Due to this lockdown, everyone is somehow aggrieved. Let us grab a minute to realize the pain of the graduating students in 2020, maybe the unluckiest batch ever who are not even getting their farewell.
No farewell celebrations, no graduation ceremony, no last day group photographs in college, no campus interviews. In fact, there is a long-winded wait for the final exams too. Without this tradition of the path, all they have is a very uncomfortable adulting phase ahead of them.
Taking the step to another stage of life has always mixed emotions, excitement, and sadness. Amir Khan’s character DJ in Rang De Basanti says, “College ke gate ke is paar hum duniya ko nachate hain, us paar duniya hamein” (we run the world on this side of the college gate, on the other side, the world gives us a run for our money).
But thanks to the coronavirus, the culmination of college for this graduating course will be distant from what we can call normal.
Indians are tormented with Bollywood: whether it is doing an Amir Khan with ‘papa kehte hain’ or residing the ‘throw the cap in the air’ juncture. Vastly of it might not happen for many Indian college-goers, but there’s no damage in wishing.
No farewells for them
For every student, the most awaited moment is farewell. Farewell always hold the most precious memory for life. Impressions about which orientation one takes after college, coping with college memories, fleeing the cocoons, saying goodbye to friends. But the pandemic has stolen from these students of all this.
One of the students said who is graduating this year, tells me that when she came back home after the university asked the students to relinquish the campus, it was presumed to be for a week. “Week became a month and then I realized I do not know when I will see my campus and friends again”. She also added that “There was a scene in Life of Pi where the protagonist said that what hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye”.
We all must understand. They have all the right to complain. We all know how we still smirk gazing back at those farewell pictures, the titles that the juniors gave us, those last hugs, and a good cry.
But it is not hard about not being able to have a farewell or a convocation. It is also the anxiety about the future since academic training got suspended during the most important part of the calendar.
No placements, uncertain future
Mainly the placements start from the first week of February. This is also the moment when universities perform entrance exams for their higher studies programs. Those who are authorized may have sold into reasonable programs abroad. But given the recent situation and uncertainty about international travel, the plans might come slamming down. I know many who were declined the placements they had reaped because of the hazardous economic situation and job demand.
Other than this their semester exams are also at danger. The online exam is quite difficult to conduct all students are not able to perform online exams due to lack of internet connections. This anxiety at one of the most important stages of one’s vocation can be mentally excruciating.
For a multitude of 17-18-year-olds, this might seem the hugest disaster of their lives. But as Andy Dufresne said in The Shawshank Redemption: hope is a good thing and no good thing ever dies. Things might seem a bit hazy for now, but we can hope that everyone will emerge stronger from this, including the graduating Class of 2020.