To All the Opportunities I’ve Missed This Month

 

Living in Ashoka brings with it many firsts: living away from home (Who knew doing laundry was so difficult?), interacting with so many people on a daily basis (I’m an indoor person, okay.), eating mess food (…need I say more?) and struggling to finish my readings on time (Why is it taking me this long to read five pages?).

The weirdest first for me has to be hearing my phone ping every five minutes: apparently, emails are a THING here at Ashoka, which to me, as someone who receives at best one important email a week, is quite novel. Now, I’ve never really believed in notifications; I find them annoying and distracting. Almost missing a mandatory workshop on my second day on campus changed that. Since then, almost every 15 minutes or so, I find myself frantically reaching for my phone because who knows what precious information those pings might hold. A seminar? A movie screening? A volunteering opportunity? A reading? A…missing oven?

Clearly, Ashoka is a very happening campus (as the kids like to say). Every day, in addition to the classes, there are a dozen different events taking place all around campus, and I don’t want to miss any of them! However, most of them overlap with my classes or each other, and since I don’t have a time-turner, I am forced to make a choice. My mind is usually whirring with thoughts like:

“So the Debating Union’s mock debate begins at 10:00pm in the old academic block… No! In the new academic block. But Siyahi has an information session at 9:30pm. Oooh! The Anime club is screening ‘Spirited Away’! Ah! I have an 8:30 class tomorrow with a 50 page reading! Is sleep that important?”

You get the idea.

I know that complaining about having too many choices is very prissy of me. But, I feel that the reason why I’m so caught up in this is because I don’t want to miss out on new experiences, on the coveted College Experience. FOMO is a big thing, people! And as someone who still hasn’t found their calling, I want to try everything! Not to be dramatic, but what if that turns out to be my one true passion? Later when I look back at these days, I don’t want to find myself regretting not taking up that one thing.

But one of the things I’ve learnt in my first month is that a big part of the College Experience, specially at Ashoka, is learning to prioritise. Yes, I missed a lot of stuff and I may not know if what I picked was the best decision, but my first month was still amazingly fun! Plus, trust me, you can’t enjoy everything happening around you if you haven’t slept in two days.

But that does not mean staying in your room; as much as I’d like to, I can’t spend a whole day leisuring on my bed like this:

 

It’s very important to find that balance, y’know. It’s okay to take a day off, but it’s also important to participate. It again comes back to the same thing: when I look back, I don’t want to think I missed the college experience. But it is up to me to define my experience-it can be catching up on all the pop culture I missed in the last two years (#CBSE), haunting the library, hanging in the Commons pretending to study, attending colloquiums, actually studying, going outside the campus for totally legal stuff, embarrassing myself playing a new sport, or whatever I want! (Cue Bon Jovi)

 

What I’m basically trying to say is check your mails, but don’t stress about missing out; you’ll have a great time at college no matter what you do! There are better things to stress about - readings, assignments, midterms, waking up for an 8:30 lecture. So let your phone ping away, do your own thing.  

 

Edited by Vasudha Malani