So here you are, Little Fresher. A bundle of happy and excited nerves as you wait for your dream colleges to declare their first cut-off list on the 27th of June. You’ve done yourself and your family proud by clearing your board examinations with flying colours and securing an enviable percentage. So far, so good. However, if you think that the worst is over and the biggest hurdle (of getting stupendous marks) has been conquered, you are sadly mistaken. You’ve only just begun on your struggle to get admission into the country’s premium university. The journey ahead will not be an easy one, and you must tread with caution, pragmatism and confidence.
The thing is, Little One, that applying to college is like a capital budgeting decision. It requires an investment of a huge chunk of your time and effort. Also, it decides and seals the coming three years of your life. In most cases, it is irreversible, except at a huge cost. Therefore, when you apply to colleges, you must be careful not to commit, what we call ‘The 7 Cardinal Sins of Applying to DU’.
Let me lift the cloud of naivety and walk you through these deadly mistakes that you’re likely to commit out of your haste, ignorance and prejudices:
SIN #1: Choosing ‘College over Course’
It’s appalling to see people settling for courses which are not of their choice in colleges of their choice. A rational human being will tell you that at the end of the day, it is your skill and knowledge set, acquired vis-à-vis your course that will make your career, not the name of your college. And for all those who continue to live in the abyss of oblivion, let me tell you, the brand name that you so desperately hanker for won’t even matter once you graduate. What will, however, is your course degree. So choose wisely.
SIN #2: Preferring campus colleges to off-campus ones
Aah, the lure of campus! The winding lanes that connect colleges, the street vendors and their carts of yummy food, street shopping, fests, and just the convenience of being able to hop out of one college and get into the other. All these things might sound like such a treat to the unaware outsider. But believe me, campus is not the paradise that people make it out to be. Sure, it has its pros. But it also has its cons (eg: traffic, election ruckus, etc). So don’t let your specious perceptions colour your mind. In fact, by preempting off-campus colleges, you might miss out on some wonderful institutes of learning.
SIN #3: The Herd Mentality
You had a great gang of friends in school, whom you love to the moon and back. But does that mean you’re going to follow them into any college they may choose for themselves? No sir! Grow up, for God’s sake! What is good for you may not be good for others and vice-versa. So make sure you put your needs and priorities ahead of everything else and pick a college that best meets your goals, not those of others.
SIN #4: Ruling out all-girls colleges
We’ve all heard things like, “Co-ed institutions offer a more natural environment” and “All-girls colleges stifle overall development”. It’s absolute bunkum! An all-girls college gives you the same, if not better, college experience and exposure: a liberating environment, a nurturing and sensitive attitude, a spectacular education and add to that, some great placements (since most companies today prefer women workers). If you’ve never studied in such an ambience before and are scared of having adjustment issues, then you’re simply a victim of your own bias. DU has some brilliant all-girls colleges and not applying to them because of what you’ve been told by detractors is foolish.
SIN #5: Taking advice from every Tom, Dick and Harry
Too many cooks spoil the broth, and the broth is an absolute disaster if the cooks aren’t even trained to make it! When you apply to colleges, you’ll attract advice from all quarters. Make sure to filter out the opinions of those who are actually knowledgeable on the subject. If you listen to too many people, you’ll get extremely muddled and that will just complicate your life even further. So considering the advice of your teacher may be a better idea than letting your ‘Ludhiana-wale door ke rishtedaar’ tell you where to go and why!
SIN #6: Failing to account for specialized faculty
Certain colleges in DU are known for their reputed faculty for a particular course. So it’s possible that in overall rankings, a college may not feature high on top, but has great professors for the course you wish to pursue. This criteria is important if you wish to actually learn something from college and not just waste away yourself at first parties and then at tuition centres just weeks before your exam.
SIN #7: Lack of holistic evaluation
Finally, it’s important to make a list of all the evaluation criterias that suit your needs, prioritize among different factors and then apply them to your evaluation. Your evaluation must ideally be a holistic one, based on not just a few superficial factors like brand value and placements, but also factors like course timings, societies, faculty etc.
Hopefully, Nino, you’ve been adequately enlightened.
Here’s wishing you all the luck for a successful admission. See you at DU!
Feature image credits: Aditya Rathore