Humans of Campus

Unimaginable and unexpected things will always happen, but we’re more than capable of developing spontaneous and strong coping mechanisms. – Ruchi Shahagadkar , FLAME University

Humans of Campus

Ruchi Shahagadkar, FLAME University.
Ruchi Shahagadkar, FLAME University.

 

As someone studying pure sciences in high school, Liberal Arts seemed like a very far-fetched concept. It felt vague and un-rewarding. But today, at the end of my second year, when I look back, it was this very ‘far-fetched concept’ that moulded me into the person I am.

Ruchi Shahagadkar, FLAME University.
Ruchi Shahagadkar, FLAME University.

FLAME was never just a college to me, it was always more than that – it reminded me of home – something warm, peaceful and happy. It wasn’t necessarily the place or the extremely beautiful campus, it was more the people that I met there. The friends I made, the ones I continue to make, help me grow, every day. I wasn’t always outgoing and social but I did have a small group of friends, people that I absolutely enjoyed hanging out with – still do, just, virtually.

My first year in FLAME was like speeding through a blind-turn. It was chaotic and scary and exciting. Away from home, in a new city, surrounded by new faces, I wanted to experience everything I could – all the hue-and-cry people make about living in a hostel, sharing a room, fighting with your roommates, complaining about the food, sneaking in just before curfew – all of it. It was a constant adrenaline rush being on campus, attending new classes, learning new things, being on my own, trying not to get called out in class for being stupid and so much more.

I signed up for all the clubs I could, applied to all the committees, participated in all the events, went out with my friends every chance I got, spent nights strolling through campus, read and learnt as much as I could, spent as much time as I could with the tiny group of friends I had. I wanted my college years to never end. But then, they are – and so fast, it’s hard to catch on to them.

Ruchi Shahagadkar, FLAME University.
Ruchi Shahagadkar, FLAME University.

My first year seems like a long time ago – it hasn’t been too long though, just one year. But everything’s changed. The pandemic made me realize how important what I was going through was – how much for granted I took all of it. There are pieces of my first year’s memories that I don’t remember, some I do vividly, some people I wanted to remember always, but now don’t, some people I still talk to everyday. Those little snippets that I remember are what have helped me hold on to hope through the terrible year that 2020 was. The friends I talk to every day are the reason I still manage to drag myself through this year.

It’s hard to live in a state that can’t seem to get its Covid cases under control. It’s even harder to live in the constant irrational fear of what-ifs. I miss my campus and my friends every day. But every day I tell myself that there’s still another year, there’s still more blank canvases and so many new people left to meet. As hard as it is to find that hope, I still try, desperately.

 

Ruchi Shahagadkar, FLAME University.
Ruchi Shahagadkar, FLAME University.

We all go through different college experiences and a huge chunk of us will remember college as bright screens, overworked brains, headaches and tears. But I hope it gets better, for everyone – all the freshers, all the seniors, everyone who’s trying their best. I hope we all make efforts to squeeze the best out of all this mess.

If there’s anything I have learnt from the past two years in college, it is that everything is too fast-moving to sit down and over-analyse it. Unimaginable and unexpected things will always happen, but we’re more than capable of developing spontaneous and strong coping mechanisms. It all boils down to how much we actually believe in ourselves. There’s always going to be hard times, times when we feel down and uncertain of ourselves, it’s important to tell ourselves that we are, in fact, better and stronger than we think. Making memories and collecting experiences in these times are hard but I’m sure we’ll find the strength to be able to look at these times as trying, but memorable nonetheless.

Sure, we’re told that college is the time that makes or breaks our career and profession but as true as that is, it is also true that these are the days we should be able to look back to and smile and laugh about.

Ruchi Shahagadkar, FLAME University.
Ruchi Shahagadkar, FLAME University.

College is all about how much you can make of it and how little you carry as regret, later in life. I realize that college was never about the times I snuck out or the parties I attended, it was the experiences I had and the people I had them with. It was always more about what we were laughing at and not how many people were fitting into the camera frame. It’s always going to be about the things that shaped me into the person that I am and helped me grow. I’ll always remember my college years as bright sunny days, lush green trees and picture-perfect blue skies – surrounded by smiling faces 🙂

Ruchi Shahagadkar

Journalism major, FLAME University.

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