Debunking the DU myth

Sifana Sohail
Everyone across Bangladesh seems to look at English medium students as different
Dhaka_University_03710

It’s that time of our lives, folks! We’ve crossed the great treacherous road (A LEVELS! We’re finished! We did it!) and now we’re just sitting ducks thinking: “Now what?”

What do we do now? Do we know what we’re studying? Coming up is, arguably, one of the most important decisions of our lives so far. Before you know it, the relaxation and relief melts into a chaotic mess of “Where should I go? Can I get in? Parental-pressure!” And then at some point someone asks: “What about DU?”

And you say: “DU?”

It’s a proven fact; the first time anyone asks that question, the reply is always the same – in a sort of incredulous, drawn out tone: “DU?”

Which got me thinking about why this happens. You laugh. Of course this happens, you say. And then follows a dissertation on “the cons of DU for English medium students” that any English medium student (including me) can recite, either from memory, on the spot.

The funny thing is, after some Harriet-the-spy-esque work on the subject, I seem to have run out of content for my dissertation. My previous Roman-orator-worthy speeches now begin with an unhealthy dose of “Errr…” Which leads me to my purpose: ruining all of your dissertations – because failure loves company.

That’s impossible, you say? English medium kids can’t even get into DU!

Did you know that recently, an English medium kid placed third in the admissions exam? Yes, it was just one kid. But English medium kids get in, all the time. If you can’t get in, it won’t be due to the fact that you went to an English medium school – our background isn’t a hindrance.

What about the exams? Bangla medium students are so much better equipped at handling them! And we’re up against them? It’s too hard!

We have our own exam, people. Yes, it’s true. A-level students have a different exam than Bangla medium students – and yes, it is in English. Doesn’t mean it’s easy, but it definitely isn’t impossible. People have done it before. With help, you can do it too.

Okay, fine. Say I worked as hard as I could and got in. There’s no point in it if I can’t even understand the classes! Bangla classes! Long, hard words that I’ve never heard of! Ploughing my way through Bangla textbooks!

Hold on! Stop panicking! First of all, don’t sell yourself short. We know Bangla… mota moti… We could get by if we needed to. We could ace our classes and exams. But (thankfully) we’ll never have to prove it because classes are not in Bangla.

DU follows an American curriculum mostly – and of course the classes are in English! It’s alright – that misunderstanding is understandable. The idea of thick Bangla textbooks can drive us all to panic-induced insanity.

There is no point if I don’t graduate in time. DU has been having session jams since we first became a country – and probably before that too.

Session jams are a valid fear. But the truth is, there are no session jams right now in many departments of DU! In fact – and I was pretty surprised at this – there are loads of people I know who graduated in 4 years. Just ask around! You might be surprised too.

What are you saying? What about all of the politics? The violence? We all know that exists! We’ve seen it on the news!

Just because something exists doesn’t mean you’ll run into it. We all know violence exists at DU, but unless you’re actively involved with the political parties, or live in the halls, you’ll probably never run into it. Yes, I said never.

The people are too different. I’ll never be able to mesh.

I’m pretty sure most of us have this fear – everyone across Bangladesh seems to look at English medium students as different. But the best way of defeating the prejudice is being able to say “I went to DU.”

And DU is so diverse! You’ve got to remember that everyone there is different – the gaps, economically and socially, are huge. Everyone will work towards bridging those gaps – if you do too.

But DU is a public university. What about technology? Do they even HAVE computers?

There’s a culture at DU – the big brother culture. DU Alumni do everything for the university – everything. Jobs? You got it! Funds? You got it! Networks/affiliations? You got it! Technology? You got it! Wi-fi? You – well, you understand what I mean. If DU needs it, it’s there.

So I don’t believe this but I’ve heard that everything is really serious?

Never say this. Eve. To anyone at DU. Have you ever been to TSC? Not even during the countless festivals and programs that are happening on campus all the time, just on a random day. There is always something fun to do – DU is the ultimate place to hang out.

Yes. Exactly. I’m just going to leave you here, amidst the ruins of your falling dissertation. Fear not, you’ll pick yourself back up – hopefully with a fresh perspective on things.

Source: UNBConnect

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