I never imagined leaving my house and living in an entirely unfamiliar state with strangers when I was a teenager. It was in March of 2018 that I began to contemplate about my higher education after finishing my senior secondary exam. I was sure I won’t be able to crack JEE Advance, so I searched for other top schools. SRM was still at the top of my list. I took nearly all of the entrance exams and was fortunate to pass the vast majority of them. I picked SRM as my ideal institution because I had certain personal incompatibility with other colleges. Knowing several of my friends had chosen SRM, I felt secure making that decision.
When my father and I flew to Chennai to finish my application, I discovered that most of my friends had already arrived and that the vast majority had already secured their seats on the main campus.
My rank suggested that I should go to the main campus, to be with my friends, and I intended to go to the main campus only. I’m not sure why or how my father wanted to send me to Ramapuram; in fact, I wasn’t aware until he spoke up during the campus allotment. And though I was shattered, I didn’t openly criticize his decision out of respect and admiration for him.
I was by myself and had no idea how I was going to live outside my comfort zone. When I first visited the Ramapuram campus in July, I was devastated. The college’s buildings are not as good as those on the main campus. A dark sadness used to settle over the best part of my heart whenever my friends shared photos of their campus on social media. They used to spend their days together in a more ideal and happy manner. Whereas I was lonely and out of my comfort zone. It’s an odd sensation, awful and unbearable. I used to be a whiner about everything.
Because of this wretched (I felt that way but regret a lot) piece of land with no entertainment, it seemed that my whole life had been limited. As the days passed, I developed insomnia.
This is my past, and I have no regrets about being in Ramapuram today. I appreciate my father’s decision. Because of Director Sir, I redefined the meaning of friendship on this campus, and it was here where I met some wonderful teachers like Kiffa mam, Sabita mam, Prema mam, Savitha mam, Vishnu darshini mam, and, of course, my favourites Rema mam and Parkavan Sir, who stood by my side during my challenging days.
It was on this campus where I met Chairman Sir, who led me through the process of understanding what life means and turning my vision into action. His commitment to the stability of my life cannot be overlooked.
My voyage became wonderful by the presence of my friends, without whom I would have struggled to survive. During my early months, they assisted me in surviving, and they gradually transformed me into a boy who could step outside of his comfort zone and fight ferociously if challenged.
And now, as I go to other schools, I happily mention the name of the campus, “RAMAPURAM” along with the name of my college. I understand that Ramapuram is compact and does not have the same level of facilities as the main campus, but it’s growing every day, becoming more vibrant with each passing day, and believe me when I say that “it is more beautiful and fuller of opportunities”. It is not the size of the buildings that matters; it is the size of the heart that matters in Ramapuram, where the pure vibrant heart resides. Just being in the right place at the right time is needed.
I’ve visited several colleges and talked with hundreds of students, but on my campus, I’ve found that students are far too innovative, enthusiastic, and optimistic. Previously, I had completely lost myself, and all hope for my future had been washed away.
But it was in these acres where I rediscovered myself, in these corridors where I recovered my confidence that my best days were still ahead, and in this college where I received new wings to fly high.