Newly out of the sheltered and cocooned environment of a school, falling into the uneven and harsh terrain of a college, often we find ourselves drawing outlandish parallels between the two institutions.
While the first to twelfth grades are even steps of a progressively heightening ladder, college is the tight rope that one is expected to walk on immediately thereafter. And the latter is a tough nut to crack. As students conditioned into adherence of the stringent school norms, the liberal atmosphere of a college can be both restrictive and intimidating for many of us, depending on how sensitive we are to the changing environs around us. As with any other species, adaptation is key for college newbies too.
Students step into the University with almost bizarre pre-conceived notions, picked up from either word-of-mouth or unintended dialogue, which is usually only unproductive blabber. Well, college is hardly the illusion it is made out to be. While there are some facts that do hold true, there are quite a few which are completely irrational.
From waking up at 6:00 AM to getting dressed for school at 8:00 AM, five days a week, to contemplating attendance for the first lecture thrice a week and deciding against it, finally giving up and going back to bed every single time, college life is a complete U-turn. The massive change which comes with some flexibility, though necessary for students engaged in other activities besides their core academics, can also be exploited. Unfortunately, as soon as a leeway if given in terms of attendance, everyone is content with not showing up for classes as and when convenient. But the contentment usually backfires by the time the semester examinations approach. By then, the ritualistic practice of running after professors for notes and internal marks begins automatically.
College allows for a certain degree of independence, both emotionally and physically, that a school restricts in many ways. Quite a lot of people move out for pursuing degrees in undergraduate courses, some even going abroad, which requires prior preparation on various levels. From finding an accommodation and evaluating comparative benefits of the same to managing finances and holding oneself responsible for one’s own safety, college requires a person to brave against all odds. And as daunting as it may sound, it is the only thing that can probably set a person free from the habit of overindulgence.
While school is a great breeding ground for the simulation of ideas, there is a lot of ‘spoon-feeding’ involved. Pre-formulated notions are fed to the students without inculcating in them a thirst for questioning those notions. College, in this regard, guarantees severe mental exercise on an individual level, on a daily basis. With myriad incidents occurring in campuses on a routine basis, a person is compelled to take notice and address the problems responsibly. It coerces you into thinking about these issues with a latent sense of detachment. With ongoing campus debates and protest rallies for everything from LGBTQ rights to indiscriminate hostel curfew, youngsters attempts to pose questions and challenge the diktat of the authorities.
A college, as mentioned above, instills in us a plethora of good dispositions. When in school, a student generally aims to strike the right balance between academics and extra curriculars and in many cases, the latter ceases to exist. But when in college, it is the world that you are competing with and the competition is relentless. Owing to the rat race that we all unintentionally enlist ourselves in, we pave way for ruthlessness. It is not so much the consideration of the grade point average in isolation as much as the cumulative assessment of an individual’s personality in various arenas of prominence that set him/her apart from a crowd.
With both having their fair share of importance, a school nurtures you into its cocoon, long enough for you to build yourself up from scratch. And a college acquaints you with everything that you need to have, to be well equipped in life.
Feature image credits: Team Fuccha