Sitting here at NUJS, I revert back to the day I gave my AILET and screwed it up because of lack of time management, and cursed myself for not filling any other form. I did not appear for LSAT, SET or Jindal University entrance thinking that they weren’t worth it. That day, I was totally unsure about my decision and sat on the fence undecided. Those 7 days till the day of CLAT were the most difficult time in my life, since I couldn’t sleep in the nights thinking what could happen if I messed up the exam. Days were depressing and nights were haunting. Things weren’t going too well and then came the big day.
Two hours of exam and it was done, the key to my dream college was inserted-I was just waiting for the lock to open. My future was sealed. I was pretty sure that it went well and I would get any of the top 3 universities, as hoped by everybody. And then came the result day even after I dreaded it a lot. I secured rank 201 which meant that I could get into NUJS, Kolkata. I made it. Everybody was happy; my teacher, my friends and my family but there was one sad face among them all and that was me. When I dreamt about a college, I obviously dreamt of NLS or NALSAR because of their popularity and excellent faculty. I never wanted Kolkata because of the typical stereotypes of bongs and the city. I cried for not placing Jodhpur on 3rd in my preference list. However, it was decided. I had to go to NUJS and after talking to a lot of seniors, I figured it mustn’t be as bad as I think it was. I got ready for the adventure and my new life ahead.
However, the small campus, small little canteen, dormitories and lack of space shattered my hopes and my enthusiasm went down. I started hating this place from the first day itself. But as “every coin has 2 sides” I realized that having a campus inside the city has its own benefits too, like proximity to shopping centers like Mani square, City centre, Acropolis for shopaholics; people who love clubbing and partying have all the famous clubs like Tantra, Roxy and Olypub waiting for them with women’s nights adding to the advantage. When it comes to food, park street is the place where you’ll get everything from a 5-star to “thadi” shops where you can eat street food happily, from Bulram Mullick’s sweets to Rajdhani’s Rajasthani meal. There are a lot of places to eat near the college itself, like Blue Poppy, Merico and Bancharams to feed you when you desperately need to go out. Mess food isn’t that yummy (don’t even think of expecting GHAR KA KHANA!) but then comes Biju Da, saviour of all, his maggi and dosas and Mashi’s burger and pasta save you from the dull mess food.
Starting with my personal experience at this place, I remember sitting in the big dorm with 20 more girls and sharing our CLAT stories and much more and suddenly, the campus didn’t seem to be that bad. I realized that you would never feel alone here as you’ll always be surrounded by your friends, and first year is the time you feel alone and home-sick most of the time but that is not the case if you are in NUJS. We remember being called for the so-called positive interaction, and to bluntly put it “ragging”. It was a time which taught us a lot about college and the life skills which we had to adapt to survive here, and that is the struggle to attend the 9:30 am class after sleeping at 5 am in the morning. There is nothing to hate about this place. These 6 months have made me a person which I never could have imagined myself being. We know how to not take a bath for 3 days and look fresh forever, we know the fun of getting up at 9:20 for contracts class, hunt for the handout and sit in “lovely’s” class confidently lying that we have read the cases, we know how its comfortable to attend classes in Pyjamas and shorts. We know the morning battle between food and sleep and that the latter always manages to win over hunger. The diversity of people and loving seniors who are no less than friends to you adds to the awesomeness of this place. Being a Noojie (Yeah, that’s what we prefer to call ourselves!), you know very well how to sleep in classes by keeping your eyes wide open. Mess and library are our place to socialize. There is less eating and studying and more talking there.
The college schedule also is so hectic that you don’t get time out of the projects to roam around much, mid-Sem and “contracts” in first year, and rest of the time is taken away by inter-batch sports matches, cultural nights, NUJS MUN, PD and HSF Moot, and the most awaited time of the year-INVICTA & OUTLAWED. Time during intra-moot, debate and ADR rounds was the time I loved the most about college because college was all about law culture then (law school mein jaakar moot nahi kiya to kya kiya boss?). Competition law, criminal law and contract law were being discussed in mess, class rooms, recreation room and washrooms. Library was filled with people trying to crack their moot issue.
Talking of food, the mess doesn’t serve delicacies or something but we know the fun of eating out, the fun of having dosa at Biju’s, walking to Chingri at 5 am in the morning or maybe 2 am at night and have maggi there with the stupid bunch you have. We know how jumping over the railings and going to Pattu da everyday and eating ice-cream there. The curfew timing of 11 pm is just another benefit of being in this college because you can get in anytime you want with an innocent smile on your face and a sorry, and these mashis and dadas will forgive you. After coming here, I’ve realised that BONGS are the sweetest people on the entire planet, they are just as sweet as their Rosogullas and the Sandesh. The 11 pm movie nights with friends to the nearest cinema hall-carnival and walking back to the hostel at 1 am in the night keeps adding little adventure to life regularly. When you have nothing to do, table tennis comes as savior, and in recreation room you can play for hours altogether.
Talking about end-sems, it is the best time of the semester when you don’t sleep for days altogether and take small naps in library itself-you can be found anywhere on table, chairs, floor or maybe in a corner. The 3 am karaoke nights, 5 am selfies , and 7 am mess ki chai gets added to the routine. We know what exactly college life is because we know how to do group studies-the intense discussion of “balfour v balfour” or “pannalal jankidas” can be cherished only as an NUJS student.
Presently, as I sit here reminiscing about my first semester, I realize that 6 months have passed. Now, I can certainly say that time flew by and it has been the best time of my life. I have never lived as freely and independently like this. I have never had this much fun and I wait for the next 4.5 years and hope they go well too. Differently from the past, I take pride in saying that I am a part of this premier institute of the country.
We’d like to thank Aastha Sharma (Batch 2021, WBNUJS) for taking out time from her busy schedule and sharing her experiences with all of us.
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