My orientation day at St Joseph’s was a puzzling experience. I was expected to know the numerous regulations and guidelines and also make new friends the same day itself. But I ended up being more scared. So on the first day of my college, I remember clutching my new bag tightly. Questioning whether should I proceed with the plan of staying home and sitting cozily in my beanbag while watching friends.
But my parents pestered me to go to college. As luck would have it, it started raining. Trying her best to control her laugh, Amma said “Maybe Lord Indra is blessing you” while searching for the old raincoat at the loft. My travel from home to college was honestly a blur. I was recollecting all the crazy, weird things that happened at my school canteen. The memories now seemed like those raindrops trying hard to cling onto the car windows and running down while you desperately search for it. I am certain I would have jumped traffic signals, but then everyone does with so much pride and poise, the frequent signal jumpers looked at me with pity. The first hour of the day was Psychology, I was pleased to see Y and H who were busy checking the timetable. Cleaning his spectacles Y was amazed “We have Journalism Lab!? What are we going to do there. And after 12th Practicals, I thought I was done with labs for good” Due to some confusion, the class barring few actually ended up missing the first lab class.
Y started panicking. I did too. He was worried on the bad impression he had given while I was just panicking for no reason. We decided to go and apologise to our lab teacher and ended up bumping to CA. In his loud but soothing voice which reminded me of the waves at Marina Beach, he asked us not to worry and just meet our lab teacher and talk to her. And I realised that I have bunked my first ever class, not the first day experience I was looking forward to.
On the day of my first lab class, I stood in front of the lab by 1:40pm. My class was at 2:00 but I didn’t want to take chances, I had heard my lab teacher is strict. In 10 minutes, my classmates have reached as well and after either staring at their face for too long and exchanging forced smiles, the heads would slowly bend down to their phones.
A new face walks in with a laptop in hand, her spectacles gleamed due to sunlight. I only realised she was our lab teacher. “Is she actually strict?!”- I had wondered. The thought process abruptly stopped when she addressed us and questioned the majority of students on the absence of our first class. The command in her voice ensured my head was down and I decided to focus on my bag’s logo while she continued talking.
AM looks really young and I was relieved when many had doubted her as being a student as well. “Dead Baby Jokes”, while introducing herself she silently slips the information on how she love this genre of jokes as well. I made a mental note to boast of having a teacher who loves these type of jokes to K. K probably has the best collection of dead baby jokes that make you cringe, cry and chuckle simultaneously. Later in the day, when I did rub on his face about the cool teachers I have, I managed to ensure K was jealous of me.
In between AM’s explanation on the first newspaper, I turn around to see a cocktail of emotions. Few are happy, few are daydreaming and few look like they are questioning the decision of joining this course. I was actually excited on what was being explained about the first ever news paper. She said certain facts and information I wasn’t aware on. AM continued explaining about having a working version of some Adobe software. She said “Those who have MacBook would have a huge problem.” And I stared at my shiny MacBook. She must have noted me doing that and would have imagined the dark times ahead for me. She looked at me and I am pretty sure she had a smirk. I managed to have an awkward smile as well.
At the end of the day, I finally did not feel lonely or scared. I wasn’t feeling confident either. But it was a positive change until H tapped my shoulder and A asked “Eda, don’t you have a MacBook!?” And in what A believed to be a whisper, (it was really loud that a second year patted my shoulder) Are you going to buy the software… or sell the laptop now?” And I started freaking out again but this time with a solid reason to back why I was.