I remember the day when an outstation student flight landed in Delhi. It was 19th July 2020 and I was somewhere between excited to live that dream life and nervous and scared. Well, there is no dream college life so I was just left nervous and scared soon. Everyday I realized that this university is not what I imagined it to be. I stepped in the city with expectations and a few weeks into my ‘the Life’ it crumbled. I remember sipping some ice tea and asking myself at that point, ‘Is this the life of an outstation student in DU?’
Despite months of crying while I was there, today I can say- NO, there is more to it. All one needs to do is hold on, just a bit. In this chaos, I eventually started liking the food. All those ‘exploring Delhi’ times with some friends that made me fall in love with it.
The worst part of being an outstation student is perhaps living your life at the beginning of every month and then barely surviving! This is when I learned bargaining with the Rickshawala bhaiyya. I had earlier swore not to do it after seeing aunties doing it all the time! But well this college life breaks tons of promises and bargaining is just the first thing. I learned how not to care about marks. Assignments are completed even after the deadlines and all I do before is cry about it with people who are more family than friends. Also, I have more families now- my society being the coolest one!
But no matter what I will always hate festivals in the capital. Someone please tell me where are they even celebrated! However, these festive times are now replaced by protests. Growing up in Gujarat, I never learned a thing about politics. Today I wear all the rage and anger on my sleeve. It reminds me of how I haven’t given up on the system. Most importantly, I can never be an ‘outstation’ citizen in my own country!
So yes, I went from being tagged an ‘outstation’ student and missing my place to being an outstation student and making this college my place. The term ‘outstation’ gives me mixed feelings today. I think it will, forever because I am officially in a love/hate relationship with this city and university. Now being away from it makes me realize how the metro is my best friend. I have grown a knack to make the best chai and wash clothes too! I wish I would have an extra plate of momos and some more outings in the second semester. Because I would be lying if I say I don’t miss my new home. (Who says there can be only one home? )