Come August, seniors across colleges will find a new batch of juniors just out of school, while the freshers will enter new and bigger campuses that seem at once daunting and exciting. Though essentially a Western concept, Freshers’ Day has wound its way into Indian institutions as well. Six students from O.A.S. Institute of Technology and Management share their plans for their upcoming celebrations.

Nothing but an ice breaker between seniors and juniors, Freshers’ Day celebrations have evolved over the years into a welcoming ritual that flaunts a new theme or an interesting way to welcome juniors into the fold. Though the idea of a common theme for the celebrations is still nascent in Tiruchi, it has several takers. Seen as a uniting factor, themes could vary from those that need a bit of preparation to those that are downright frivolous. The group comprised students from the college’s very first batch, who had neither received nor thrown a Freshers’ Day celebration.

“My friend, who studies at Loyola College in Chennai, sent me pictures of their Freshers’ Day and that made me wish we had had one too,” says S. Sindhu, who felt the celebrations made it easier for new students to associate with their college. However, A. Paramasivan felt the celebrations might provide the ideal excuse for seniors to rag the new students, even if only mildly.

Despite that dampening possibility, the group seemed quite upbeat about approaching their management for permission to conduct their college’s first ever Freshers’ Day. The discussion that ensued assessed various options for the theme and the kind of activities they might conduct and the overall positives of welcoming juniors.

R. Suresh, III Year, Mechanical Engineering: When I entered college, I had no expectations nor did I know that there were seniors welcoming juniors as a tradition elsewhere. But now in my third year of college, I understand how important it is to build a rapport with your juniors. For our first ever Freshers’ Day, I think it would be great fun if the juniors could dress up as their favourite actors and act like them.

S. Sindhu, I Year, MBA: Freshers’ Day celebrations will invariably have contests that provide a platform for the newcomers to display their talents. And for the seniors, it is a fun way to identify juniors who have the capacity to win prizes at cultural events. If the freshers are given sashes or wrist bands according to their departments on Freshers’ Day, it will be easier to spot the talents within each department.

S. Syed Ibrahim, III Year, Electronics and Electrical Engineering: I think Freshers’ Day is probably the only time when the juniors can get introduced properly to their seniors. This is particularly relevant for engineering colleges, because the rest of the year is just a flurry of academics, project works and exams. Though the juniors and seniors will inevitably get to know each other, having a Freshers’ Day celebration will definitely give them both a head start.

Greeshma Kamalan, III Year, Electronics and Communication Engineering: Though there will be inter-department events that provide seniors and juniors opportunities to mingle, the Freshers’ Day will be special. Seniors can show their juniors that college needn’t be a tough place and that we could all be friends. I am sure many still have fond memories of their favourite cartoon characters so I think a cartoon character theme might get many excited.

A. Paramasivan, III Year, Civil Engineering: Though I am not entirely against the idea of having a Freshers’ Day celebration, I have my own reservations on how the occasion may be misused by some seniors. All seniors know that ragging is taboo, but a junior being deeply hurt or embarrassed over comments that were made even without any malice cannot be ruled out. For them, it is an entirely new atmosphere full of new people.

V. Nithya, III Year, Computer Science Engineering: When they come in for their Freshers’ Day celebrations, the students are yet to be segregated into their respective departments and that is a good time to know juniors from other departments as well, because the rest of the year you will most probably be interacting with juniors in your own department. It could also create a positive impression about the college, which is a good way to begin.

Run by the K.R.K. Educational Trust, the O.A.S. Institute of Technology and Management hopes to position itself as a prominent player in the space of digital IT infrastructure management. Stepping into its third year, the institution started off with an integrated campus that combines engineering and management courses under one roof. Situated amidst sprawling lands that flank the road leading to the Pachaimalai hill, the institute is still taking shape. Once completed, the college will have state-of-the-art classrooms, a digital library, hostel facilities, an in-house gymnasium, grounds for various sports and special facilities for physically challenged students.