An air of nostalgia surrounds me whenever I think of the events last September. Life has taken one full circle and you feel the pinch more as a Masters student when the active association with the University lasts for just a year. I personally feel a year is too short a time…. a year passes in a flash…. and then all you are left with are memories to cherish for a lifetime. I am sure my association with my alma mater…. University of Southampton…. shall last way too long…. for a year was way too short to do justice to the plethora of activities a student could engage in whilst at the University… be it sports, fine arts, music, social activities, volunteering or pure academic activity.
Last September, one could find me filled with apprehensions…. of a new university…. a new city…. and a new culture. I would sit late at nights in front of my laptop, browsing the world wide web and trying to gather or rather extract some information about University, its faculty, its facilities and about Southampton in general. I am sure the Freshers this year would share the apprehensions I had last year. I would circle the Freshers events in my diary and take note of the special events to be held for international students last year. Each and every piece of information was important and worth taking note of. As I flip through the pages of last year’s academic diary, I enter a flashback of the events. I have distinct memories of each and every event… be it the Freshers events or the induction programme of the faculty.
Those were the best days of our lives...
I did receive a few calls from prospective students this year to the University of Southampton and my most important advice to them was to take life as it comes…. not to speculate so as to try to grab the future… and neither to rest on past laurels. Well…. easier said than done!
When I joined the University last year, and after the initial euphoria of joining a great university sunk in, I found myself on the back foot with respect to the initial aptitude of the class. In India, there is a lot of emphasis on theory behind the principles. However, in the UK I found that the general stress was on application of underlying principles. One was not expected to memorise or remember…. but understand and apply. It was a huge difference and the difference was worth noting and I took some time to appreciate it.
The adorable class.....
Gradually, I settled in the class and found myself at ease with the academics and general aptitude of the class. It was then when not only did I appreciate what was being taught but also began enjoying it. It is very important for Freshers to be on their toes in the initial few months when they are settling in.
Last September marked the beginning of a new relationship…. a relationship with new found friends… a relationship with the excellent faculty… a relationship with the University… a relationship with the beloved city of Southampton. And this September, as the entire class met for the last time a few weeks back, I wondered if it was the end of these relationships. Would all of us hand over our dissertations and go on our individual paths? Would this September mark the culmination of relationships born last year?
And the answer is…. a big No…. it is a new beginning. For now, many of us have stayed in Southampton – some in hope of a PhD with the University, some of us busy attending rounds and rounds of interviews to land a job – and some like me have just taken a break to take stock of the future.
Depart to meet again....
Hope the future is bright and we achieve whatever we aspire to! Hope to see each other’s bright and happy faces very soon! Hope to meet each and every one of us for our grand Graduation ceremony next July! Amen!