Each year towards the end of the spring semester, seniors huddle in front of the iconic, immemorial academic block at LUMS. Each year, the academic block witnessed something surreal. Students, having evaded each other’s gaze for a good part of four years, now come together, eye to eye, shoulder to shoulder and look up towards the sky. They want to get a picture taken. The camera man stands and signals on the second floor of the PDC, and almost instantly, the chantings begin. It’s a countdown. Ten…nine…eight…and just like that, the picture fails to capture the nostalgia, the depression, the ecstasy, the gloom and other innumerable feelings that hundreds of people are going through or have gone through, together. These people are all joined in unison by the colour they are celebrating. For the years they went to the same university together, they enjoyed the liberty of not dressing up in uniforms. After all, university is not like school. It is something much more special. These colours – blue, white, yellow, red, green, orange, purple and some more – are uniforms they wish they never wore. For four years, they wanted out. The sleepy 8:00 AMs, the exhausting evening classes and all-consuming stress of examinations and grading instruments: my people thought they would have it better once they leave. No heed is paid to accumulating suggestions from the batches above them repeatedly saying that good-byes are not so exciting once you come closer to them, even if they are beautiful. Why would a freshman, a sophomore or a junior occupy his mind with the end-of-days festivities? It would not make sense. Anticipation cannot do justice to the moment felt in time, and every batch lets that moment come to it at the time it is due. Today, as I look around my peers all dressed in the same colour, much like a uniform, I understand that the time has finally arrived. If you look closer, the eyes reflect a weariness, a gloom that the rest of the body is oblivious to. It has not been stirred just yet. The good-byes are dormant but they will be ceremoniously performed, and that realization is starting to dawn upon everyone.
Going inside the examination hall for my physics exam still invoked fear. 40 marks could change everything, so an ox’s effort was required. Having not slept for the past 20 hours, the eye-lids were getting heavier as each second ticked by. Facing such adversities, I sat on my special Cambridge-provided wooden chair, which by the way, felt a little larger than usual – so that was another reason for feeling uncomfortable. And finally when the paper started, all other thoughts drifted into the background as I was battling the paradoxes involved in the study of matter. Continue reading
11TH May marks the day when A’levels World History becomes…history. As much as I’ve suffered torture of writing multiple-page answers and memorizing events that cover well over 10 books, I have to admit, I will miss studying World History. A’levels is usually all about studying the horrifying Vectors and Calculus, combined with a hazardous attack from Bronsted and Lowry’s acids and bases, along with a projectile fall into the abyss of biological mess. Continue reading