Those just out of school can’t wait to start college. But does the quintessential college experience match up to your imagination? Here’s a reality checkSameena Kenaz email@example.com
The first day of college is often weighed down with so many expectations. We lose our sleep over trivial things like: what to wear, which bag to take and wonder endlessly, what it will be like. But, often the experience doesn’t even live-up to our expectations, let alone exceed them. What we expect and what we get, seem to be poles apart for most of us.
Vidhi Malpani, a student of class X at Orchids International School tells us, “I’d like my college to be something different, something new. I want new experiences in life but also after graduating from a school where we have special attention for every student, I would expect the same from my college.”
We expect college to be marvelous. We expect that the new step in life will make us independent, mature and smarter. But does all that really happen?
In some aspects it may have been everything you wanted it be; the independence, all the bunking and hanging out. But, in the other aspects college might have royally failed your imagination. To a lot of students just the joy of being able to wear whatever they want is something to look forward to, but this soon fades to dismay. The grim realities of college life tell a different story altogether.
Hafsa Maqavi, an intermediate, second year student tells us about her experience so far, “College life is completely different then what I thought it would be like, school life is more innocent and we have guidance but college life is too independent and makes us do stuff we regret later.”
And its not just a case of the grass being greener on the other side. Because Ammar, another intermediate student shares the same sentiment.
“School life for me was just perfect! It used to be friends, food, parties, coke, music, cricket and some more parties. I was sure my life wouldn’t change too much once school life would end. But to my surprise, there was something completely different in store for me! College equalled party was how I had thought of it. But on the first day of my college life I wanted to run back to my school life and freeze it forever! But then as days went by, I realized one year of the
‘torture’ was over,”he says wryly.
The reason college means so much to most is because its the changing point of life. It signifies independence, maturity and responsibility for ones actions; hence, the expectations are endless and large.
College means, finally studying only what you want to and no more struggling with subjects you hate. It means an effortless life. But, unfortunately, more often than not, it turns out to be nothing of what we contemplate and sometimes leaves us ‘tortured’ and makes us realise why we realise and cherish school life again.
How to choose a college that’s right for you
Introspects: Till now, you’ve had little choice in the matters of education. But now, you get to choose what you’ll study, where you’ll study and how you want to study. Take your time. Think carefully. Be sure. Don’t give into peer pressure and go in the general direction of where your friends are headed. What might work for them might not for you.
Research, research and more research: Most colleges already have a reputation. Either they’re good, just okay or really bad. While looking them up on the internet might be the easiest way, it’s not the most reliable. Talking to alumni is usually the best way to find out everything about the college.
Stretch your boundaries: If you think there isn’t a good enough college in the vicinity for the programme you want to study, then look for the best place. Don’t settle. Most importantly, don’t eliminate choices because you think the best colleges are too tough to get into. Try anyway. It might make all the difference down the road.
Prioritize: It’s easy to be tempted by the frills of a fancy campus, relaxed rules, glamorous cafeterias or some such but they should not be your criteria for choosing on a college. Instead, inquire about the faculty, the facilities, the courses, the costs and most importantly, the placements.
Think long-term: A commonly made mistake among youngsters is to blindly rush into a course to buy time. If you are not clear about where you are going now, you won’t be two or three years later. So its imperative to think carefully now. Your choice now should ideally be a step towards achieving your long-term goals. That said, don’t be paralyzed by the fear of making the wrong choice. The safest way to avoid going wrong is to study what you love, what you are passionate about, and what you think you will be good at, irrespective of whether its a popular choice or not. If nothing else, you will come out of college having the best time of your life!
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- All that we want it to be? – Postnoon | WHAT TO WEAR | May 28, 2012