No matter how much we crib about our educational institute among friends, at heart we know that our life at campus – the rules, the teachers, our friends and people we meet everyday, our daily struggles and crazy happenings – everything contributes to making our ‘home away from home’ so unique for us. And even if our school/ college/university leaves no stone unturned in making us lose our sanity, we still know that there’s no other place we’d rather be!
The place I consider my second home now is the Asian Institute of Fashion Design (AIFD) in Karachi and oh boy, what a roller coaster ride it has been so far (no kidding)! So, here I am to tell you 10 things that only an AIFD student can relate to:
1. You become kanjoos!
It really doesn’t matter whether you are from the middle class or whether you were born wearing silk diapers, your life takes a HUGE turn once you enter this place. When your water colour palette costs more than your eye shadow palette and your paint brushes are priced higher than your makeup brushes, who can blame you??? I now have to think a THOUSAND times before spending that last note of Rs 1,000 on something that I actually WANT; instead, I usually end up saving it for some art supplies I know I’ll need soon.
But at least, Mama will be proud!
2. You don’t remember the last time you had a good night’s sleep!
People talk about a good night’s sleep and you really…I mean REALLY…don’t know what they are talking about! Most AIFD students live the life of an owl except that we rarely get to sleep during the day either! Caffeine and an hour-long power nap are enough for us most days. And don’t get me started on those all-nighters many of us pull the night before a big submission.
But seriously, not everyone is cut out for it so if you DON’T have the stamina, please PLEASE don’t attempt it.
3. The van driver is your new best friend!
After we pull those all-nighters (read point 3 again), sometimes we pass out for an hour just before class (we ARE humans, you know)! But the van walay uncle saves the day because he has our number and he does ‘alarm clock duty’ better than the alarm clock itself! My van wala calls me an hour before he reaches on some days (to make sure I’m up); sometimes he also calls 10-15 minutes before he picks me up JUST to make sure that I didn’t snooze off again and of course, he calls when he’s actually at the gate so that I can stumble groggily outside!
How sweet of the guy, right? It’s a wonder he doesn’t ask for calling cards along with the monthly fee!
4. You miss the old campus more than anything!
If you were lucky enough to spend even ONE semester at the old AIFD building, you know how awesome it was and chances are you miss that place like anything! Sure, it didn’t have the ‘university vibe’ that the new campus has but it was smaller and more personal somehow.
You could wear whatever you want, sit wherever you want, do whatever you want without a care in the world. And of course, the added perk of being able to hop over to Gulf Shopping Plaza between classes for some random shopping and yummy street food!
5. You and your friends cry over the lack of food options…
Gone are the days when we could easily eat quality food since a number of restaurants and cafes were just 5-10 minutes away from the old campus. Now it takes us AGES to get anywhere from the new campus and so the food options on most days are narrowed down to the biryani (better known as an dhoka biryani among students!) available at the university’s café.
There are dhabas outside the new campus and the offer decent food (their cheese parathas are a ‘must-try’) but who has the courage to walk all the way there in this scorching heat?!
I, for one, pass on most days which means that I end up staying hungry at campus and eat when I get home. One of the many lessons this place is teaching me is PATIENCE!
6. Everyone tells you NOT to buy art supplies from the famous Aunty but…
She’s someone even our teachers have warned us not to trust but we keep going to her for our supplies. And the fact is that we’re not alone…99.999% of AIFD students know this Aunty and EVERYONE has heard stories of her charging WAY more than the market price but most of us are simply too dheet and lazy to take the time out to go to a bigger, better and much CHEAPER supply shop.
And then we complain about being broke! It’s a vicious cycle, I tell you!
7. Insults don’t bother you anymore!
By the time you reach the second semester, you learn not to care when a teacher insults you and that too, in front of the ENTIRE class! You know by then that this is your destiny for the next four years and that taking every day stuff like this too seriously will just drive you crazy. Gone are the days when your ego and self-respect would be torn to shreds if your teacher waved your assignment and asked (quite condescendingly) in front of the entire class, “Yeh kia hai?”
With time, I realised that it’s not just me they do it to…it’s EVERYONE! Knowing that everyone has it as hard as I do, just keeps me from losing my self-confidence (the little that’s left of it, that is!)
8. Your family and friends know your life is busier than the Prime Minister’s!
Everyone close to you has seen (or heard about) you breaking down (numerous times) under all the stress, and by now they don’t really expect you to attend social gatherings which take up so much of your uber precious time (Yay!)
I love how I don’t even have to explain to my best friend why I can’t go out for lunch with her anymore! She knows I’d rather SLEEP if I have any free time lol!
9. You are more conscious of your attire
Since AIFD shifted to the new campus, many students, especially girls, have started to pay more attention to what they wear since the new campus offers a wider variety of degree programs which translates into people belonging to varied backgrounds and holding different mindsets. So, it just seems like a good idea to dress up in a way that’s acceptable for everyone so that you don’t invite unwanted staring and comments.
However, I, for one, have always been a free bird…and choose to be comfortable in my skin (and clothes) rather than worry about ‘loag kia kaheingay?’ YOLO! Hehe….
10. Semester breaks are a breath of fresh air (literally)!
The four-month long semester hardly leaves any time for us to do things we love. We barely have time to hangout, shop, read a book, watch a movie or follow a TV series; so during our month-long and much-needed-to-stay-sane-break, we catch up on all these activities until it’s time for the next semester to begin.
My family and friends who had almost forgotten what I looked like finally get to see me and I don’t have any excuses to turn down invites and ‘fam jams’.
What fun fun times!
If you are an AIFD student or alumnus, I’m sure you can relate to some or all of these. And if you’re not, well then, tell us 10 things that only students of YOUR school/college/university can relate to at firstname.lastname@example.org