Embarking on a New Journey: Starting College Life
Congratulations!! You have all passed your SSC exams and entered College. Some of you are happy; you’ve been 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 teachers who may inspire you, and you may even find your mark in terms of making a Career.
Just think of all 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 you 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 on 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 College is bad!! However, no College person is bad, it is just the perception you have that 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 setback. As a result, you may feel nervous and avoid speaking in Class or making new friends. If this 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, but 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 for 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 that 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 with 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 are other areas 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 with your seniors. However, if the 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 Groups, 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. If 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.
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. The first few weeks in College can be a frightening experience. But remember, College plays an important part in your life. It 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 the first few weeks of adjustments, you will sail through the rest of your College life and create fond memories that you will cherish forever.
Frequently Asked Questions Related to Starting College Life:
Q1: What should I do to prepare for college before the first day of classes?
A1: Before starting college, make sure you’ve completed all admissions requirements, reviewed your class schedule, secured housing, and familiarized yourself with campus resources.
Q2: How can I adjust to the new academic challenges in college?
A2: To adjust to the academic challenges, establish good study habits, attend classes regularly, seek help from professors or tutors when needed, and manage your time effectively.
Q3: What is the importance of orientation programs for incoming college students?
A3: Orientation programs provide valuable information about campus resources, academic expectations, and opportunities to meet fellow students, helping you transition smoothly into college life.
Q4: How do I choose a major or field of study that’s right for me?
A4: Explore your interests, take introductory courses, seek academic advising, and consider your long-term career goals when choosing a major.
Q5: What is the best way to manage finances while in college?
A5: Create a budget, consider part-time work or internships, apply for scholarships and financial aid, and prioritize essential expenses like tuition, housing, and textbooks.
Q6: What can I do to maintain a healthy work-life balance in college?
A6: Balance your academic responsibilities with extracurricular activities, socializing, and self-care. Prioritize time management and stress reduction techniques.
Q7: How can I make friends and build a social network in college?
A7: Attend campus events, join clubs or organizations that interest you, participate in group activities, and be open to meeting new people.
Q8: What are some tips for living in a college dormitory or on-campus housing?
A8: Respect your roommate’s space, communicate openly about expectations, follow dorm rules, and get involved in your residential community.
Q9: How can I stay healthy and maintain well-being while in college?
A9: Maintain a balanced diet, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, manage stress through relaxation techniques, and seek medical care when necessary.
Q10: What resources are available for academic and personal support in college?
A10: Most colleges offer academic advising, tutoring services, counseling centers, health services, career counseling, and disability support services.
Q11: How can I make the most of my college experience beyond academics?
A11: Get involved in extracurricular activities, explore hobbies and interests, attend lectures or cultural events, and take advantage of internship and networking opportunities.
Q12: What are some common challenges students face when starting college, and how can they be overcome?
A12: Common challenges include homesickness, time management, academic stress, and financial pressures. Overcoming these challenges involves seeking support, setting realistic goals, and maintaining a positive attitude.
Q13: How do I navigate the college application process for scholarships and financial aid?
A13: Start early, research available scholarships, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and reach out to the college’s financial aid office for guidance.
Q14: What should I do if I feel overwhelmed or stressed in college?
A14: Seek help from campus counseling services, talk to trusted friends or family members, practice stress-relief techniques, and consider joining support groups.
Q15: What are some strategies for academic success in college?
A15: Attend classes regularly, take thorough notes, actively participate in discussions, and seek help from professors or academic advisors when needed.
Also Read: College Selection Criteria after 10th Exam