Well, like always it is when I am stressed I turn to writing, especially off topic thoughts, usually without much order.
So after about one and half years, or was it two years, from graduating I thought I’d go down memory lane and share some great memories about university life. And I promise I will try my best to sound not too nerdy.
My time at university was mostly filled with lot of joyous time so most of the memories are long blurred segments. But there are a few that I still remember vividly. First year was mostly full of confusion. Firstly, there was the getting used to the culture. And then there was the language switch. You see, almost all of us have studied our Advanced Levels in Sinhala or Tamil and then at university you study them in English. It is not that you don’t understand what it is. And we had plenty of help from lecturers including additional Sinhala lectures in the evening. But the confusion comes when you try to remember things, especially scientific terms.
If you ever have gone blank at an exam, not because you have not studied, but just gone blank, you know how bad that is. When this combined with the language gap; that is complete confusion.
Secondly being the stubborn child I was I did not listen to any seniors or colleagues when I chose subjects, or sports for that matter. I wanted to do a special degree (equivalent of a major) like everyone else (or most others) but at the same time I wanted to learn lot of new and interesting subjects.
So as a result I learnt a lot of new things but ended up having a three-year general that included lectures from the Faculty of Arts on Economics, Sociology and Geography as well as various courses from Zoology, Plant Sciences, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Nuclear Science, Statistics and Physics Departments in our Science Faculty. Well, I’m not trying to say I’m a know-it-all; just that three years were somewhat like a salad of subjects across different disciplines. It was great but I was always treading through unknown waters.
Rowing took up most of the time off my uni life during the first two years. I still don’t know how to defend that game when people say either it’s an utter waste of time and energy or why I continued with it.
Of all the sports I have done it is the hardest to explain. Sessions were tiring but the reward was awesome. Of all the events I loved the double scull the most. There is nothing like the feeling you get when you hear just the sound of water crashing on the hull of the boat and sound of the wind ringing in your ears when you have all your oars out of water and cleared.
I remember this one incident vividly. Inter University games usually had only 1 km long races as Beira lake wasn’t 2 km (the standard distance) long. So we always practiced there, turning at 1000 m mark. But when it came to Bolgoda lake the course was 2 km. First time I rowed a race there it took an eternity to finish. There was this island to your right few hundred meters before the finish line. About 1000-1200 meters into the race, my then double sculls partner, was saying, “Shenya lets do 20 hards and move further”. I remember telling her ” No Anne, let’s wait a bit more, until the island”. The request went on for a few rounds; water was rough and I was soon getting exhausted from waiting for the island to come into view. It was taking an eternity and others were catching up. I finally gave up the whole island idea and we did some long hard strokes to the finish line.
It was a great year for UOC Rowing. We had a really fresh team but we clenched two National medals and won both men’s and women’s championships at Inter University Regatta.
The second year was all about keeping customs, all the events to organize and new societies to form. Then there was the batch trip and all the crazy incidents. Losing some old friends, making new ones. It was basically the settling down period of the degree. Most of us took studying a bit serious. Had repeats to cover due to neglect in the first year. Some of us gave up scoring to do specials while others embraced studying to get ready for them.
Third year of course was a different story. By the end of first two years I was spending lesser and lesser time with my Bio Science friends. You see, people who studied along the Biological Science stream in our university had this affinity to study alone. This was not my method of studying, if there was any specific method for me at all, that is. So I made great bunch of Physical Science pals, who studied together. I wasn’t studying the same subjects, but it was great having such company. You either studied together or you did crazy things together. And we played a lot of card games. It was like a fever. Before lectures, after lectures, between lectures, after exams, while waiting for friends to come for lunch and sometime even before exams.
There was no one best thing I did at university or one worst thing. There were ups, downs, wins, losses, joys and regrets. All in all, it was a great experience. It was surely a great 3 years (4 years for me; no I did not flunk and do an additional year.) I will tell you about that 4th year, the year of elephants, some other time.