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Original photo by Aditi Tibarewal

Offline uni: from an alternate world to something that feels like home

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Edited by: Sahana Inuganti

Entering the very-popular-on-Instagram Ashoka gate, you are welcomed into a new life almost. Amidst what seems like nothingness, there exists this “fancy” university, inhabiting these “fancy” people — 25 acres of land that prides itself as the “Ivy League of India”. This very disparity between what is outside Ashoka and what is inside, makes it seem even more alien when you enter the university at first. However, having spent a couple of weeks here, I realised that this alienness doesn’t last very long, and slowly fades away into comfort and familiarity. Spending a bit more than 3 days at Ashoka brings it down to life for you, makes the buildings a little less intimidating, the people a little more human and Ashoka far more familiar. 

On my first day, I saw this magnificent-looking building with glass walls. The glass was reflecting sunlight giving the building a shiny tint and making it seem even more like royalty. As I stepped into the building, I was stopped and asked to leave my bag outside. The building, the automated doors, the ceilings— everything exceeds your expectation. The heavy books with the finest print and a bunch of young adults looking at their laptops with incredible focus make it appear like that building houses all the intellect in the world. Intimidated, imposter syndrome kicking in, I left as I came. On my third day, I summoned the courage to actually work there. I got a reading, starting annotating it, just when I heard “ ****** comes and go, bruh” blasting on someone’s phone. I looked in the direction from where that very familiar sound came and saw an extremely embarrassed, apologetic face. Well, safe to say, that bubble burst for me then and there. For all the intellect, all the focus that I was intimidated by, people are still scrolling through reels. 

The funniest thing by far, however, is the fact that the people moving around in the corridors are the same people who are eating at the mess, dancing on AP Dhillon at 2 AM in their rooms ( rip silent hours ) ,or the ones you meet as you awkwardly hang your underwear to dry. You pass by people in the corridors — having put together the perfect outfit, you can’t help but marvel at their makeup skills and the air of confidence in their walk is infectious. You meet the same people in the mess, taking poori, complaining about how the lasagne basically looks like mixed vegetables in gravy, and all of a sudden, the wall that you built between them and yourself falls down. You just want to scream “I know right” and they suddenly become a lot more familiar, a lot more like you than they were a moment ago. Similarly, seeing people all decked up vs seeing the community effort that goes behind it in the washrooms, seeing someone at a 1 PM class vs an 8:30 in the morning, or (TMI) hearing the flush go off in the neighbouring cubicle— makes the people human, weirdly brings you closer even to the ones you’ve never talked to. 

What I love about “uni life” the most is that there are a bunch of people coming from different states, schools, and backgrounds, made to live together in the same building, use the same washrooms and eat the same kind of food. For everything that makes us different, or sets us apart there’s something so inherently human that ties us together. I roam around in minion shorts, with partly shaved legs, hair a mess, waiting to fill my water bottle only to find out that the cooler ran out of water — and so do you. And I think that’s beautiful.

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Vrinda Garg

Ashoka '24

Vrinda is a part of the Her Campus Content Team. She is 18, a fresher at Ashoka University and her prospective major is Economics. She loves how words weave together to create meaning, both literally and in the larger scheme of things. They force you to feel, to empathise and that's where her love for writing comes in. She takes pride in being a trial and error cook, drinks concerning amounts of chai (tea) and can talk endlessly about anything and everything under the sun.
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