Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Stephen's experience

It was a very hot day and my woes added to the heat. By the time we reached our destination, there were beads of sweat on my forehead despite the journey by an air conditioned car. All the way from my uncle's house in Gurgaon to our destination in Old Delhi, my parents and uncle kept on discussing about the landmarks, which would help us to reach our destination the next time. But, I just couldn't concentrate on what they were saying. I just felt...well, I don't know even now just how I felt that day before the first ever interview of my life.

My interview for the English honours course at St. Stephen's College, Delhi, was scheduled for 3 pm. I caught my first glimpse of my would-be college after our car turned a corner, which sent a chill through my nerves. Inside the college campus, everthing was so peaceful. The Stephen's college campus is so much different from all other campuses that I have been to in this one month. Whether it was Presidency College, Lady Brabourne College or Jadavpur University, I saw student unions, senior students, prospective students and parents engaged in a war of words and a desperate fight to make the whole situation chaotic. Being used to such an atmosphere, Stephen's made me even more nervous at first with its silent grounds, smart students,calm parents and admission officials looking as though they were doing a very trivial job, unlike in Kolkata's colleges, where they give themselves airs. I really liked all this though and it made me more eager to be a part of the paradise called Stephen's. But, I still couldn't get over my nervousness. I had never before appeared for any kind of interview, and I knew that the Stephen's interviews were tough. My cousin, Sayantani Dasgupta, had told me about her interview experience at Stephen's. From her tale, I could picturize a dimly lit and very cold interview room, and myself not being able to answer the questions as smartly as she had.

It was only when I was waiting outside the interview room that I started gaining some confidence. As the candidates stepped out of the room one by one, the others gathered around them to know what they had been asked. I caught snatches of what they were saying , and I felt that if I would be asked the same sort of questions, I would be able to answer well because the questions mostly seemed to be about books, and books are my forte. Finally, it was my turn amd what a turn it turned out to be! My interview was ...a sort of discussion about books. They asked me about the books I had read recently, and what I thought about them. Slowly and steadily, I went on to discuss a few Bengali and English books with them. But, I thought that my last answer was the best one. They asked me, "Which part of our syllabus attracts you the most?" I replied, " I had gone through your syllabus a long time ago and cannot recall much, but studying in this college itself is an attraction for me. Whatever is there in the syllabus, I'll study with interest because my main motto is studying here." Then, my interviewers smiled and let me go. I came out of the room very much satisfied with myself. It didn't matter to me whether they ultimately selected me or not. The fact that my first interview had gone so well was the biggest joy.

But, they actually did select me! I got the on-campus residence facility as well. Now, I am a Stephanian. I am a student of that beautiful place with its red brick walls, lush green gardens and rich legacy.


The Poetry Factory said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Poetry Factory said...

Delete Comment From: Butterfly

welcome to the city!
keep the posts coming, even after you join the college.

(i am a newspaper reporter on the higher education beat, and look forward to bloggers who give me a glimpse into college life.)

congrats on the admission, btw

Subhadip said...

Wow... Stephens!!! Congrats :)

Sayantani said...

I have been EAGERLY waiting for this blog post. Loved it. Welcome to my college. Or College as Stephanians say (because most of us like to think that the moment you make it a proper noun, you can only be talking about Stephen's and nothing else).

Your first reaction to Stephen's as a peaceful place is exactly the same as mine. After having been to about ten other colleges of Delhi in one week and enduring the chaos and noise in all of them, I remember my exact moment of walking into Stephen's, turning to my dad and saying, "Even if they only give me Hindi Hons. I will come here and study."
Later on of course, I was to realize that the decibel level in College was often very high thanks to all of us who made it our own.

Take lots and lots of pictures and keep updating us through your journey.

Kanchan said...

Well done! :)

newsgroups said...

Congratulations! I will write more later.

newsgroups said...

Hi Stephanian!

How is you life now? Busily packing for college?
Once again congratulations. Having to have an interview and having to be selected out sounds like the American Universities. Is this needed for all Universities in India? You wrote that it was your first interview ever, although you described other college grounds where you had been. Didn’t you need an interview there? Then what else did you need to do at those other colleges?
In Holland there is no interview needed. You can apply and mostly you are taken. Instead you have to proof yourself in your first year where exams are being held to decide whether you can pass to the other years. Only for the most popular studies there is assignment by lot to get accepted for the first year. The weight of that lot is based on your grades, so the better you have been on high school the higher your changes are to get to the study you want.
You will live on the campus, I read. That will be a big change I guess. I wish you lot off success. And keep us informed. Three cheers to the next stage in your life!

Butterfly said...

@The Poetry Factory
Thank You very much. :-) And, I'll surely keep the posts coming and visit your blog as well.


@Tanni Didi
I'm getting used to the Stephen's terminologies now like College. Students do make a lot of noise here but even then, it seems peaceful because the campus is huge. There are groups of people everywhere and none of them seem to make too much noise at a time.


At the other colleges that I went to, I had to sit for admission tests and not interviews. Those were written tests and I have appeared for them all my life.The system in Holland seems a bit different...

And, thanks a lot for your wishes. Living on campus, or rather away from home, is a challenge indeed.

reflections said...

welcome to stephen's! :)