Registration week: As a UG25 highly unaware of the bloodbath waiting for me with registrations, I began planning my courses early in the winter break. After hours of pouring over the timetable for the next semester and asking around about professors, I curated a list of courses that I was finally satisfied with. Everyone was talking about ‘fastest finger first’ and sitting ready at 3pm sharp to sign up for their courses, but I wasn’t worried – after all, how hard can it be to open a website and click ‘opt-in’ for courses? All my satisfaction went down the drain when I clicked on AMS – and then kept clicking, for the next 10 minutes, as the website refused to load. Sitting next to the Wi-Fi modem at home, I did nothing but stare at the blank screen of my laptop with AMS half loaded. And of course, when the page did open, each click on ‘opt-in’ took 5 minutes to register. In anger, I shut my laptop 20 minutes later with no courses of my choice except the one FC I took this semester. A newfound stress came upon me to find courses to fit into my timetable while checking the waitlist throughout the first week of classes.
First week of classes: The first week of classes, no matter which semester, is always filled with enthusiasm, or rather, over-enthusiasm. Classes which later struggle to have an attendance of 40% are filled in the first week, with everyone in cute outfits that will eventually die out as mid sems come around. Everyone comes back ready to academics, armed with their planners and dedication to do readings for every class – yes, even the FCs. This enthusiasm is not limited to the classroom, as the first week sees a gym that is crowded at all points in time – right before the coffee and late nights and THC fries start catching up. Social batteries are at an all-time high, with loud voices echoing down the corridors of every floor and groups of friends walking around till late at night. That is, until the crowds start shifting towards the library and mid-sem week kicks in.
Mid-sem week: The problem with mid-semester week is that it is not actually a week; it is quite literally an entire season in itself. Mid-sem ‘week’ (quite the farce) this spring semester started when I was still wearing my furry jacket and boots to class, and by the time it ended, I had shifted to wearing the top I bought at Banjaara with chappals. Mid-semester week, or rather season, comes with the conundrum of having work due before the spring/Diwali break or after it. On the one hand, a few extra days on that Pol essay could really save your grade, but who wants to work during the break? Going home, spending some time away from your laptop – that’s what spring break is all about. Or at least, what it should be about. Instead, spring break starts with you practically failing your math exam and ends with realizing that you never started the assignment you have due your first day back. Mid-sem season carries on until it slowly merges into finals week.
Finals week: Finals week ‘coincidentally’ falls in the hottest and coldest weeks of the month in both the monsoon and spring semester respectively. Finals week is characterized by overcrowding at FuelZone for a coffee at any point in the day and having to fight for your favorite spot in the library; the library café is always full, and the air is thick with stress. Add to this, the extreme heat of summer, where you end up sweating both inside the classroom during the exam, as well as outside. If not the heat, then it’s the cold – because really, who wants to be outside their room in the cold? Sweater weather nights are made to curl up in a blanket with a cup of hot chocolate and watch a movie with friends, not to fret over the exam you have the next day while pacing in the RH commons (I never have it in me to step out of the building on cold winter nights, not even for coffee.) The entire student body feels like a community, as you see people with 3 empty coffee cups next to them pouring over a textbook and laptop simultaneously and can’t help but relate. The only people who aren’t there are the few without any exams that semester, who you can’t help but curse for their luck.