Sunday, September 19, 2010

Return to hostel

Three months of complete carelessness and placidness, throughout which all that used to worry me were very trivial matters such as deciding on novels next to read, coming up with ideas to write new blog posts about, and getting together with old pals, passed away very quickly. And now it was time to get back to the normal routine, no more staying late at nights and waking up late till afternoons. It was time to pack up little of my belongings and get back to the wacky world of hostel life.

I go through the weirdest feelings each time I travel from home back to the hostel. And to put into words those feelings has always been the most difficult task for me. I am not sure if those feelings can be termed as anxiousness, excitement, enthusiasm or plain homesickness. But one thing is for sure that they have become integral and inescapable. Thus this time around as well, I experienced those same feelings with a bit of inquisitiveness, predicting and trying to figure out how state of affairs would be at the hostel. Some major changes were to take place. I and my senior roommate were shifted to a new room where another freshman was to join us. Countless questions stormed my mind during my two hours journey from Hyderabad to Karachi which seemed like an endless one. How is it going to be staying in a new room? Will I be able to get the corner bed? Will my new roommate be friendly and sociable? How is it going to be meeting my old buddies?

But one thing that hostel life is very closely associated with is homesickness. During my first year, I suffered terribly from homesickness. There weren't any familiar faces to be seen. You're all alone without family and friends in a world of strangers with no privacy of your own. You miss homemade food, and you miss out watching your favorite TV shows. Continuously trying really hard to form an intimacy with your seniors and please them, you try your level best to adjust to this place where you have planned to stay for at least a few more years. In the process, you sometimes feel extremely miserable that you even start wondering why you ever decided to come to this place.

But eventually, you learn to cope with the situation emerging as a more strong and independent person all together. And it is only then that the hostel life offers to you its real charms. These charms are the stories so exceptional that you will never forget them, experiences you're proud of having experienced, characters you have so closely observed, lives you have lived, surprised parties you have organized for your friends, quarrels you have solved, friends you are so fortunate to meet, movies you have watched till late at nights, deliveries you have made, and little life's lessons that you have learned. It's nothing less than an exceptional stay at a place where you get to learn a lot. If you feel school and university have taught you all that was required, hold back with this opinion until you get into a hostel. And honestly, you're surely missing out something if you've never stayed at a hostel!

Friday, September 10, 2010

The fuss over registration

One can never imagine what one might have to go through while his/her exceptional studying experience at IBA. You become indubitable sufferers of insomnia, dealing with multiple tasks at time, and successfully finishing your assignments just before the deadline. So that it could be assured that by the time you leave IBA, you have supposedly excelled in facing the real world challenges awaiting you.

You are burdened so heavily with pop-up quizzes, assignments, lengthy reports, and final presentations, that by the time you reach the end of the semester, your once gleaming eyes have turned all sullen with no glow left in them, the straightened hairs have all gone disheveled, and the dark bags under your eyes have all turned out to be as dark as the kohl you have so meticulously applied to your eyes. But, WAIT, all of it is acceptable. No complaining and whining about it at all. After all, we ourselves have committed to give our best in exchange for our high aims and ambitions. Don’t we ourselves dare to dream of becoming the future CEOs and corporate managers working in multinational companies? Don’t we take pride in ourselves being part of IBA? And sometimes even go the extent of being a bragging boaster.

But, what seems most unacceptable and tormenting about IBA to me is its cursed registration process, an inescapable major source of great mental anguish. It's nothing less than a torture. First, there are hours spent on grasping the convoluted timetable itself which most of the time keeps on changing and most probably won't be the same the next you go looking for it making you all the more crazy and mad. The IBA administration made it more difficult this time. Previously, one did the selection on the basis of teachers only. But this time around, it wasn't just about deciding on the teachers but courses as well. Had it not been the guidelines from our all-the-time-available-for-help seniors, we would have been completely lost and bewildered. However, there’s one positive point about the course selection process, which I mostly tend to overlook and ignore owing to the tension this process generates. Through this process, we can actually develop familiarity with the various courses we will have to take in future. It can be argued that the process sort of helps students in increasing their understanding of the courses (as many indulge in discussing about them) and enables them to make decision for themselves inculcating in them decision making capabilities. So, let’s not complain about the selection of courses; it provides the liberty to decide for oneself and helps in developing the aptitude for wise decision making.

The real unfair part starts when you have actually made all your choices, decided on the courses and their timings, prepared and scheduled yourself, and then later when its time to register for courses, you fail to register yourself for the courses of your choice only because there wasn’t enough capacity. Could not extra sections be made? Or could not the capacity be increased? I remembered I failed to register myself for General History last time and had to forcefully register myself for History of Ideas only because I lacked the smartness to arrange a PC for myself. Luckily, there were only six students registered for History of Ideas, and thus I got into General History. But had I not got into General History, I would have to endure that boring subject with much patience for the whole of semester. And the irony is that all of this happens only because you could not arrange a PC or because your server went down while registering from the ERP. This sure agitates students greatly!

Image courtesy: IBA