My ‘XL’ Experience – Subham Agarwala

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My ‘XL’ Experience – Subham Agarwala

“There are mountains outside my window.”

These were the first words I told myself when I stepped into my room in the New Hostel. That
day, after I had shifted into the room, I remember standing near that window, looking out at the
clouds hugging those mountains, and feeling both excited and nervous. Excited, because I had
made it to a place that so many can only dream of; Nervous, because I was not sure if I can live
up to the rigor that XLRI would demand of me.
As days passed, the batch of 2020 was no more a WhatsApp group; faces started becoming
familiar, conversations easier, and our laughter louder. Friendship started sprouting,
unannounced, in the tables of XL Dhaba, in the seats of Tata Auditorium, and in the long queues
of the mess.

But just when I was settling in this beautiful campus, the rigor of this Institute punched me hard
left, right and center. Mid-night deadlines became a norm, “XL never sleeps” became a reality
and emails became a terror.
God, these emails!
With every new email, there came another case to study, another assignment to submit and
another deadline to meet.

And yes, at XL “23:59:59” does mean “23:59:59

Soon enough the pace starts taking its toll.
You start feeling like you don’t belong, you start looking for the “un-MBA” button, and just
when you are at the threshold of your sanity, the seniors come and take you in as if you are one
of their own. Soon you realize that you are, indeed, one of their own.

XLRI has already bestowed on me the most priceless gift it can-The XL Family. I would like to
tell you how it feels, but then few things can only be experienced. This family is one of those
things. From serving food with their own hands to making sure that we don’t flunk the quizzes, the
seniors made it clear that they are here to pick us up every time we fall. The seniors made us feel
what we so badly needed to feel in an environment like this-safe.
It started becoming clear to me that it’s not the syllabus or the excellent faculty or the amenities
that makes XL what it is. It’s the XL culture, the way of life here that actually shapes you. The
rest of it is just add-ons.

So just like that, in between assignments, lectures, late-night addas, random epiphanies and
stealing glances at that special someone, the storm of one month at XL passed like a breeze.

-Subham Agarwala

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