DISCLAIMER: Any resemblance of the content with anyone’s lives is purely coincidental and unintentional. Although being based on real people,it is partially fictional. Keeping in mind my audacious attempt, viewers discretion is advised.

SHANTI BHAVAN, obsolete as the name sounds, is a place whose look and feel doesn’t fail to keep up with the name. Located in the farthest kopcha of ISM, the place at midnight will give you cold shudders and a sense of paranormal presence…well, almost.

All of us obviously had our apprehensions about hostel before joining, and to our misery, turned into reality. All our excitement was wiped off our faces the moment we laid our eyes on it. My First thought being, “No way am I going to spend an entire year in this place!”. The place felt really gloomy, as though we had come back to live in the nineties, like it were one of those places which had a dark history associated to it. You sulk, get visions of a dark future, seeking justice and vengeance. Your misery just escalates when you come to know how blissful life in jasper is, owing it to well-equippedness, with all the canteens, WIFI and everything that would lead you to NOT write an article lamenting about your hostel. Guys be living the lavish life, while we rot in Amityville.

This article is not a rant..well , almost.

Once you start attending class you are ABSOLUTELY OVERJOYED to see the gender ratio as high as the price of veg momos in canteen and you’re affirmed of being an alien from a parallel galaxy with all the death stares people give you. The struggle to find the courage it takes to stop sitting in the first bench, is real. A lot of my fallen friends could never make it out of the first bench and ended up spending an entire semester pretending to be awake. Moreover, if you are reluctant to converse with a guy, you realize you need to rewire your social circuit to accommodate only humans of the same gender. Before you know it, your facebook account starts flooding with friend requests and you have this sudden epiphany of booming self-worth!…But it doesn’t take long before you start feeling as if you’re on probation and under constant surveillance. One wrong move made and you’re simply busted.

You slowly increase proximity with everyone in hostel, see them unfold and get to know everyone, as it is a small place after all. You are intrigued by the different ethnicities and diversities under one single roof from all corners of the country and get to observe them so closely. You find your place. You find girls with amazing work ethics, girls who sing well yet disturbingly loud in the shower, girls who play amazing guitar, girls who have read all Dan Brown novels and last but not the least, girls who get amazing food from home every single time! You will find beliebers and you will find metalheads. You’ll find girls who ‘Netflix and chill’ and girls who ‘saas bahu and chill’. Girls who keep their rooms squeaky clean and girls who are hiding Narnia under their piles of laundry.

“Life must be so much easier being a girl.. you can easily stand out while boys struggle to leave their mark”, I’ve heard people say that a lot. Well

it’s merely a palpable lie, if you’ll ask me. Let me give you a better insight and some fresh perspective into the matter. Being a first year girl, you can’t ever embody your true self. You can’t give yourself the freedom to be you. You’re scared of labels, criticism, you know they’ll come to know of it and call you names. They will judge you by your demeanour, rather than looking beyond the impression you would leave on their minds as an outsider. College is supposed to be your window right? where you find your wings and explore within you and discover yourself. On one hand where it gives us opportunities, it also tends to create a shell for yourself. You become very self-critical and under-confident. Look at me, I’ve reconsidered going through this article a 100 times.

On a lighter note, good thing is, we aren’t ragged as much and bad thing is we aren’t really ragged at all! A little ragging wouldn’t hurt, just saying. Even at our very own fresher’s party, we tend to feel out of place, having been sent back early. Honestly, the worst part is when you don’t even have yourself covered, when you don’t make it in time to classes, just because of having been set back by a trivial thing, such as waking up late. Getting proxy is hard. And the one thing that I envy the most, is that we girls do not have an Mtech gate through which we could have the privilege to possibly sneak into hostel after 9pm.

So I’ll end this article with a small survival guide for the upcoming juniors, in case they ever happen to read this:

Some wise man once said, “Haters gonna hate”. Be bold and fearless with flaming self-respect rather than succumbing to the system. Don’t let people dictate your way of conduct and be the change you want to see. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Love and respect your seniors, as they’ve been through more college life than you. No matter what goes down, don’t let it knock you out. To keep yourself motivated and inspired, here’s a quote from Rocky-“It ain’t about how hard you hit but about how hard you get hit and keep moving forward!”

Shrija Paul

Serial KFC eater. Stunt double for catwoman. Imprisoned for a 4 year span. Have a self crush. The roof is not my son, but I will raise it.

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