THE EARLY DAYS IN COLLEGE
No uniform, no homework . . .finally I am a grown up! …this is the first thought that crosses most of the young minds. School life is over and the student is all set to step into the new world; away from the shield of the parents and protective school teachers. College life opens up the world of opportunity and fun for the teenager.
All mixed emotions:
The excitement is at its peak. But with this excitement comes the anxiety, the nervousness…the fear of the Unknown. Students are generally scared, excited, skeptical, anxious as well as enthusiastic, all at the same time. Well, well…..everyone undergoes these mixed emotions at this stage of life. There is nothing to fear as this is one of the best learning experiences of life. The best thing to cope up with these emotions to is to go with the flow, experience a little discomfort while finding your own ways to cope with the same.
Assessing whom to befriend:
Generally during the first few days students are seen wandering about confused on the campus, trying to understand their new surroundings. They first try and stick to their school friends if they happen to be still together in the college. They either accept the friendship extended to them by others or even does the things by themselves to initiate friendships. The first set of friends or we can say acquaintances are those who happen to sit near to their seats on the first few days of classes. They stick around with their group trying and avoiding the sights of their seniors to avoid being ragged. Coping with seniors can be a very strenuous task for some students.
Understanding the college culture
One of the most important issues. As a teenager, it becomes imperative for one to be a part of the college culture and find the right fit. Try and know about the various associations and groups in the college. They get to know about the various events in the college. .Then comes the time to checkout the ‘happening places to hang out’. These initial days of research is very important as it provides a good base for chilling out during the entire college life. This is also coupled with understanding the rules and regulations of the college and also its various procedures. Students slowly and gradually make their way into the new setup. They try to get used to the new environment, the huge campus, being one of the many faces, being a part of the group yet trying to create your own identity .This is the time when they are trying to attain the ‘cool collegian look’. Gathering a new wardrobe and matching accessories forms a vital part of the same.
The students from the Non- English medium
For some students who are not from the English medium, college life would be a more stressor. For instance, it would be the first time that the entire studies will be in English. Coping with the language can be a challenge for many. The other fear is of speaking. Most of the students get into the shell just by the idea of speaking in English. But, the students should remember, that it is just not the language but the confidence and knowledge that’s important for one to make friends and enjoy college life. Removing the fear of ridicule and failure is essential. As a Japanese or a Korean or and Italian have their accents and nothing stops them from succeeding, so can a Maharashtrain or a Guajarati or a Tamilian can also have an accent. Though, one essential factor is to learn English – the international language to be a global persona!
Coping with Co-Ed system or vice versa [in case of women’s university]:
Getting accustomed to the co – ed culture in the colleges can be a bit difficult for the students from single gender background and even vice versa. Infact, it is a good time to understand and make friends with the opposite gender. Giving yourself some time to cope will be really a good way of dealing with the new group.
Getting used to the mode of Transport:
For many students it may be the first instance to travel away from their home suburb or the even the city. Students thus need to get used to the mode of transport they plan to take to college. Getting used to the time table and the rush hour are the main aspects of travelling. Give yourself some time to plan your travel and make the most of the travelling time.
In case of hostel – adjusting with room mates and a life away from home:
Many students who come away from their hometowns and are living in a hostel also require coping with additional set of issues like adjusting to the room mates, the culture and pattern of living of the new place. One may get homesick for some time, but within no time one realizes that you have created a home away from home.
Preparing for the career:
After getting used to new life and their environment, Students the start planning their future plan of action towards the career they want to pursue. If they happen to be in a course which is not of their choice then the efforts are generally focused towards trying to cope with the lack of the interest and motivating oneself.
Maintaining a balance between fun and learning:
The essence of college life as most of the students do understand is to maintain a good balance between fun and learning. They find out ways to enjoy their college life to the fullest; but not at the expense of their studies.
This is not only the case with students who join local colleges in their own city…… but also with international students on University campuses abroad. For them these initial days of adjustments are even more strenuous as they are thousands of miles away from their home in a totally alien culture. In addition to all these they also need to cope up with the language barriers as well as the climate of the place.
College life is supposed to be the best phase in life. Making the most out of it can lay a very strong foundation for any individual to achieve success in life.