As my first year in college comes to an end and I am on my way to become one of the ‘seniors’, I often have dreams and thoughts of my first days in college. Those days of terror — of hiding from seniors, being thankful if I managed to sneak past a large of group of them and cursing my fate if I didn’t! Now after a year in college, I often laugh at those memories of my terror and fear, of how some of my friends would lock themselves up in their rooms to avoid the interactions! How thankful we were for the strict no-ragging policy in college!
Then again, even more often I think about the loss this lack of interaction led to! I mean on attending the farewell of the fourth years I realized I don’t know my seniors! My father had always told me about how cool his seniors were and how they all still meet each other and hangout at times! What can I tell him?
“Dad, Archit sir taught me DS.”
“Oh! Sanidhya Kashyap! Ya,he’s a good teacher for C-pro”
“Sankalp who? The music-loving IT-wiz ?”
Is this how I will remember my seniors? Will I ever know which shows Sankalp Sir likes, or that Piyush Shukla can sing? Will ITWS be the first words in my mind when I see Ishan Misra ten years later?? I most certainly hope not but most probably they will. That’s because I hardly know them on a personal level! That initial hesitance on my part and the attitude of my family and the faculty had created a divide which couldn’t be bridged completely in one short year! And this has often made me wonder whether the implementation of those rules regarding the 10 pm curfew and the no visiting to seniors’ rooms have actually increased this divide. I wouldn’t want to ask my boss for his passing certificate to make sure he actually was at IIIT-H too! I would much rather know him personally. But the way things stand I will have to! I sincerely hope that the atmosphere in IIIT-H changes and the inter-batch interactions pick up again. However this is tough without an active initiative from the student bodies to change existing rules. Just like overprotective parents who often do more harm than good for their children by shielding them from the trials of life, aren’t we at this college sort of doing the same? Shouldn’t we actually encourage juniors to meet seniors and learn from them since the very start of their college life? Going to rooms may also be allowed as long as the juniors are okay with it. Recommending ‘healthy interactions’ between batches isn’t sufficient or even possible if we adopt stringent measures to segregate the first years from the rest of the college. Yes their safety is important but aren’t we overdoing it a bit? This is the question we need to ask ourselves and hopefully the answer we get will be the right ones.