The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep – Robert Frost
[Unlike every single piece I have posted till now, this is not a movie review. This is a piece of what I am experiencing right now in my life. I finished high school and am about to leave for college. I have decided to pursue a degree in engineering. To make this a reality, I have taken admission in Manipal Institute of Technology located in Manipal, Karnataka. This is a five day journal counting down to the big day: orientation day. That’s when I officially start college]
July 13th, 2017 00:14 - 5 days to orientation day
I have barely made any progress packing and there is still so much to do. Yet here I am listening to music, contemplating which movie to watch, sipping a mug full of hot cocoa, promising myself that I will do the rest of the packing tomorrow, just like I did yesterday. Sleep evades me. All I have done yet is sign the anti ragging affidavits (there are two) and declaration which says that I won’t do drugs. I still have to pack a few clothes and almost everything which is “not clothes”. I was just checking the official Facebook group for freshers and chanced upon my savior: a guide to packing for Manipal Institute of Technology. After reading through the entire page, a senior’s words echoed in my mind “Tu pehle pure hafte ke liye roz 6:45 ko uthhega. Uske baad full year 8 am lecture hoga to 7:45 ke pehle nahi uthega” Translation: For the entire first week, you will wake up at 6:45 (In anticipation and excitement). But after that for the rest of the year, you will wake up at 7:45 for an 8 am lecture . The entire process of packing my stuff makes me wonder what’s in store for me. I can’t put into words the exact blend of happiness, excitement, anxiety and to some extent fear I feel right at this moment. Until a couple of days ago, I was struggling to grasp the fact that I would be leaving my family and friends and go to a new place. I strongly believed I wasn’t quite ready for the change. You know, it’s brilliant how just casually talking to a mere acquaintance about something like this can change how you feel and make you much more ready than you could have imagined. It felt good to feel this strong fire burn in my heart; a fire with flames so fierce and furious that it can quell all my fears and inhibitions yet so gentle it can instill hope and confidence to see another day. I really hope this fire burns bright and sees me through my four years of engineering.
And with these thoughts, finding sleep doesn’t seem half as difficult as it was before I started writing this…
July 16th, 2017 6:00 pm - 2 days to orientation
I have finally finished packing everything I need to take. Excluding my parents’ stuff, I have 5 small pieces of luggage and an umbrella. I’m leaving tonight from Mumbai CST and will reach Udupi railway station by noon tomorrow. Manipal is just an auto ride away from there. Looking at my luggage neatly placed against the door gives me that sense of finality that I won’t be living in this place I call home; and it’s a bittersweet feeling
July 17th, 2017 06:53 - 1 day to orientation
We left for Manipal last night. So far the train is on time. If we keep going this way without making any unscheduled stops, we should reach by afternoon. I am sitting on an unreserved seat just by the door and am enjoying the picturesque route. The beautiful view is therapeutic in its own way. The cool breeze, blue-grey skies letting tiny slivers of the yellow sun through them, green landscapes contrasting against the brown soil alongside the grey rails and gravel; these elucidate a completely different level of awe and happiness.
It reminds me of the happiness I felt last evening. Perhaps a large round pizza on a medium-sized round table is the best “Last Supper” at home. The enthusiasm coursing through me is at its peak yet I feel at peace, travelling not just in space but also symbolically; travelling to a new stage in life…
July 17th, 2017 23:00
Okay so I met my roommate in person for the first time today. We finished setting the room up but were reluctant to sleep in it right off the bat. We decided to slowly ease into this new life by using the room for everything except sleeping. Walking around the campus has shown me the true limits of the strength in my legs. I’m too tired to even type this. I. Just going to call it a night. My orientation is at 9 tomorrow morning and the formal address begins at 2:30. As far as the campus goes, it is one of the most beautiful places. I’m so glad I’m going to be living admidst this greenery and natural beauty
July 18th, 2017 19:00 - 2½ hours after orientation
Refreshed and energised, I woke up earlier than usual. After getting ready and having a good breakfast at the food court, me and my family headed to the academic area for the orientation programme. We were in by 9:15 or so. Once we found the room, we were called almost immediately for submission of documents. The process took up exactly 3 minutes, at the end of which I was given my admission order and class schedule. I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth and quick everything was. I honestly didn’t expect it to be over this soon. I had almost 5 hours of time to kill. We then found out that around 15 students were assigned to one teacher know as their Teacher Guardian (shortened to TG). The TG is the bridge between you and your parents. He/ she keeps your parents in the loop and keeps them updated about your attendance and recent test marks. We went to meet the TG assigned to me. After that, before I knew it, it was already 2:00, we went over to the library to attend the programme. I really enjoyed the address given by the director, Dr GK Prabhu. The other addresses were interesting and were laced with a lot of useful information. Once the programme ended, we finished buying a few amenities and now here we are. The Manipal terrain surely will take some time to get used to. Walking up and down without burning out each day will take some practice.
July 19th, 2017 16:00 - 1 day after orientation
I set this day aside to complete all the simple yet significant tasks. I ported my mobile number and explored the ICT department building. I even bought some more things for my room. Me and my roommate got caught in the jaws of the fabled ferocious Manipal rains. My umbrella was completely totaled and my clothes were soaking wet. How would I have known that the short walk from Block 14 to Block 16 would spell death for my “sturdy” umbrella which I had brought all the way from Mumbai
Once I changed and dried myself up, I realised it was time for my parents to leave. They weren’t too sad to go because they felt they were leaving me in a great place. I couldn’t agree more. In just a matter of few days, Manipal has made me feel so welcome. I feel like I’m at home here. All the people and staff are so friendly and helpful. I am glad to be here.
[This has been a great experience for me and I loved writing this up. I guess it’s a good change of pace. 🙂 ]