The Usual Life - By Nikita Achanta

College is, as they say, “the best years of your life”. I wouldn’t disagree but I cannot agree completely either, only because I’ve been in college for a period of ten months now, and it feels like forever. I never knew moving to university would be this hard. I don’t adapt well to change but I do not think anyone does.

 Change disrupts your system of being. The way you live, the way you’ve grown accustomed to a certain level of comfort, your schedule set for a particular day, your usual life; everything gets disturbed and everything changes. They say change is the only constant and I do agree with that, but is change really necessary? Being pushed out of your comfort zone and thrown into a sea of pain without a life jacket especially when you don’t know how to swim (and are hydrophobic) – this is how I felt during my first semester at college. I felt like I was drowning, and drowning is never a good feeling. The demons of my past began to haunt me and I thought I could never fight back. For the first six months, I felt a sullen lonesome come upon me, and that I would never be able to escape the darkness. Being social has always been more or less of a problem for me, and I knew that college would just make it worse, but I was so wrong.

I think one of my favorite things about college – till now – has been the fact that I’ve grown. We all grow in our own ways, and it does take time and we need to be extremely patient too but some are not as patient as others. We grow through social interaction. No human, as Aristotle aptly put it, can survive in isolation. We are dependent on others to help us grow, and they are dependent on us. Social interaction is what builds us and what breaks us. I have met and seen so many individuals from different parts of the country, facing their own demons on the personal front, fighting their own battles; all of these regardless of age and other factors. It’s been ten months that I have been here, and it does feel like a lot, but this semester has flown by and I will be in my second year soon, not feeling like a kid and “newbie” anymore. As I walk down the corridors of the hostel block, I feel like it’s more or less home, in one sense or the other. As I roam the empty halls as I make my way to a 9 am class, I feel like the halls echo memories I have made and the days and nights I have spent here. And it makes me happy, knowing that I have made it through the hardest days and the sleepless nights without having given up even when I really wanted to and wanted to run away instead. There are days, still, when I feel like running back home to my dog and my family and to everything comfortable, but then I realize that this place is what is “comfortable” now. I’ve grown accustomed to it, and I have a particular schedule set for the day.

This is my usual life now.

Getting up, going to class, going to the usual coffee place during breaks between classes, sitting next to friends, getting annoyed and then getting happy, meeting professors and laughing at one of their sarcastic comments and sadistic jokes, attending more classes, doing assignments, using iMessage in between classes and trying not to get caught, attending even more classes, breaking a sweat and trying not to pull out your hair due to frustration, overshooting the word limit on research papers (more like under-shooting), more cups of coffee and more caffeine, meetings after classes, committees, societies, initiatives, more societies, more readings, and getting into bed at the end of a long day only to remember that you had a deadline to meet thirty minutes back, and then jumping out of bed and grabbing your laptop to do the assignment.

This is my usual life now, and if anyone asks me how it is, I would tell them that I’ve made my peace with it, but also that it is my life now, and I have no option but to appreciate it and respect it for what it is.

It’s a good life.