There are several major misconceptions about Dhaka University and its students, and having been a enrolled here for over two years now, I believe I can clarify some of them. This is DU, in the eyes of a student under the Faculty of Science department.
- Students at DU are always hanging out at TSC or some other places, and are rarely seen in classes.
More than 50% of my classmates have attended more than 80% of the classes; if not for the enlightenment, for the attendance percentage added to our grades. There’s only so many people that can be ‘proxied’ throughout the year, but more importantly, being known by the teachers is a big part of DU, just as anywhere else.
Also, I’ve only ‘hung out’ at TSC 4-5 times, and the same goes for my classmates. In my faculty, you simply don’t have enough time to create entertainment (because I really don’t understand the appeal of TSC).
- DU students are not up-to-date/hip.
This, I admit, is a one misconception I entered with. They most certainly are, though! We party too – and sure, it’s mostly pre-organized fun, but we have a blast. Even if it’s only once a year. We’re not entirely technologically handicapped, either. While everyone tripped up during our very first presentation, it’s rare to see anyone without a laptop – or at least without the ability to use one. This is one of the perks of living in halls (I don’t, sadly): the knowledge spreads like wildfire.
- DU students are so involved in politics, beating people up and going to jail that they’re not really ‘students’.
The people you’re thinking of AREN’T students, they’re probably people who’ve already graduated and still stick around doing ‘politics’. Us? We’re so busy running from class to class and squeezing in some time for lunch before lab that there’s no room for politics.
To be fair, yes, a few of my classmates have been involved in political activities, and but that’s the 1%. The most politically active we’ve been is when a few of our younger teachers skipped class to go vote-hunting. When DUCSU (the student union) called for a day off for a protest, our class still did lab, and we weren’t viciously attacked for it (no one said anything against it, for the record). Everyone’s views are more or less respected.
- Everyone that gets in/out of DU is a genius.
I’m proof against this one. Not everyone’s brilliant – they just know how to crack the DU system. Which chapters to study, which teachers to suck up to, which attendants to become friends with, etc. And sometimes just pure luck.
This isn’t to undermine the good eggs; some work harder than anyone else ever will, and some are so brilliant that you’d be awed when in their presence. THEY’RE the ones that still hold the institution up.
I’ve tried to clear up a few misconceptions, but now for a few things that ARE true. DU teaches you to be street smart, it is a strict yet flexible institute (depends on who you talk to), we do have TONNES of breaks/holidays, and you definitely witness a lot of political activities – not just the bad ones, great, energizing ones too. It’s the hub of all-things-Bangladesh – and definitely worth defending (when needed).
This article originally appeared on JhalmOOri.