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Harmony in Transition: A Symphony of Growth at Ashoka University

Eshani Arora writes about navigating the labyrinth of growth, friendship, and learning at Ashoka University

Tick-Tok. Tick-Tok. The drum beats out of time. You shift from one classroom to another, amidst a swarm of charged young adults, all walking with a purpose. The crunching of leaves under your foot, the sound of laughter from the Mess Lawns as the mouth-watering scents waft from what once was Nescafe. You finally make it across campus. A sigh of relief.

My journey at Ashoka University has been nothing short of transformative. I started on a path of self-discovery, academic excellence, and personal growth when I stepped foot on campus, beside myself with giddy anxiousness, and it has shaped me in ways I never imagined. Over the past year, I have accumulated a rich tapestry of learning, friendships, and experiences that have irrevocably altered my outlook on life.

The pursuit of knowledge is more than an academic endeavour; it is a way of life at Ashoka University. I explored a wide range of disciplines in a diverse and intellectually stimulating environment, from literature to quantitative reasoning to philosophy. I was encouraged to seek enrollment in classes that pushed against my preexisting beliefs while introducing me to novel perspectives. I found myself participating in discussions that provoked thought both, inside and outside the classroom, owing to the interdisciplinary approach to education, fostering critical thinking. The mentorship and guidance I received have been instrumental in shaping my academic and intellectual pursuits.

The festive spirit at Ashoka is noteworthy. With a plethora of opportunities to partake in inter-collegiate sports/performing arts fests (such as Banjaara and Agneepath), volunteering opportunities to help make these fests a reality contributed to some of my top highlights for the last academic year. These experiences allowed me to develop organisational and leadership skills while contributing to the vibrant campus community. There is nothing like a celebration that weaves the crowd together as the most magnificent of clothes. The celebration meets the eyes of every student as you notice someone in the audience during a performance or just before scoring a goal as if its colours were a mid-hearty laugh.

A strong sense of community leaves an indelible mark on every person who enters the gates of this university. The community makes the waters in which we all swim. It is the smiles of new joys and the mirth of aged reminiscence and wisdom. We all seek a place to call home. It became a treasured ritual to hang out on the mess lawns in the winter, delay going to class, and enjoy the warmth of the winter sun while having philosophical discussions with friends who happened to bring their own set of friends. I established enduring bonds through these supposedly insignificant moments.

The Library Cafe became my (and every other Ashokan’s) haven during finals and mid-semester week. The amalgamation of the traces of coffee and the hum of meticulous study made it the ideal setting for concentration. Since I spent more time there than in my dorm room, I was able to keep up with my work and mature notably in my understanding of the value of communal spaces. After toughing it out during the Hunger Games (the midterms and finals), friends and fiends alike would convene at Aroma to melt into the beat and sweat until our hearts called for the luxury of our beds and the chaos of our entwined dreams.

I had the privilege of being a part of the Western Choir (rebranded as the Jim Jams by yours truly), and over time, they became my second family. The harmonious melodies we created and the bond we shared went beyond music—it was a deeply personal experience. It taught me about the intricacies of leadership, teamwork, and the power of artistic expression.

The path does not care about the terrain. On this journey, you could lose your way. I thought I did. Then I remembered why I started this journey and found my feet again. It is lonely, yet you find company along the way to help you through the strife or to share the fleeting moments of joy. It is freedom, it is duty, it is leading and following. I cannot promise comfort, but there is plenty to kindle your soul and bring the sort of smiles you only thought belonged to the stars. My future endeavours will be built on the knowledge, abilities, and perspective I have gained as a culmination of my Ashokan journey. It has become about improving myself and becoming a more prudent, informed, and compassionate person.

(Written by Eshani Arora, a psychology major from the undergraduate batch of 2025 at Ashoka University)

Study at Ashoka

Study at Ashoka