Our own kind of happy
Everyone tells us, “Your college days are going to be one of the most glorious phases of your entire lifetime” and we note it down to be tucked into a portion of our memory. The phrase keeps coming back like a distant echo whenever a day in college becomes memorable enough to include it in the final goodbye speech or the farewell post on Facebook. “You’ll make memories that you’ll carry with you throughout your life”, they say. What are these memories? Do all the college going students have similar ones? Does everyone in IIIT-H have favorite moments that are almost identical? Almost everyone makes a bucket list of wonderful things to do and amazing people to meet before stepping into college and almost everyone has the satisfaction of checking at least the most important items off that list. They can be as trivial as ‘Watch a second show movie with friends’ and can escalate to ‘Make a road trip to Thailand with the gang’.
The experiences that come with the wishes on the list are surreal without a doubt but what makes the recollection of these experiences paint our memory with wonderful nostalgia is the group of people you choose to make these memories with. Randomly deciding to play Snakes and Ladders to pass time becomes the best ever start to a semester because we, together with the friends we play it with, have the capability of making it a thousand times better.
I found myself just the kind of people. We probably all started out by being ‘mess buddies’ because did you even go to a college with a residential campus if you did not start some of your friendships there? Almost every meal that I had over the last four years was in the NBH mess and was shared with these people. If an estimate has to be made as to the amount of time we spent in the mess everyday, I would say about 2 hours. Sometimes, it was less than that due to exams and some other times, just dinner took that much time. No, we aren’t slow eaters. We usually take like 10 minutes to finish a meal but we sure just love the idea of sitting for hours with conversation flowing effortlessly about anything and everything in the world while our plates and hands dry up hopelessly. Sometimes, the other batch mates get roped into the conversation and they don’t leave either. Of course, there is also a favorite canteen for everyone in college where they like to hang out. That is the Basket Ball court canteen for us. We have a tradition where lunch on every Saturday has to be eaten there (because the food in NBH that day is terrible). With i-Chill and Maggi or Dosa and lassi, we while away all our free time, so much so that there were days when we went there at 2:00 PM and came back at 6:00 PM.
Yes, there are times when we go out, socialize (sometimes :P ) and make memories for ourselves like the trip to Gokarna or the Girls’ party that we have every semester. These certainly add themselves to the treasure chest of happy memories. The next time I go to any restaurant where we had our parties, a wave of nostalgia is bound to hit me and I am sure to get all emotional and teary. What will however tug the most at my heart will be when I visit the BB court canteen and see some other group of friends sitting there, oblivious to the entire world or when I see someone desperately trying to pluck some mangoes from the tree in Parul Nivas.
If someone else were to write this blog, they’ll probably have a different set of things that make college a second home. Almost everyone here has found a happy place: a group, our house, a club, an event, our lab or even a course that made college a special memory for us. We’ve all managed to rewrite what college means to us and we’ve managed to define our own kind of happy in this place. Everyone has seamlessly stitched themselves to the fabric of Life@IIIT and we now belong. College will always stay a part of who we are and what we now set out to be.
All of this makes saying goodbye so hard for, it will all never be quite the same again. People will move on with their lives and will go on to find new friends. Many more accomplishments are in store for all of us as we are quite aware of the fact that life has just begun but I hope that even in our new lives, we will have a tiny space for each other. I hope that college will not just be our past and that we will always carry a part of it with us. Let’s all be sophisticated adults winning at life but forget all of that and be misguided and carefree teens again when we meet. Let’s preserve all our teenage memories in each other’s minds. (Okay now I sound like I’m dying). Okay then, farewell it is!
Signing off as a college student probably for the last time.
G. Pooja Shamili,