Shomira Sanyal

A sleepy and laid-back town is an unlikely place to nurture aspirations of academic excellence. Barring the conventional pan-India phenomena of students aspiring to join the IITs1, leaving the place to pursue a course in ‘Arts’ still remains unimaginable. At the precise year of my passing class X, no CBSE2 school in my hometown (except the far flung Kendriya Vidyalayas3 ) offered Arts as an option at the +2 level. Dreaming of joining Delhi University two years later and more so the reputed Lady Shri Ram College for Women?? Well-nigh impossible!

Compromising a shift to the ISC4 board over incurring expenditure to leave the city to study elsewhere at that juncture was the only choice. It did not help that the new school was small—only two students had opted for the Arts stream and that faculty was part time. Dreams of moving, fading or a resolve strengthened were daily dilemmas. A new board, new syllabus, different approach to studying and answering examinations, were certainly daunting. “Will I, won’t I?” dodged me each day. Friends and peers grappled with their routines of tuition classes and entrance examination preparations, leaving no time to share, discuss and reassure. But surely, even at that stage, I was unwilling to give up my dream. Not quite yet. Perhaps no one else, I believe, scrutinized the LSR5 website so frequently! The college, its activities, the agonizingly high cut-off percentages of the previous year…I believed deep down, I could. I was willing to walk the extra mile, self study and reach the place I saw as an opportunity to widen my horizon.

Almost at the end of my first year in college today, I realize it was well worth the effort. Attending seminars, participating in a myriad of activities, often spoilt for choice and regrets for over-lapping events…I have grown as an individual. For the first time, I am experiencing ‘education’ and not merely literacy. A note of all the programs I have attended in my diary, be it the department, Voluntary Agency Placement Program, Women’s Development Cell or the film society screenings, is a constant reminder of what I have gained. I am unwilling to trade this for anything else! A random quote I chanced upon on Facebook, probably summarizes it best for me, “A year ago, I would’ve never pictured my life the way it is now!”

1 Indian Institute of Technology
2 Central Board of Secondary Education
3 Central Government schools
4 Indian School Certificate Exams
5 Acronym for Lady Shri Ram College