Yet Another New Beginning

Mathangi Mahesh Kumar and Mercy Johny , II B.A. English Literature.

It has now been more than a month since Stella welcomed its newest, young, spirited minds with open arms. With the Fresher’s Talent Hunt peeking at us from just around the corner, we decided to see for ourselves as to how these young minds feel at Stella.

Strolling through the campus during break, we scan the crowd for anybody who looks like a fresher. When we encounter one, we launch into our enthusiastic friendly senior mode. We decide to commence with the obvious –

Do you miss school?
“Not really. I do miss the security and familiarity. But I am too happy with my new found freedom here to miss school too much,” says one first year undergraduate student.

If from a Co-Ed school, how do you feel studying in an all-girls institution? Do you feel the same/different? Why?
It is hard to not notice the lack of the opposite gender, especially if you have studied in a Co-Ed institution all your life. So how did they deal with this difference?

Swathi and Kajal from the department of History answer this for us. “Obviously, the kind of fun one has in a Co-Ed school or institute cannot be substituted with the kind of fun one has in an all-girls institution. So, yes, it is different but the difference isn’t something we can’t deal with and I think it is a good difference.”

Did you enjoy your reception? Were the seniors ‘friendly’ enough?

Although the web portal and the handbook repeatedly emphasised Stella’s Strict Anti-Ragging policy, a section of freshers still seem to have remained apprehensive during their first few days. “The “Friendly Seniors” definitely lived up to the name and I think it is a pretty good tradition to follow,” said one fresher, mentioning that it dispelled any worries they might have had.

Is the campus familiar enough by now or do you still get lost?

They flash sheepish grins and exchange glances, “We got lost a bunch of times,” begins one fresher, “but now, thanks to our classes, the first one in the main block and the next in the N-N block, physical exercise and campus knowledge have improved considerably.”

What is your favourite part of the campus?

Firm, clear tones that allow no room for argument, respond at once. “Green Hut and The Maggi Station.”

What are your opinions about the timings?

The Shift Ones smile and say it’s comfortable apart from “waking up in the morning”, while Shift two collectively groans. There is “the sun”, “the hunger” and the general dislike towards working in the afternoons that has left Shift two students seemingly grumpy about their timings.

What are your opinions about the dress code?

“I am comfortable wearing kurtis. Not a problem for me,” says Tarini from the Department of Literature.

Swathi has an interesting answer to this too: “We agreed to study in this institution knowing that there was a dress code. I see no reason to complain.”

How are the games credit classes?

The games credit classes held each Saturday are considered to be a boon or a bane, a good day for a hearty work-out or the sacrifice of yet another leisurely day to reach college on time, but Pramila, a B.Sc. Mathematics student, thinks differently, saying, “They’re extremely beneficial. I feel active throughout the day.”

What are your thoughts about the Union?

“They’re a hard-working team, they’re empathetic, and they’re approachable. I hope to become like one of them someday!” exclaims another fresher. Evidently, they have won the admiration of many, as their gleeful faces reveal it all.

If you were to assume the role of any leader in Stella, which would it be?

While most of them seem horror-stricken by the prospect of responsibility looming close, another newcomer has different thoughts: “I hope to become the President of Stella Maris, by contributing to the betterment of the college, while also learning how to manage my time.”

And of course, the one question we could not resist asking – Have you been hounded by the infamous crows?

As we speak to Swati, she tells us that she has just witnessed a crow swooping down on a student’s head, after which a volley of frightful screams ensue and, of course, the loss of another plate of hot samosas.  However, she assures us saying, “They may be brave, but a few crows won’t deter me from feasting on these delicious snacks.”

Where do you see yourself after graduating from Stella Maris?

“Hopefully, a person who has the power to make an impactful change in society,” says one fresher.

And as the interview finally draws to an end, our beliefs are re-affirmed in the saying that one is never too young to change the world.

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