Daydreams and Detours

Daydreams and Detours

When the UNI Verse project launched its second phase, I wasn’t too interested in writing anything,
thinking who would be interested in a narration of my routine university experience so far. Yet, I had no
choice but to write. Interestingly, an Instagram post shared by a friend flicked something in my scattered
mind to streamline memories from my first year at university, and I began to realize that university life is
quite the rollercoaster.

Before delving into reflections, I’ll backtrack a bit. Securing a spot at the University of Colombo was
pretty much what I always desired, mainly for wanting to continue to take comfort in the city that has
always been home.

That Instagram post, though – it struck a chord. The post shared by a friend in our Instagram reels group
posed a funny scenario: Imagine a parent-lecturer meeting at uni… The parent asks about the child, and
the lecturer replies they’ve never laid eyes on her. It is safe to say that it is extremely unlikely to find
myself in such a situation, for I mostly attend lectures punctually and rarely miss a class (at least the
important ones). I also maintain meticulous notes, driven by the perfectionist in me. I must confess
though, that most of my meticulous note-taking is simply copying and pasting from the slides, often
paying little attention to the lecture itself. So, beneath this academically motivated, seemingly flawless
student, lies quite the imposter. (I’m not a hopeless student though)

Academics aside, here are a few highlights from my university adventure so far:

  1. Daydreaming:
    Despite being physically present in lecture rooms for the sake of attendance, my mind tends to
    wonder beyond the confines of academia. Being a natural daydreamer, I often dream of my future
    filled with globetrotting, gourmet indulgences, a luxurious wardrobe, a fancy car, a lavish home, a
    kitchen with high-end appliances and of course, an exciting job with a big fat paycheck to turn these dreams into reality. So, it is no surprises that I often would not recall much from the lecture itself, except for the topic.
  2. Culinary escapades:
    When not lost in dreams of my future, my thoughts inevitably gravitate towards food. With my
    almost religious devotion for culinary exploration, lectures always transform into opportunities to
    scroll through food reels on Instagram or read recipes. During one lecture, I spent the entire time
    discussing cake with my friend, completely oblivious to the lecturer’s words. We did not mind at all,
    as our elaborate conversation on cake was far more indulging than the lecture itself. In addition, food is often the one thing that causes me to overlook my pursuit of being on time for a lecture, and even to skip a class. (At this point, I do ponder if I truly am the perfect student I claimed to be at the start)
  1. For the love of the A/C:
    The journey to the NAT for lectures is no small task. Leaving the faculty and crossing the road to the
    Science faculty is most often motivated by the promise of the air conditioner. Sitting right under the
    A/C, together with my friends we engage in our own chatter, ignorant to the actual lecture.
    Occasionally, I pull out my smart phone to watch highlights of a cricket match. Our expectations are
    sometimes dashed by the absence of air conditioning. Still, the NAT remains the best spot for a nap.
    (On the topic of napping, any lecture following a satisfying lunch is an invitation for a nap)
  2. Lost in the maze:
    Finding my way through the maze-like building at the faculty has become an adventure in itself; an
    adventure that I do not intend to completely conquer. Mostly, I resort to taking a random staircase
    and wondering around the corridors until I find the room number I’m supposed to be in. Sometimes
    I do try to remember which staircase to take for a particular class, but then don’t always stick to it. If
    only a google map could be created for the building, I could burn a few less calories.

Before I wrap things up, here is a quick thought on academics, which is supposedly the most crucial
element of university life. The lectures are a whirlwind—sometimes exciting, but mostly a snooze fest.
Assignments are abundant, and group projects require some serious flexibility, which, while not ideal,
keeps things interesting. Exams are like unexpected pop quizzes in a rocket science class—utterly
unpredictable and terrifying!

Terrifying things aside, being an undergraduate at the University of Colombo is certainly a privilege, and
the real magic of university life lies in the friendships, constant chatter and laughter, the gossip, and of
course, the obsession with Bridgerton.

On a final note, life at university has certainly been a crazy learning curve!

Rtr. Janani Kumarasiri

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