For College Day 1, Delhi University rolls out the red carpet

On Wednesday, orientation and first-year programs returned to Delhi University campuses after more than two years with the commencement of the academic year for newly admitted first-year students.

“Our journey to be here has been a rollercoaster,” said Anamika, who was excited to start Miranda House on her BA (Hons) English programme. “In the end, I’m happy to be at one of the best universities,” he added.

He recounted all the ‘firsts’ this group of students has been a part of: the introduction of ‘Basic Mathematics’ for CBSE Class XII exams, two board exams in Class XII, CUET for admissions in DU along with multiple postponements and cancellations. Since the start of the pandemic, they are the first batch of DU students to begin their first year on campus.

Now that she’s here, Anamika said she’s looking forward to exploring the different college societies. “On our first day they told us a little about the different societies. I will explore more in the coming days, but I have always enjoyed public speaking, so I am interested in the debating society,” he said.

The long admission process had baffled her new classmate Shreya Chauhan, prompting her to take up a seat in another college as an alternative option. “I had taken a seat in a government college in my city, Ajmer. As far as I know, it doesn’t even have regular classes, but this was just as a guarantee that I had a seat in place while this process was going on,” he said .

Although Prashant Jha from Noida said he “almost felt like giving up” throughout the process, his wait may have paid off. With 90% in his CBSE board exams, it would have been highly unlikely that he would have been admitted to BCom (Hons) in Shri Ram College of Commerce through these marks. But he performed well in CUET and got that coveted seat.

The tight admissions calendar means that many students from outside Delhi are still trying to find their way to accommodation. For now, Aditi Garg, who has been admitted to BA (Hons) Economics at Ramjas College, will travel every day from her home in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh until she can finalize a place to stay in Delhi. Their admission process had been completed only a week back and the college has not released their hostel forms yet. Rohan, who has been admitted to BA (Hons) Economics at Delhi College of Arts and Commerce, hails from Jalandhar, Punjab. After looking around for a couple of days, he finally found accommodation in Malviya Nagar, which is about 8 km away.

Most students would not have obtained their first college-course preference combinations. Muskan, who is set to do a BA (Hons) in English at Sri Venkateswara College, is one of them, but said she was delighted with her first day: “Even though it wasn’t my first preference, I’m so glad you’re here. The people, the campus, the faculty, everything is great and I’m looking forward to a great college life.”

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