This article is written by Saman Siddique, a student of DSNLU, Vizag who headed a student movement at DSNLU.
College is different from a High School; it made me one step closer to being qualified for a career of my dream and also allowed me to have fun while working hard. The four years of my law school can be said to have both good and bad experiences. Considering DSNLU is not among the top seven colleges there are comparatively less opportunities, thus one have to be keen in taking initiatives to be able to compete with the best law students.
One of the best things about DSNLU is its student initiatives and being among new law colleges it encourage participation, which helps us to recognise our area of interest by participating in various activities. The Professors here are very helpful and caring.
My first semester of freshman was full of excitement as everything was new be it the place or friends. I worked hard the whole semester and gave my best but result was not good, the time passed off and I learned to overcome the flaws in myself. My past experiences made me realise that hard work is the only way to success, thus from second semester onwards my results improved a lot. In Fifth Semester, I was the third topper of my batch and I am trying to maintain it.
For me, college life was not restricted only to the classrooms. Thanks to my friends who are my partner in crimes, they always managed to find some time for me and make me happy whenever I have a mood swing. In these four years, I have made many friends. Some are close, some are very close. Some I want to treasure for the rest of my life. People had warned me that getting into a Law School is just like getting into a full of darkness. You will eventually end up in the darkness. But they never said that there will be some stars that will lighten up your life. Yes, those stars are my friends. They gave me a reason to stay here far away from my family. They gave me the shoulder to cry whenever I missed my parents. They gave me reasons to smile whenever I got scolded by my faculties. Life would not have been so easy without them.
I never had a night out in my life ever till I came to this college. Going out with friends on long rides was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. I love exploring places and these people always helped me doing that. Coming out of the comfort zone i.e. from being the pampered child of my parents to staying independently in such a city where people don’t even know Hindi gave me confidence that this small town girl can adjust anywhere she goes. If she has adjusted with Idly in Breakfast, Dosa in Lunch and Curd-Rice in Dinner, it’s very obvious that she can adjust anywhere in this world!
Staying in a Hostel is the worst part of any student’s life and thanks to my parents; they never allowed me to stay in an independent flat. Always concerned about my security, my phone’s call history always consists of my Mom and Dad. It was for the first time they had sent their daughter to such a faraway place and talking on the phone was not sufficient for them. Skype had always come to my rescue. I guess my parents will be happy now. After one year, I will be with them back in my hometown practising under any senior in the District Court. Even after staying here for 5 years, I have understood the value of my parents. Staying with them for 18 years had let me take them for granted. But the main essence of your parents is known when you stay away from them and you crave to meet them but you can’t. That pain is gruelling. And I have felt it!
As it is said, College is the place where you experience every single thing. Life has given me the opportunity to study in a Law college which has seen many ups and downs from the date of its inception. My college was formerly known as Andhra Pradesh University of Law which was further amended to Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University in the year of 2008. But recently after the TDP government came into power, it announced widely that a new NLU will be established at par with NALSAR in the near future.
Such an announcement sent frills through my friends and especially in me. Being from a middle-class family, getting into a National Law University was a tough call. In our families, girls are not allowed to go outside their hometown for Higher Studies. But thanks to my parents who sent me to this faraway Anna land so that I could pursue my dreams and become such a person who will not fear to stand out in the crowd. But such a news coming in, the first thing came into my mind was the frightening face of my parents. I never wanted them to break down. Tantrums from the near and dear ones, their hopes being churned down, and such things were making me feel nervous.
After the announcement was made, a Government Order was furnished and that made us more worried. The college wore a sordid look and everyone had the same question ringing in their mind, ‘Is DSNLU a NLU’? We questioned our college authorities but we didn’t get any clarification regarding this. After many unsuccessful attempts, we thought of forming a team who will meet the officials concerned and raise our voices against the adamant administration of our college. We formed an Action team comprising of some students who were really good in academics as well as public speaking.
I was made the head of that team. I was never a leader, but I was the first person to initiate the discussion of forming a team who will get the issue of each and every single student of DSNLU under one roof. It was tough initially to handle a group of 15 students, but thanks to all my juniors and seniors for supporting me handling the core issues of the status of DSNLU and asking the requisite questions to the administration. Our fight took us to the roads holding placards and demanding the government to take back the Government Order which stated that a new National Law University will be established in the Andhra Pradesh state which will be at par with NALSAR. We sat on Dharna asking our college to answer us.
We met the District Collector who assured us assistance. Being a staunch supporter of Aam Aadmi Party, it gave me confidence to follow the path of Arvind Kejriwal and sit on a Dharna demanding what we have a right thereof. We even sent a student delegation to the Law Secretary of Andhra Pradesh who assured us that he will look into the matter as soon as possible. Our wait was only increasing without getting any fruitful result. Days were passing by but we were unable to get any outcome. After discussing with every person, we finally decided that a student delegation will be sent to meet the Chief Minister Mr. N. Chandra Babu Naidu.
It was a tough task for me to decide who all will be going to meet a stalwart of Andhra Pradesh. It was very necessary for me to choose such students who could strike the perfect chord with the Chief Minister which in turn will secure our future. After some heavy gruelling meetings, I decided to send three students who were too good in Public Speaking and fore mostly were Telegu.
I was asked to accompany them as they all believed in me, but I had a different thought all together. Being a Telegu CM, a brief chat with him in his mother tongue will have a different impact rather than having the same in English. It was my call just with a wild guess that may be this meeting will bring in some good news. Luckily, the Chief Minister said that he will look into the matter and he won’t let the future of DSNLU go into haste. That gave a huge relief to the students of DSNLU, but the main tension was not averted. Till now, the future of the students of my college was not secure. They always had that tension of having their college de-recognised as a NLU. Students have sacrificed their pleasures and have worked hard just to become a part of this college. Being in a NLU is not only about a status, but also a pride to stand ahead in the crowd with their heads held high. It obviously gives them an edge over other Law students who are not from these elite law schools.
After a month or so, the Chief Minister announced that DSNLU will get all the support from the State Government and their status will not be de-recognised. This was a huge relief granted by the stalwart of Andhra Pradesh to the students of 18 different states who had come far away from their homes just to be a part of this University which was at its growing stage.
The day came when the first batch of my college passed out. Our Vice-Chancellor organised one of the best convocations I had ever witnessed ever. I got an opportunity to interact with the VC’s of the National Law Schools of India. The Chief Minister announced that DSNLU will be getting a grant of Rs.120 Crore from the State and the students will get every facility that they desire of. This was the best day of my life.
I have one more year left in this college. Initially, I always wanted these 5 years to end soon. But now it seems that 5 years were not enough to live a carefree life I lived here. I always thought of doing a Job in the initial years of my course, but now I want to write. Write as much as I can because writing gives me utmost pleasure. I want to make the most out of it in the last year of my college. Make friends, go everywhere where I haven’t been yet, booze with friends, have heartbreaks, shout out to the world, laugh out loudly, cry silently and dance like there is no tomorrow.
Life is only for once and this law school made this girl turn out to be a woman. A woman who is independent to take up her own decisions, who is fearless and who can stand up to any misdeed. I had never thought that law school will take the best out of me and instil such confidence in me. Now only I wish why the college was early to come to an end for me.
I wish so badly to be here for the next 5 years, to relive those moments I had with my friends, to enjoy the fun we made out of our lecturers, the classes we bunked just for the sake of going on long drives, the pleasure of waking till late night and watching movies and sleeping till late in the afternoon, take shower once in a week and fore mostly going out with friends to Seminars just for the sake of a short vacation. Life was never as good to me as I had always thought of ending up in a degree college way back in my hometown. Law happened by luck but what I am happened by choice.
In the end, college to me isn’t just a place where I have to work hard and study all the time to get my degree and get a job; it is a place to become responsible and independent. My college experience is going to be something which is valuable and priceless. These are the memorable moments of my life.