. Even today, my friends and I laugh together looking at that moment and I feel proud to have accomplished that.
Things kept falling into place, and slowly, I started going for all the college fests. Having to study so many subjects at the same time became challenging with all my extra-curricular activities but I was determined to push myself. I made sure that the entire year I kept doing things I loved and was always busy with something or the other.
Fast forward to 9th April- one of the most important days for me. This was the day the best cultural student of the year was announced, a dream that I dreamt of even before stepping foot into this college. My efforts and determination helped me turn this dream into reality and out of several other students, I was given the award. That was how the first year ended for me. Before leaving for the summer break, I felt as if I had found my family away from home. My friends and the people I stayed with on campus with, were the ones who were always standing up for me, being there for me,and motivating me.
The start of second year was a fresh one, and I was back with even more energy and vigour, ready to conquer the world. I believe wearing specs did manage to intimidate some juniors but trust me, that was unintentional..maybe. I became the Joint cultural secretary of the college that year. It was an opportunity for me to get more people to do ‘all things cultural’ and give everyone a chance to showcase their talents. That’s when I took up one of the toughest tasks- taking 60 students from FLAME to Goa for a fest. Now Goa can often bring out the wild side in everyone (HAHAH) so you can imagine the rest.
Taking responsibility for 60 students in Goa over a span of 5 days- had to be tough right? Sure it was..I experienced everything- from reaching Goa in 24 hours (it doesn’t take that long there was some wrong turn we took I’m guessing) to the bus breaking down in the middle of nowhere. But overall, what this experience did for me was make me stronger than I am and allowed me to be quick on my feet. Only after such experiences does one learn, and I’m glad to have been able to learn so much from it.
2nd year of college was also more challenging for me because I took up too many positions. For example- being hospitality head for TEDX , handling all cultural fests and activities on campus, dancing for every single college program. I was really out there doing it all. I wanted to make sure I did everything I loved, so when I had so many positions, I believed it was necessary for me to do justice to each one of them. But that was not it, I also had to make time for my friends because I’m the kind of person who works on weekdays but believes weekends are only for parties and fun. People kept asking me how I managed my time with so much happening but I only told them one thing- if you want to make time for something you’ll always be able to.
With this, I also became the winner of the Best cultural student of the year for a second time in a row (something that has never happened before in my college :P)
However, By March end this year, we all had to rush back home in a hurry with a feeling of uncertainty because of the pandemic. I believe that this has been a challenging year for many of us. Imagine having all your stuff back in college and not meeting the people who have been with you 24 hours a day for the past 2 years. So many students, so many concerns and the overwhelming pressure you have on yourself while being a part of the Student council can be hard to deal with. But I did deal with it and I am still working to the best of my capabilities. With so much happening, I can only say that college has made me even more confident than I was, I can’t wait to get back to campus and at least try to create a hattrick for the best student cultural award 😉
3rd Year , BBA Communication Studies
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- I am a Rainbow with so many shades of happiness to spread!” – Twinkle Makol – Bharati College, DU
- FAILURE, BETRAYAL, GETTING MISLED and anything that has to do with giving up has never stopped me from putting my foot into things that fascinate me – Ayushi Baaliyan , College of Vocational Studies, DU
- When times are low, you can lead life two ways; you either become your biggest motivator or the destructor – Niharika Singh Ahlawat , Maitreyi College , DU & OP Jindal University
- I had my share of ups and downs in college but at the end, good people were the ones who stayed by my side. – Manvi Anand , Maitreyi College , DU