Let me start this in the usual way! A long, long time ago, a boy named Ralph filled with a lots of aspirations in his mind was nurtured in a conservative environment both at home and in school. Not a time did Ralph behaved like a usual teenager. His conversations was limited to people who were elder to him and never had many friends in school. However, during his early school days he had a friend named Sarah Jane with whom he is still in touch. Maybe, other students with whom he was studying saw him differently or maybe he didn’t come forward to make friends with people; whatever could be the reason, a large part of his time was spend alone. He had a lot of respect towards his teachers and a hypothesis pops in here that students who share a great bond with teachers can’t have great friends in school. As family played a more role compelling role in his life, he was and still is attached a lot to his family. Maybe there is another supposition that people can be either close with their family or with their friends, both can’t happen together. Ralph had all these hypothetical beliefs and carried everything when he stepped into college.
Having had a childhood far different from the usual, Ralph joined an institution which was extremely conservative. His college of study was in conformance with very stringent rules, some even going against the basic democratic rights of a citizen. Initially, he accepted the rules but later the surging enthusiasm of an teenager engulfed him which made him start talking to people. With social networking sites and multiple digital connecting platforms, he expanded his network of people. He believed that every person he talks to is good and trusted everyone. It’s like giving food to you when you’re extremely hungry, you won’t know how much you can eat though you’re limited by you’re stomach. These new people who entered his life did satisfy his hunger but again, he didn’t know when to stop and how much he can have. He started talking and talking with new people day-in and day-out. Sadly, he wasn’t aware of the impending dangers of living in a modern-yet conservative space which India holds, which a conservative college holds. In such an atmosphere, people are bigoted and brand people without knowing them in person. These prejudiced people had some common complaints, “Why Ralph has lot of friends who are girls?” , “Why does he try make friends with many people?”, “Why does he try to show himself as a good person to others?”, “Why does he participate in so many competitions?”, “Why does he always try to do things which others don’t do?”. Ralph wasn’t interested to answer these questions but he had just one thing to say. “This world has people who keep pushing you to fall into their pit. When they are cursing you, criticizing you it means you’re growing ( not always! but most of the time).” These people created their own version of answers for all the above questions. They trust ostensible things, pass comments and spread rumors. They are the ones whom Ralph called as ortho-modern Indians. Sustaining in such an environment requires you to accept embarrassment and for Ralph it was a very difficult phase. He remained clueless as to what was happening in his life and how badly some people around him have misshaped it. It’s really hard when you realize that you’re not in control of your life, Ralph felt that.
Yet his network grew and at some point of time he came of know of it’s limitations. The main problem with Ralph was not that he spoke with a lot of people, but because he categorized everyone under the same term friends. He trusted everyone without paying heed to the advises given to him by many of his close friends that not all in this world are good or true and people don’t behave the same way as they speak to you. These people were not critics, they were his well wishers. Ralph usually tells people, “Life is a quagmire whose’s depth is unknown. You’ll be tested every second and something will keep pulling you down always. The ones who reach the land will be the ones who don’t worry about the unknown depth of quagmire but instead look up at the unknown expanse of the sky and wriggle to reach the land.” Sometimes in life, you go against you’re own philosophies and when you do that, you have to rethink about the moves you’ve taken. Ralph did the same mistake and redirected himself into a wrong path which would destroy him completely. He realized that lately, but did it before he was completely lost.
Some of the lessons learnt by Ralph include :
1. Not all people you talk to are good, or trustworthy. “Love all, Trust few!”.
2. The virtual face of people is far different from their real face. This applies to people who want to cheat others, who are hypocritical and who derive happiness by hurting people. So don’t get carried away by how people talk to you in digital mediums, unless there is a real life interaction don’t size up people.
3. Never expect anything from people. Be happy to help anyone but know your limits. There are many out there who approach you only to USE you and then throw you when their needs are fulfilled.
4. And, the important one! When you network with a lot of people, you tend to face a lot of criticisms. This happens as many students’ primary mode of spending time in college is to gossip. Be ready to face it, if you’re a networking person.
5. Think twice! before you say something, especially in social media. The things you write in the Internet is written in ink, it never fades. And in the spurt of your emotions, if you write something controversial it spreads like a virus. Bad things spreads extremely fast especially in a college.
6. You can’t satisfy every friend of yours in college. You have to make tough decisions at times. Sharing a relationship of same degree with every person you talk to is next to impossible. So, learn to push and distance yourself from people as and when required.
College is an arena where you’ve truly mature into an individual and always carry an identity for yourself. Certain things in life are best learnt by experience and those lessons stays forever.Cherish every moment of your college life and just in case you’re a recluse like Ralph think twice before making new friends. Please do remember.. Having one good friend is better than having 100 fake ones..
(P.S There are many more details to add in this tale.. but certain things in Life are best left untold, so I’ve has skipped it!)