Stranded in SCMC’s Virtual Vortex – Musings of a Transfer Student

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My parents first mentioned SCMC in an attempt to pacify my lambasts as I sat 6000 miles away from them. There I was, a journalism student halfway through my degree in Sydney, unsatisfied with my course and horrified at the fees it demanded. It was in that moment of anger that I decided to make the shift back to my home ground. And in a few short months, I found myself attending my first online lecture at Symbiosis Centre of Media & Communication, as a transfer student.

Dumping myself into the batch of 2022 and attempting to forge new friendships – and that too online, seemed like an excruciating process to me. This is probably why I was a mute spectator during the first three days of online classes. It was only when an assignment was due that I realised it was time to emerge from my shell of social awkwardness and establish a presence (of sorts).

A frantic text to the CRs and a surprise introduction later, I finally began my virtual college at SCMC. MS Teams replaced the college corridors, muting the class was the new sleeping at the backbenches and behind the convenience of my phone screen, I struck conversations by reacting to people’s Instagram stories. It was fascinating to explore SCMC through a different lens, and even online college didn’t deter me from living vicariously through the tales and narrations of Symbi-sick students.

From the importance of Hira’s and Peter Donuts to the agonies of filling up project status submissions, I filled the realms of my mind with tidbits of ‘information’ that would help me merge seamlessly into SCMC.

But that’s where the rose-coloured glasses came off!

After all, to what extent can theoretical bits help someone on the field? Speaking from experience, not as much as one thinks (or hopes). The bottom line was that I was the new student who joined about a year too late; into a batch that had already forged strong bonds. And that is when the questions began ceaselessly looming around me.

How do I forge friendships?

Can I overcome my awkwardness to talk to these people?

Is online college making things worse and I am hiding behind my screen like a coward?

What will college be like when—if—normalcy returns?

Two semesters later, these questions keep up occasional appearances in my mind, only this time they aren’t as threatening. Do I secretly hope for a miracle to occur that will make me feel at home at SCMC, despite the social awkwardness and reclusiveness? Of course!

Everyone has heard that college experiences create some of the best years of their lives, and the pandemic has only increased everyone’s yearning for some semblance of that life. So while I stand at a distance and understand SCMC and Batch ’22 with the help of Instagram and WhatsApp group discussions, I take solace in my “it is what it is” mantra.

And if Covid-19 was merciful enough to grant us students a semester on campus, I wonder—will I eagerly join batch ’22 in making the most out of the senior year, or will I make a beeline for the corner-most seat throughout college?

Only time will tell.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed are solely of the author. The platform and the publisher do not assume any responsibility or liability whatsoever.

Krishna Barot
(Batch 2022)