Is this real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide,
No escape from reality!
These are the lyrics of the popular song titled Bohemian Rhapsody by Music Band Queen’, which aptly describes the row of emotions every Delhi University student is experiencing right now. The decision to resume physical classes was sudden and unexpected for the majority of them. Although the decision was welcomed by all of them, the later realisations have brought apprehensions and hesitations.
College life is probably the most sought after phase for every student. The freedom and exposure one gets through college is invaluable. College life is all about juggling classes, assignments, societies and department events. By the time students graduate, they become experts in time management, if not anything else. However, all of this was just a dream for the DU batch of 2020 until NOW!
BACKGROUND TO THE DECISION
Image Source- https://www.ndtv.com/education/du
The COVID-19 pandemic took its roots in our country in January 2020. With the increasing severity of the situation, the government was compelled to announce a nationwide lockdown on March 25, 2020. The students were shifted to online modes of teaching and learning activities with the hope that all of this would be short-lived. But alas! Who knew that the students would complete half of their college life sitting in the corner of their rooms with their eyes stuck on the laptop screens. The students were mentally prepared to continue with this system of education until Delhi University came up with the decision to reopen the colleges after almost two years!
DECLARATION OF COLLEGE REOPENING
At the beginning of February 2022, the DDMA (Delhi Disaster Management Authority) approved the reopening of all higher educational institutions. Many colleges and universities, as a result, decided to reopen their campuses. However, the Delhi University administration remained silent. This impelled the student unions to take up to the streets to protest against University’s silence. Finally, the Delhi University administration came up with the final decision of reopening the Campus after almost two years! The university is all set to welcome the students for offline classes from 17 February 2022.
CHAOS, CONFUSION AND ANXIETY
The sudden decision to reopen Delhi University was unanticipated and upturned the life of every Delhi University student. It put the students into a state of confusion; what now? The gravity of the insurgent instinct was felt by the outstation students of Delhi University the most, who comprise 65-70% of the total DU population. With no proper availability of accommodation facilities, the PG riots began, which not only led to a price hike in PG rents.
Moreover, this negatively impacts the mental state of outstation students as it becomes nearly incomprehensible for them to cope with the stress occurring because of sudden, unanticipated changes. The other concerns raised by students include the offline exam. With half of the semester being taught online, students are apprehensive about appearing for offline exams with nearly no experience of writing offline papers in almost two years!
HOW TO COPE?
Image Source – https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/du
Everything has a flip side to the coin, and the reopening has one too! More than a switch from online to offline college, it’s a transfer of culture, not only in terms of cities and the comfort of homes but also about socialising, experiential learning, being your own person and searching for your worth. The easiest answer to coping with this situation is to ease out and look toward the bigger picture. The feelings of anxiety should not be suppressed. The stress, panic and distress should be allowed to come out. Talking to friends and family and letting it out is probably the best way to cope right now.
It won’t be easy to break free from disturbed sleep cycles and mental space. But isn’t trying the first step towards success? The reinstatement of the choice of coming to Delhi University and choosing it to study out of a thousand other colleges should be rekindled and lived through and through. By stepping out of character and embodying the liveliness of spirit, the vibes let everyone sink. It’ll get better with time and, be worth every second of panic and uncertainty.