Elsewhere on this blog, I’ve written about the kind of feelings seniors make me feel. I wrote that post as a first-year at this University, when the then fifth-years were always the people I looked at for inspiration when I felt low, or unhappy [which was rare]. It was comforting to know that there were people who had, at that point, gone through the journey that I was going to undertake, and turned out, quite okay. Everyone’s on their own journey and path in life, but when you’re faced with new surroundings that you feel uncertain in, it’s nice to know that there are people who have become comfortable in these surroundings over time. I loved my seniors. Across all batches, I do think that each batch that exits this University leaves this place with a little more life imparted to it. That isn’t only because of the fact that there are more people who live here in each batch. It’s because experience gets added on the past layers, like the rings in a tree-bark.
It also means there are always more people to reach out to for help. Chances are that someone in a senior batch will relate to what you are feeling at any given point of time. Seniors are that weird bridge between parents & friends. They really do care for you, atleast, my seniors did for me – in a way that is both parent-like, and friend-like; making my closest senior-friends, family to me.
For the last four years, I’ve become a senior student to some junior batch entering the University. I don’t want to comment on what or who I am as a senior: that is far too self-indulgent. What that journey has meant, however, is that I’ve always welcomed my seniors back to campus when they’ve become alumni. This weekend provided another opportunity to do that.
Last night I went out for dinner and spent time after that meal with two alumni. Just me & one of my friends, and them. On that table, and throughout that period of time, I was the happiest I’ve been in quite some time. Nostalgia is a good friend who keeps you company when you’re around people you feel like you know from a past life, which is what these seniors feel like.
It’s weird to think that I’ll join them as alumni of this University in a couple of months. It’s also liberating in a lot of ways. My life here, on this campus, feels like a life I’ve lived to the fullest – and it’s an appropriate time to move forward. To seek fresher pastures, to open new chapters on that journey. I’m grateful that my University is trying to build an alumni culture, and I’m hopeful that it is a network that begins to become more interconnected as it grows. The value of people who share experiences is that they breed familiarity. Very often, that is enough to make someone feel comfortable in uncertainty.
Life’s always going to be filled with that uncertainty: so I’m always going to hope I have friends who are seniors, who are alumni, who are kind and willing to spend time with as we figure it out.
Naturally, this is a way of saying that seniors give gyaan very often. It all comes from a good place, and it’s often very helpful.