Have you ever wondered what campus is like during the holidays? On the long days when few people remain and are scattered around our sprawling 25 acres of ground? Maybe it would be something like an extended weekend, the residence halls and mess tables half-empty due to the flood of students who’ve left campus for the city. Maybe the semi-dried, green lawns would be completely yours, and you could collapse into them and stay there till the evening dew drenches your clothes. Maybe you could occupy an entire sofa in the common room, luxuriously sprawling yourself across it (although we do end up doing that on a regular basis anyway). To find out what campus is like when most of us aren’t around, we spoke to Harriet Lynn Kubani, a first-year student who stayed back at Ashoka during the winter break.

Q: Did you deliberately choose to stay at Ashoka for the winter break? Why?

Harriet: Yes. All my friends were staying back as well so I thought it would be fun to have the entire campus to ourselves to hang out in.

Q: What was the experience like?

Harriet: It was great! So peaceful and quiet. We had loads of fun running around and being silly.

Q: Did you enjoy being on campus with so few people around?

Harriet: Yes. The campus has a different vibe to it…it actually almost felt like home.

Q: You say it felt almost like home? Why do you say so?

Harriet: I guess that it’s really just the feeling of it suddenly becoming a more intimate place. Like there weren't hundreds of faces everywhere I went; it was basically just my friends around and these guys are basically my family. We had the fridge, TVs, and bathrooms to ourselves, just like back home.

Q: What did you do with your time?

Harriet: Watched a lot of TV. Slept a lot and explored Delhi.

Q: Did you discover any parts of campus you haven’t seen before?

Harriet: No. I pretty much know every inch of this place post-orientation week.

Q:  What was the best part of the break?

Harriet: Sleeping for unreasonably long periods of time.

Q. What was the worst part?

Harriet: Realizing that it was going to end eventually and having to readjust my sleeping pattern for when school starts.

Q. Is there something about Ashoka that you think can only be experienced by staying back during a break?

Harriet: I don't know about that but I did make friends with some people I had never spoken to before because there were so few of us around, so that was nice.

Q. Would you do it again, if you could?

Harriet: Definitely! I had a great time.

Q. What was one funny incident from then?

Harriet: My female friends and I stealing stuff from our male friends’ room and them not being able to get them back because we are on the non-access floor.

So there you have it, folks! Campus during breaks is campus without the hustle-and-bustle, with more privacy and space of your own to do as your heart wishes. And if you’ve ever wondered how it might be to run free across the usually crowded areas, or if Harriet’s experience has piqued your interest, here’s your chance to experience the quieter side of campus (an impossibility during the semester) because the midsem break is on its way! It’s an excellent chance to try out staying back on campus, especially because of its short duration--this way, you won’t have to suffer through it too long in case you figure out it isn’t your scene. So no mid-sem break plans? Think about it. Why not experience a different side to Ashoka?

Edited by Gauri Jhangiani