College life initially feels like a slow brutal transition from a cushioned environment of importance to an equal platform and everyone’s ready to dive. It’s important that you know that everyone around you is feeling the same way, watching everyone else’s steps and calculating how they’re handling it.
Here are some lessons that you can probably learn before you take that first step into campus unlike a lot of other people who only had these epiphanies once they were done with their first year.
1. Can’t win ’em all, my friend:
School and College are too very different institutions of education (unless you went from a Christian girls school to a Christian girls college), so attacking exams is not going to be the same. About three months into college you’re going to be very confused about course structure and sadly the professors’ jaded monologue will not give you closure. If you were some inconceivably thorough kid in school, those days are over. Studying for exams in DU is concise and precise. The professors will scare you about an array of topics (do not lose sleep over it). When you find yourself fairly acquainted with the subject, search for past year papers, go through about three papers for the subject, pick the common four or five questions and target them as your syllabus (trust me, with all the chilling, you won’t even have time to reach out for the 6th question).
FYI: A Delhi University paper usually offer you a lot of choice – attempting 4-6 out of 8-10 questions.
Most of the times we get so caught up keeping up with all the partying after school that we kind of carry it with us to college too. (Never a bad thing!) However, a lot of us take a bullet at the end of the year when we get our mark sheet and there is this beautiful column of loops under our attendance or well our internal exam marks. In colleges where attendance carries marks, it’s crucial to assert that 5 additional marks in each subject can really turn that frown upside down. Calculate what constitutes 85% in your college and then limit your weekly holidays accordingly. This way you don’t fall short and you also don’t compromise on those much needed holidays to just sleep in.
3. Compulsory what?:
There is this ominous period at the end of the year in college where literally every student runs around campus like there’s a clearance sale and their favourite Zara top is going for 200 bucks. This grief is brought by a college clearance slip that calls for signatures, approvals, a lot of pleading and it also really gets your creative juices flowing. At the beginning of the year, students are asked to pick a compulsory society (DO IT!). Go and register yourself with whichever society interests you or brings out the philanthropist in you because when the clouds are overhead and everyone’s begging for clearance, you want to be the one that gets a straight signature. Most of these societies involve NGOs and very modest work. Pick a day in the week, stay back for an extra hour and do the work. Bee very smart when you’re picking a society. Do not go for complicated societies which require you to work outside college and also require more than 10 hours per semester for clearance. At the end of the day, this is gratifying, feel-good work and you get a shiny certificate at the end of the semester.
FYI: Incase you don’t complete the requisite 10 hours you can make up for it next semester, if you’re a few hours up or actually more likely to be down, then be a likeable person so that society convenors do you some favours.
4. Societal Pressure:
When you first enter college, there are waves of students being swayed from one society’s auditions to another. It’s great to try out all your options but if you’re actually looking to join an additional society to showcase your talents, make sure it’s really what you want to do. Society Members tend to attract quite a lot of grief from professors (Don’t fight back). Your professors are looking out for you because you’re going to be missing a whole load of classes. Just make sure it’s worth it. If you choose well, it can be one of the most enterprising decisions you make in college and can really shape your growth but entering societies or external organizations because you think you can get to higher levels in a shorter time is not worth the effort. All societies have wacky culture, you have to make sure you keep your personality separate from it and not merge the two. You don’t want to try and fit in; you need the society or organisation to fit you.
5. Communicate and Elucidate:
One very important aspect of college is the part where you actually build a database for life. Make yourself open to conversation if you aren’t because these people that you associate with are the ones you want to keep in a lifelong contact book. Our generation tends to find people with common interests and form interest groups that have issue or topic related discussions and we have a separate group of friends for our affectionate rendezvous’. This is a great quality to have because people with the same interests will help each reach greater heights within their field. Always keep one eye on their endeavours and seek to be inspired by the people around you. A lot of people were stars in school but everyone you meet in college worked just as hard as you, so toss that ‘know it all’ attitude and seek to be inspired. Fellow students might be involved in projects you never knew existed. It’s a two-way street so surge to inspire as well, help people grow and don’t be afraid of giving other people opportunities that you might have turned down. It definitely makes you look pretty damn good!
Feature Image credits: Vibhana Kanwar for DU Beat (firstname.lastname@example.org)