The notice of college reopening had me overjoyed. I felt like a freshman again.
The last time I had visited my college was when I was actually a fresher in my first year. It has been two years since then and now I am a third-year student. I realise that in these two years, I have missed out on experiences and real-life lessons from peers, seniors and professors that should have been a part of my life as a college student.
The night before, I packed my bags and ironed my clothes, so that I wouldn't get late for my first physical class of the day.
The joy of watching groups of students making their way into the campus was beyond words. The excitement was visible on the masked faces.
But the COVID-19 safety measures made going back to college different. Students were requested to carry their vaccination certificates and a mask was a must.
On reaching my university, I saw a queue at the entrance. Students were being allowed in one by one, only after temperature check and hand sanitisation. The students also had to submit a copy of their vaccination certificates to the
In the classroom, the seating arrangement had changed to ensure social distancing. Classes begun and I was glad that I no longer had to stare at a screen for my lessons.
Despite all the rules, the joy of reuniting with friends, peers and professors was unmistakable. Over the last two years, the pandemic has had a deep psychological impact on students.
Locked in the confines of one’s home, many students have had to give up studies because of the digital divide. For all those of us who are dependant on the college or varsity infrastructure, going back to the campus has been a boon.
The pandemic has forced many to deal with the loss of near and dear ones. For them to go back to normal student life is definitely not easy. But the familiarity of classrooms, corridors and the smiles on the faces of friends left everyone feeling assured and hopeful.
(Natasa is a third-year student of BA LLB student at Calcutta University)