The Realities of “English Honours”
On a hot June day, I stepped into college for the first time. No doubt I was clueless about the ambience, but more perplexed about the course that I had selected. To be very honest, I did not expect ‘English Honours’ to turn out this way. It isn’t only English Honours but any course you select will turn your expectations upside down as soon as you start taking classes. You possess a clearer picture when you clear its cut-off and choose it for your upcoming years. But that picture becomes muddled when you actually start your studies.
College in itself is a whole new phase with a lot of surprises coming up every second day. But, the fun and thrill of college life exist only in the choice of the course. Your choice will land you in different institutions. And many students in Delhi end up compromising with their course selection to get into a reputable college. The level of competition is so high that you may have to choose college over the course or vice versa. You might be lucky enough like me to get both the course and college as per your admiration.
When taking my interview for English Honours, my only thought was to clear it and secure my seat. I still wonder why I didn’t take the interviewers’ advice and went for the political science admission. Yes, you read it right, the interviewer advised me to move towards the next room where admissions of Political Science Honors were taking place. You see, I was not much into reading. Back then, I thought English honours would take me to a world of better grammar and better writing skills so I went ahead and secured my seat in my “DREAM COURSE.”
When I entered the classroom for the first time, that first early morning lecture introduced us to a teacher who changed English Honors for us. Her super cool attitude and aura sparked the thought that the course is as per my expectations. Later as we proceeded with lectures and learned about the ensuing subjects, I started doubting my decisions. To be very accurate here, our professors expected us to read 400- 500 pages per day. For a girl who was not into reading at all, this was a great deal. While I was panicking, everyone around me felt comfortable because they were voracious readers and in their comfort zones with their books. For the next couple of weeks, I always found myself out of the loop among the great intellectual minds and started pushing myself to their levels.
We encountered the texts that introduced us to the beautiful world of Indian literature and the serene world of Greek literature’s. We got exposed to the texts that were not just texts but had the world’s teaching inscribed in them. Our first semester ranged from beautiful English translations of Sanskrit plays and epics. There were gracious tales of Mahabharata and Abhijnansakuntalam to study. These texts were written in a way that was so special, accurate, and deep. It wasn’t like a novel that you read and learn about the story. It was a tale of magnificent rulers and epic times. English honours is not about writing and grammar, it is about unlearning what we have learned from the CBSE system and carving out our hidden critique. The texts that you learn in this journey will evolve your mindsets, your writing, and even the way you present them.
English Honors is not merely a course, it’s a collection of metamorphic teachings. I clearly remember questioning my choice of opting for it as my academics for the next three years. I always doubted my capability for this course, felt as if I had acquired someone’s seat, who deserved it more than I did. With this cluster of thoughts in my mind, I did not realize when I fell in love with it. English honours is not a course for the sake of completing assignments and writing papers. It transforms you as a person. It gives you the power to question society’s pre-set norms. It gives you the power to stand up for yourself even if your choice makes you different from the crowd. It teaches you the correct definitions of social reforms. It gives your pen the power to transform minds and question the patriarchal society.
Shared by Harshita Behl