Suchitra Surve

Director – Growth Centre India Private Limited

Starting College Life

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Congratulations!! You have all passed your SSC exams and entered College. Some of you are happy; you’ve got admission into the College of your choice. Some of you are sad; all your other friends have taken admission elsewhere. Some of you think College is a place to pursue studies and you have to be serious about it; some of you think College is a place to have fun and bunk lectures. Whatever your impression of College may be, one thing is sure, it is an exciting place full of opportunities but coping with College may be quite stressful!

College is the real start to your adult life. Here you will meet people who may become your close friends, you will meet teacher’s who may inspire you, and you may even find your mark in terms of a making a Career. Just think of all the Raymond’s advertisement that depicts these so lucidly! These experiences shape you to be the person you are. The way you tackle this adjustment will have far reaching consequences in later life. However, the first few weeks of College may be an unsettling experience; so find out how you can cope with this stress…

  • Make yourself familiar with your College Campus. Visit the Classrooms, Library, Laboratories, Canteens, Common rooms etc. This will not only orient you to your Institution, but also expose you to the various activities available in your College and help to make friends.
  • Plan enough time for traveling. If you are traveling from far away, make time for unexpected delays. The last thing you want is to enter late in the Classrooms. Not only is embarrassing, but it may also create a bad impression with the teachers.
  • Do not Compare. Remember ‘The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side’. You will only make yourself miserable if you keep comparing your College with other so-called better Colleges. This usually happens if your friends are in another College and you are alone. If your friends are not among you, you automatically start thinking that the College is bad!! However, no College person is bad, it is just the perception you have as you are missing your friends.
  • If you come from a vernacular medium and your College is predominantly English Speaking, then you may suffer a temporary set back. As a result, you may feel nervous and avoid speaking in Class or making new friends. If the is the case, try and join an English Speaking Class as soon as possible, feel free to speak English wherever you get the chance, maybe even with your friends; and take help in academics right from day one.
  • College can be a culture shock for most people. It is very different from the protected and sheltered school environment. Not only do you not need to wear uniforms, you even can choose your subjects and decide if you even want to attend lectures! Come with an open mind. Do not be so rigid in your thinking that you do not fit in and at the same time be cautious about being too easily carried away. Do not be gullible.
  • In school all subjects are compulsory, you have to learn subjects, you may not even remotely like. College is different from school as you get a choice of what subjects you want to take. Be practical about the subjects you want to choose, as it lays a foundation to your academic Career. Do not take subjects depending only on what your friends have taken as your career goals can be very different from theirs.
  • Do not hesitate to answer in Class. College Classrooms can be quite intimidating; you enter an environment which is full of new people and new subjects. You may hesitate to speak in Class as you are scared you may make a fool of yourself. Remember, College is a new experience for everybody. Even if they do not show it, all new students are unsure and hesitant, so don’t think that you are alone.
  • College is a life of unlimited freedom. You can decide to do what you like. Take adequate precautions. You may have interpersonal attractions that may interfere in your academics. Do not be in a hurry to be all grown up and hasty. Sometimes immature relationships may scar you for life. Avoid giving in to peer pressure especially about things like relationships, drinking, parties etc. Fashion and Clothes is another area where you have to have individuality- trends keep changing and you have to know what suits your personality and pocket. Do not ignore your health and nutrition, running behind looking trying to look slim and beautiful.
  • Ragging is considered an initiation ritual to your College life. Most Colleges put a ban on serious and offensive ragging, however good natured ragging still continues. Be a sport. Play along and you will see that you make friends of your seniors. However, if ragging involved offends your sensibilities, do not hesitate to bring it to the notice of the management.
  • Colleges nowadays have many Clubs or activities e.g. Drama Group, Sports Groups, Creative Circle, Rotaract Club etc. that you can choose from, based on your interest areas. Try to join the ones you like. You will also get an opportunity to participate in inter-collegiate competitions e.g. Malhar, Dimensions etc. These activities provide a platform to interact with like-minded people and to realize that College is not only about academics, it can also be fun.
  • If you feel that you are unable to overcome your apprehension about going to College. You are sad, you avoid going to College, you do not understand the language, then feel free to visit a Counselor in College. The Counselor is there to help you to adjust. Take responsibility for your actions.  If your College does not have a Counselor, try and speak to your teacher or a sympathetic friend. Remember, communicating about your feelings, may help you cope and adjust better.

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Being a teenager is tough, and even more so in this day and age. There are tremendous pressures on you from all angles including  doing well in academics, trying to look good, trying to make friends, coping with different activities, traveling etc. To be a College going teenager is even tougher. First few weeks in College can be a frightening experience. But remember, College plays an important part in your life. Is really is the foundation of your future adult life. We have friends or even our parents still talking fondly about their College days.  If you want to make the most of your College life, make sure you keep the above points in mind. Like the famous song ‘Purani Jeans ..’ it is sure that after first few weeks of adjustments, you will sail through the rest of your College life and create fond memories which you will cherish forever.

Updated: March 22, 2016 — 5:23 pm
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