My College Days: 'You gave me wings'
Rohini AjayKumar, an alumnus of St Xavier's College, Mumbai shares her college life experiences.
St. Xavier's, you gave me Wings'. Yes, I am a student of 'St Xavier's College' and just as we Xavierites sing in our College Song, I must say that the college gives wings to every other student so that when they leave the college, they learn to soar to great heights and attain success in whatever they do.
I was 16 when I first entered Xavier's as a student of FYJC (First Year Junior College) in Arts.
In fact, getting into Xaviers was like a dream come true for me. I am sure a lot of students in the city would agree to that.
Though I had scored a good percentage in my class 10, I never thought that I would be fortunate enough to get into such a prestigious institution.
When I saw my name in the First Merit List, I had to pinch myself to ensure that I wasn't dreaming.
Life at Xavier's has changed me in many ways.
For example, even though I would take part in various competitions at school, I always underestimated myself, my performance capabilities and my talents. I never had the opportunity to face a huge crowd or interact with a lot of new people.
And yes, like any average student, there was a time when I would cower with fright at the thought of competitions, be it quizzes, competitive exams or extra-curricular activities.
I wanted to be good at whatever I do, but the fear inside me would sometimes put me down.
But on my very first day of college, I realised that I had to let go of my fear and stress because now I wasn't facing 20-30 opponents, like I usually would in my school.
Here, I had to compete with 106 students; each one was academically good and active in some or the other curricular programmes. I had to make a choice and decide what I wanted to be.
Just like our English Professor says, "Xavier's can make you feel lost or it will lay a path for you to win and be successful. The choice is solely yours." Her words really affected me a lot.
I have become more determined and focused. Those words added a new vigour to my life.
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Image: (LtoR) Harini Iyer, Kannan Dubal, Pooja Pradeep, Anjana Iyer and Rohini AjayKumar (in red)
'I entered a Chapel for the first time'
My college believes that you should be academically good and also participate in every other event which you are interested in. It does not believe in giving up any one of them for the other. Both should go hand in hand.
Well, this also meant that we couldn't bunk lectures just to take part in some event. We had to juggle between lectures, auditions and meetings and find time to attend all of them.
Life is completely busy when there is an event coming up and one has to learn to make best use of the time that one has. I learnt how to value time and use it efficiently.
The most important experience that the college gave me was it provided me with an opportunity to enter a Chapel for the first time in my life.
It was a wonderful experience; to knee down on the wooden bench and look up to Him in one of his forms, here, as Lord Jesus. It gave me a sense of reassurance. I would regularly try to visit the chapel, particularly when I was very upset.
I can say that my college has helped me increase the respect I have for every religion and has strengthened the faith I have in God.
College life at St Xavier's has become one of the precious and treasured part of my memories.
Every day of College has something new in store for me; new people, values, and experiences.
Now that I have graduated, I miss my college terribly. But I will always carry with me all that I have learnt in the five years at Xavier's with me, wherever I go, whatever I do.
It has clearly shaped me for the future and I believe that their efforts will not go futile.Reader Invite
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Image: Rohini (4th from left) with her friends on graduation day in college