Talking a walk down memory lane would have you nostalgic at those times you spent in college. The thrill of being on-your-own, the heartbreaks, forming bonds for life, and of course, the insane madness! The ten-minute break between those lectures, which had you rushing off to catch your daily chai at the tapri, the maggi noodles in the canteen, which always had you racking your brain for the secret recipe, and the all-nighters you pulled during the finals. However, thanks to the pandemic, college students too now have only nostalgia to keep them company. Bingedaily spoke to adolescents, who have had a stop put on their college life ever since the pandemic struck.
“I miss those spontaneous plans we’d make”
Sasha Delilah, an Arts student at St. Xaviers College, Mumbai dreamily recounts her plans to pursue her studies overseas post Grade 12. “The virus gave rise to immense unpredictability, and I cancelled my plans. Nevertheless, I was excited about beginning degree college life, a new syllabus, the socialising, all the fun in store. Looks like 2020 had other plans.”
This young lady who just began her degree college says that while the lockdown has hampered the usual happening lives of the youth, it isn’t for the worst. “Being confined to the house has made me utilise my time productively. I’ve been designing, drawing, reading, and discovering myself.”
“This, at the cost of missing out on the college humdrum,” she says. “My favourite part about college was travelling by the local train with a good track playing in my ears. I’d bunk lectures simply to hang out with my girls. Essentially, what I crave are the spontaneous plans we’d make, simple stuff like eating at roadside cafes around Bombay, hanging out at Marine Drive or chit-chatting in the canteen.”
“We’ve had a year of our youth wasted”
Parth Kansara from D.J. Sanghvi College of Engineering has missed out on the college trip, and this has been a spoiler for his band of boys! “We have a tradition at college, wherein final year students go on a week-long trip. Students look forward to this, a sort of a #OneLastTime memory. Well, missing out on the trip has dampened our spirits.”
Parth is positive the year would be spent cherishing every moment on campus if it hadn’t been for the pandemic. “There’s a quaint little shop in one of the lanes near college, where we’ve made some of our best memories. Right from discussing startup ideas, to consoling each other through KTs and breakups, we’ve done it all over a cup of ice-tea.”
While speaking of how millennials have been unfairly impacted by the pandemic, Parth says “We’ve had an entire year of your youth wasted. Everywhere, there are those who are beginning new chapters of life, just beginning college, getting started on a job. It suffices to say we’re the worst affected.”
“I miss walking into class 7 minutes late”
This September would have Maniti Shah scurrying around, applying to Universities in the U.S. Now, with all the uncertainty that surrounds the final year exams, she says she isn’t even sure she will get a grade card. “It’s saddening. While all angles of the pandemic have been highlighted by the media, there is seldom focus on the plight of final-year students.” With a spark of optimism, Maniti is sure that college students, in spite of their ordeals are far from being the worst-impacted people.
Reminiscing about those college days, she says she misses everything about them. “Walking into class 7 mins late, seeing my group of friends huddled up on a bench - which was crying out loud for space, sneaking out of college with my engineering friends to get early morning breakfast, and well, the breakfast itself! I am from Mithibai, so excuse my love for the daily dosas, sandwiches and samosas.”
She chuckles at the thought of when the class unanimously decided to wear sunglasses to a lecture! “The teachers were all confused. A really sporting one even decided to join us in the fun, by putting on her pair of shades. It was a sight to behold!”
“We wanted to spend our final year, bonding. Who knows, we might all take different paths”
A Mass Media student, Siddharth Ahuja spends his time in filmmaking and photography when he isn’t figuring out how to juggle his lectures. He is dismal about his final year of college being turned into a movie-like situation. “The Coronavirus has impacted my 2020 plans by such a great extent, that I have almost fooled myself into believing that I never made them. I’d been planning short trips, film shoots for a year. And just when it came to the unfolding of these plans, the virus caused havoc. The only place I am exploring right now is my own house.”
As far as how he’d spend his final college year, if it wasn’t for the pandemic, Siddharth speaks of an internship being on the cards. “I’d want to gain as much experience as I could, before stepping out into the real world. With the pressure of the final year comes an additional strain - the fear of never meeting my people again. I wanted to hang out as much with my buddies and bond with them. Who knows where we might end up after graduation!”
He jovially recounts how when late to lectures, and questioned by his professors, he’d retort with a cheeky ‘Einstein said Time is Relative, I’m not late, y’all are early.’ Looks like we’ll never find out what happened after he said that!
This Jai Hind student misses the very things that would once annoy him. “Getting on the train, fighting for a seat, running from Churchgate station to the college gate, fighting with the watchman for not having the ID card, I never thought I’d get all misty-eyed about these!”
“We’ve had a tough time keeping our energetic selves at bay”
Tanya Dsouza, an SYJC Arts student, says she had a ton of expectations from her senior college year. “I was looking forward to experience Malhar - the much-acclaimed Xaviers College fest. Well, college life went downhill and we’ve just been stuck at home.”
“I wished to grow in ways, make friends for life, partake in all those little things that make college memorable for every freshman. The fun times, early morning trains, reaching home after a day well-spent! This is what I could foresee my year as. As millennials, a major part of our life is socializing and learning by experience. We want to live our moments. We’re having a hard time keeping our super energetic selves at bay.”
This teen recounts how she would comically be in a rush every other morning, in an attempt to catch her train. “Just hugging my friends, getting a cup of steaming hot delicious masala chai and then sitting to discuss the hilarious aunties in the trains and how we’d had enough of their never-ending ‘dhakkas’.
“We’d sit on the terrace, just letting time stand still and drinking in the view. We’d gossip about the mundane events of our everyday, work hard during fests, chatter nineteenth to the dozen, take power naps in the library. I miss college. I miss it all.”
“I miss my friends. Damn you, Corona!”
Jaden Furtado, a Hospitality Management student, yearns for the practical sessions of his course. “It’s the hospitality sector, of course, practicals are fun. Learning new dishes is definitely what I thought I’d be doing this year. Well, being at home is fun. But do it for too long and you’ll be reminded of the college life you’re missing out on.”
“If Corona hadn’t taken over the globe, we’d be learning how to cook up a storm with Indian cuisine. To think of all the delicious delights that were queued up for the year. This aside, there was a trip to a vineyard which was going to happen. Well, alcohol, a night-trip, chilling with friends, it surely was going to be a blast!”
“The hospitality industry has been affected by the pandemic, he says. “We’d be interning at 5-star hotels, otherwise. I miss my friends. Playing PUBG during class, skipping off for a Badshah falooda, which was pretty much my routine drink. Damn you Corona!”