New Delhi, Nov 18 (PTI) Even though there were no fancy orientation day celebrations for thousands of first-year students of the Delhi University, the COVID-19 pandemic could still not dampen the excitement that comes on the first day of college.
While the colleges are still closed in view of the pandemic, the new academic session for the freshers began from Wednesday after a delay of over four months.
'Every year when I used to read in newspapers about the first day at DU, it almost felt like a red carpet welcome. I had plans about what will I wear on the first day, how my first picture on the campus will be. All of that was held online. This is the new normal and we have no choice but to adapt,' Sonakshi Tyagi, a fresher at Gargi College, said.
Maitreyi college students had an online orientation session which was live streamed.
'It was very different from what my school seniors or my elder sister had as a first day of college but still the excitement was the same. I felt sad but then this is how the whole world is operating at the moment,' Shrutika, a Political Science student, said.
Every year, the first day of college is usually marked by warm welcome with flowers, cafeteria interactions with seniors and orientation day celebrations.
Puran Bisht, a Shivaji college student, said, 'It was not like you are going to interact with 20 people and make friends for the rest of your lives. It was the same feel of being at home and attending classes.' Hindu College, Miranda House, St Stephen's College, Shri Ram College of Commerce, Ramjas College and others have opted for an online orientation process introducing students to college officials, various societies and fellow students.
During the orientation ceremonies, colleges are also laying emphasis on the impact of COVID-19 on mental health of students.
First-year students are also being introduced to college counsellors and online sessions are being lined up with these counsellors.
The Delhi University Students' Union (DUSU), which used to organise a welcome drive for freshers everywhere and used to distribute flowers and chocolates, has also planned online interactive sessions and events this year.
'Since students cannot come to college, we will reach out to them. Till last year, the experience of the first day was very different. We used to visit all colleges, meet the students in societies, welcomed them with chocolates and parties and get-togethers. But this year, we are planning to organise online events where students can also participate,' Akshit Dahiya, the DUSU president, said.
Over 68,000 of the 70,000 undergraduate seats have been filled so far under five cut-off lists.
This year, the admission process was completely online in view of the pandemic.
While the university was scheduled to come out with a special cut-off list for remaining seats, further admission process has been deferred due to many university officials testing positive for coronavirus. PTI GJS SNE