In this university, you might become a smoker.
A lot of my friends have become chain smokers after coming to this university, they smoke almost a pack of cigarettes every day. I have been lucky that I have stayed away from this habit that can bring you down and cause a lot of chaos in your life. I’m not sure what kept me away, my fear of my mother, my own control, or this trend where everyone is smoking and it’s no longer popular to do, but I’m motivated by the want to do something new. Many of my friends have spent a significant amount of money each week on cigarettes; smoking a pack every two days means spending almost 1,000 in a week on cigarettes; this means that by the end of the semester, you will have spent nearly 12,000 on cigarettes, which is a significant amount of money. I’ve often wondered if the university’s availability of a smoking room has resulted in an increase in the number of smokers. When your parents visit this institution for a campus tour, they are not informed of two things: one, the cross access, and the other, the smoking room. Indian parents would go insane and refuse to allow their children to attend this institution if they learn how liberal it is on these issues, which is not the case at any other university in India. The institution feels that the students who study here are adults and should be treated as such, which implies that they should be permitted to make their own life decisions; I understand and agree with this argument. Many students, on the other hand, lack what is known as mindfulness; they have a poor emotional aptitude and are easily influenced by it. In some ways, the university is contributing to the rise in the number of smokers; the rate of conversion from non-smoker to smoker must be higher in this university than in others. They go from not smoking at all in the first week to probably one a day by the middle of the semester, and as the stress of assignments and social anxiety forces them to smoke 8–9 times a day, it becomes a necessity rather than just a silly thing to do with friends, and your reliance on substances grows to cope with your problem. To address difficulties, you resort to substances like alcohol and cigarettes rather than your friends or family. If you don’t have a solid sense of what’s right and wrong for you, the people you hang out with might also have a big impact on you. Unless you are certain, pick your mates carefully and intelligently since finding good friends is really difficult. It’s almost like a quest for solid friends during your stay here, and finding good friends takes time and effort. In that process, you’d have to completely dismiss a lot of your friends who you think of as friends but who are really just there to have fun with you. Finding a good friend who remains with you through thick and thin and with whom you can be vulnerable is tough to come by. On the university campus, possessing cigarettes is not a felony, but smoking is prohibited outside of the smoking area; yet, students continue to smoke in their dormitories because the smoke alarm seldom goes off. Essentially, I see the university’s perspective and rationale in providing all of these facilities, but Indian students lack the awareness and control within themselves, they exploit.