Just few days more. Anxiousness, nervousness, excitement – there are just too many emotions your heart must be going through right now. It’ll be the first day of the class after all. You can’t just predict what’s going to happen!
There, my friend, you are wrong. We all feel that first days are always something that is unique and a first-time experience. But think again. You have been through this at least 12 times before! No matter what your age is, which place you’re studying or what expectations you keep, deep down you already know what’s going to happen. If you’re still declining that, let me bring it out for you.
PREP FOR THE D-DAY
Even the laziest of persons will make it a point to reach class a bit early on the first day. All will come dressed in decent clothes, bathed for a few minutes more than usual and with the basic cosmetics applied. You will have a personal checklist of all the stationary that a good student must bring in class. Clean shoes, fresh notebooks, organized bag, timely breakfast and switched off mobiles. All check. Yes, you are ready to go.
MEETING NEW PEOPLE : LET’S BE FORMAL
Now this is more true in Manipal. MIT has students coming over from all places possible, you know that. So obviously you can’t use your native language here. Speaking Hindi to a stranger is acceptable in a shop/market or any public place. Not in an educational institution or a mall. In such places you feel like using the sophisticated language called English.
You may never really choose to speak in English internally, but you are forced to do so. By yourself. So unless you feel really comfortable with the guy, your English speaking skills keeps getting brushed.
Oh and by the way, I almost missed talking about the awkwardness before the conversation starts. A smile here, a nod there. That wait for the other one to initiate the convo. Yeah, usually all that must happen before you start knowing the stranger.
LET THE CLASS BEGIN
So now you are finally here. Bell rings and teacher enters (okay, he/she maybe a bit late. Just hang in there). The minute she’s in, a collective reaction runs through everyone’s minds.
“Duh. Missing all her classes already.”
“Experienced hai. Need to stay away from this one.”
” Okay, so this course is a self-study. No hopes.”
And to those who were excited to see the only “Ms” in their faculty list, the reaction ranges from a heartfelt thanks to God to a “Sigh!”.
Then you get those laugh-out-loud moments, but you can’t really laugh! You know what I’m speaking of – that weird accent your new prof has, the (mis)pronunciation of some words or their appearance/gestures. You notice one thing and try really hard to contain that huge laughter in one small unnoticeable smile. And many a times it is in these moments that you break the ice between your classmates.
TEACHERS : SETTING THE CLASS
The least one expects from the teachers on the first day is for them to explain the course/subject. And of course, not to teach that day. But apart from that, they should do something else to kill that time, right? So they do any one of the things mentioned below –
1. Start teaching. Yes, you read that right. Without any inhibitions, some of our dear profs find it perfectly normal to teach on the very first day. What have we done to deserve this? Already?
2. Try their best to spread their terror. The ones who aren’t so expert in handling the class well make sure they do their best to keep us in control from this day (only day when the entire class actually listens to him) itself. But most of the times, it’s of no use.
3. Make the class philosophical. There are some profs who seem to know more about life than the course they are supposed to teach. And so, we are treated with an hour of lectures on how focus should we be in our lives, how our parents have sent us here with hopes and how grateful should we be for this opportunity. There are also some past experiences of the prof thrown in, just for impact’s sake. Of course, some do manage to make you really think about your life. But let’s just get it straight : it’s the same preachy speech that you’ve heard before, so it becomes boring!
4. Turn the class into a comedy show. You get that one teacher who could well have been a stand-up comedian, but is just over-qualified for that job. They make you laugh-out-loud with their jokes and you pray them to remain the same throughout the course. But sadly, our course curriculum barely allows any kind of fun. It is these kind of profs who make that first day memorable. Consider yourself lucky if you get one!
REVIEWING THE DAY
So you’re done with your first day in college. It is now time for the esteemed jury in you to come out and give a review on your new teachers, the new class. You discuss it with your old friends on how this new class is ‘nothing like your previous one’. Then there’s also your people back home wondering how your first day was. And for once in a year, you report everything that happened in the class.
TO CONCLUDE :
See, told ya! No matter which year you are in, first day will always be the same.
All the first years, don’t worry. Now that I have broken it down, there’s no need to fear anything. It’s new, but there’s nothing new really.
Second year people – teachers change and the class changes, but nothing more than that. Really. You might feel like “the first year class was better”, but you’ll get used to it.
Third and fourth year – who am I kidding? How many of us are even attending the class?
All said and done, let us all look ahead for a fruitful and enthusiastic year. Cheers!