First Impressions of UG’ 25 batch at Ashoka Campus
Quanisha Saboo, Vaibhav Shokeen and Stuti Das are three students of UG 25 batch. In this compilation, they share their first thoughts on becoming a part of our vibrant campus
The moment I stepped onto the Ashoka campus, I was captivated by how vibrant it was. Being able to interact with myriad people from all over the world was an all the more invigorating experience after the pandemic.
In my opinion, it was worthwhile to have a checklist at the beginning that not only kept us at the edge of our seats but also made the complex task of the registration process much easier. In some senses, all of us learnt the importance of how systematising can prove effective when there is too much to do.
As we were new to the campus, we often ended up getting lost in the uniqueness of Ashoka—the red brick walls, the greenery, and the people in constant motion. Eventually, as time passed, we were able to understand the campus somewhat better, by incessantly asking people for directions.
Throughout this new phase, we have had our seniors’ backs to guide us in gaining a better sense of what Ashoka life would look like once classes begin, what courses we should opt for and how we can manage our time efficiently. As helms of the ship, they have been extremely accommodating and approachable for whenever we need any assistance.
The O-week was filled with an array of activities—from ice breakers to coffee chats; there was excitement all around. Even though attending countless events was enervating, it left us with memories that we would reminisce for a lifetime. With the days that followed, we had an academic expo, sports town halls, cohort meetings, club fairs, speaker sessions and experiential workshops. This helped us gain a sense of the future and also have a comprehensive overview on how to navigate our lives at Ashoka.
Furthermore, each club planned their own refreshing activities. While the sessions they conducted were wonderful, they also uniquely conveyed the very purpose that those were meant to satiate. From face painting to baking mug cakes to playing the game of head’s up, I cherished every bit of the meetings. These sessions gave us an opportunity to socialize and get acclimatized to the Ashoka environment.
So, my first impression of Ashoka University is that it is a perfect blend of joy and hardships. You meet different people, unlearn, re-learn and grow as a person. I loved exploring interconnections among various venues of learning, courses, labor, service, research, etc. To me, it was a real world setting with warmth. From what I have perceived in my time at Ashoka until now, You can never get bored at Ashoka!
The night before I moved in, I was very excited. However, as time passed and the University seemed only within a hand’s reach, I started feeling a little restless. I was anxious and uncertain, with countless questions looming large over my head. How would the people be? How would my roommate be? Did I pack everything I would need? Will I be able to make friends?
The next day I arrived at the Ashoka University campus that I had only seen on the virtual tours through the website. I came to my designated room and was pleasantly surprised. The room was pretty nice. After helping me unpack, my family left. It was then that it finally hit me—my college life had officially started.
The initial few days were quite overwhelming. There were too many events, workshops and tasks while countless emails lay unread in my inbox. Meeting so many new people, having the same introductory conversation with each of them got too much at times. But, the best part of it was—out of every ten people I met, there was always someone who could relate to what I was going through. They would ask how I am doing and if I am able to keep up with the pace of things. They would also assure me that I could turn to them if I needed someone to talk to. After each such interaction, I would think to myself that maybe these long-winded introductions and small talk are worth it, if I am able to meet people who make me feel like I belong.
Gradually I started to adapt to my surroundings. I got used to meeting new people everyday, sometimes forgetting their names and meeting them again to reintroduce ourselves only to remember that we had met already. I found people to play badminton with as well as people with whom I could share both conversations and silences. Ashoka University has now become home.
My roommate is pretty cool—we have great times together and also respect each other’s boundaries. Yes, I had packed everything I needed. Whatever I did not have, I bought from the Tuckshop.
All in all, the first few weeks at Ashoka University have been fun. It has been challenging but also very enjoyable. I was compelled to step out of my comfort zone but that only provided me an opportunity to grow. Life at Ashoka has started out great and hopefully it will only continue to get even better.
The one word that defines my Ashokan experience would be–different. The campus was teeming with diverse people all around. My first step into Ashoka University now seems like a whirlwind. A campus tour, a sit-down in the library, lunch in the mess—everything went swimmingly even though I was so nervous.
My first night away from home was sad, but the company of all the friends I had made kept me happy. It was very different from my hometown, Guwahati. From the weather and the people to the food—everything was in stark contrast to what I had been used to.
After the two years of lockdown, everything suddenly seemed too bright, too loud, too much. But then, the best thing about Ashoka is its people. I was surprised to see it almost completely student-run, with seniors always available to assist and guide us on every step of the way. It does not just end there. The juniors share a beautiful bond with the seniors, which was quite surprising for me to witness.
I met people from all over the world and beyond. I now have friends from Tamil Nadu as well as Togo. It opened up my eyes to so many different ideas, perspectives, cultures and traditions.
Interactions with the various centres for well-being, learning support, academic affairs was a holistic way for all of us new students to integrate better with the Ashoka community and feel more included.
I feel very well supported both by the faculty and seniors. Needless to say, I am loving every bit of the Ashokan experience.