admission season


The term “gap year” has always connoted something bittersweet in the context of Indian schooling. It’s perfectly understandable to be paralysed by uncertainty and to feel hurt when you watch your peers enjoying college life. However, taking a gap year can also be thought of as “life-changing” in a good sense.

So, the crucial query becomes: Are they actually worthwhile?

The fifteen years of schooling are nonstop, from the daily coaching sessions to the long hours spent studying for college admission tests. Every student has been accompanied by weekly in-class assessments, assignments, home assignments, summer projects, and presentations since the young third grade. We are unaware of the burnout boiling behind all of this work, extracurricular activities, submissions, and deadlines. With the impending idea of the “right degree and the right college,” high school students face more difficult hurdles as they compete for the “perfect” score on entrance examinations, hunting for the “perfect” private coaching facility. The coaching centre then adds to the already enormous mountain of homework, exams, projects, and improbable demands.

Faced with the rapid pace of growing up and the steadily building burnout, most students lose touch with themselves and fall into the never-ending cycle of living up to other people’s expectations. Even professionals in their thirties and forties, such as doctors, lawyers, academics, businesspeople, and others, frequently exhibit the appearance of being disoriented ex-cons of some perplexing lifelong boot-camp. Some even claim that they chose their profession out of obligation to others or that they just happened to drift into it without stopping to consider if they truly enjoyed their employment. They frequently claim to have completely lost their youth because they never lived in the moment and were constantly focused on some vague future objective.

Hence, the question arises: is a gap year a solution to all of these problems?

Most likely, yeah. In order to ponder, “recreate” themselves without the constant pressure to succeed as an influence, and build up strength for the upcoming college years, students need plenty of free time. Long lectures, demanding curricula, deadlines, presentations, research papers, resumes, internships, and a seemingly never-ending struggle to achieve a balance between academics and career define a new period of our educational endeavours in college (not to mention cramping in campus societies as well).  A gap year gives a student this important amount of time to dedicate to themselves and carefully plan their future studies.

However, it is crucial to ask: how can one make a gap year useful?

Students have plenty of opportunities during a gap year to work, study, and travel. While most students lack the resources to travel or engage in such exotic pursuits, spending more time reading, keeping up with old friends, participating in small-scale internships, and developing new interests can also be beneficial. However, for both students and their parents, taking time off can be a terrifying concept. Students frequently wish to follow their companions down old and secure roads. Parents are concerned that their children will get distracted from college and may never join. Both worry that taking a break could cause pupils to “fall behind” or permanently lose their study skills. Yet, the advantages of a gap year typically outweigh the hazards, so there is rarely a need for concern. Many students believe that their gap years were a “life-altering” experience whose entire value will never be known and which will benefit them for the rest of their lives. Many students arrive at college with fresh ideas for their academic goals, extracurricular interests, the intangibles they intended to acquire there, and the career options they saw during their gap year.

Is then a year-long breather worth it after all?

Although the emphasis here has been on measures to reduce stress for today’s high-achieving generation, it is important to emphasise that the majority of kids are really prospering under pressure. The foundation of extraordinary accomplishments is never imitating the successes of others. More often than not, well-intentioned but mistaken parents strive to shape their kids into the kind of success they value, and since kids are so easily moulded, they readily accept the programme before they are old enough to make such decisions for themselves. The paradox is that the only way to truly succeed is to fully express who you are, to be successful in what you do, and to do it on your terms. Thus, the demands put on many kids unintentionally delay their ability to discover who they are and flourish on their own terms. We should all be able to admire Amartya Sen’s accomplishments in economics while also making our own, more modest strides in our respective disciplines and methods. Redefining success as the accomplishment of the student’s own goals, including those that are yet to be found, benefits both parents and kids. Burn-out is an inevitable result of trying to live up to alien goals. Time-out can promote discovery of one’s own passions.

Growing up today is a vastly different experience. While some families and students are suffering as a result of the hectic pace, others are coping but are not as happy with their life as they would like to be. Even the “happy warriors” of today’s ultra-competitive landscape, who are doing very well, run the risk of becoming less human as they struggle to meet what may be growingly unattainable demands.

The unfortunate truth still is that the world has traditionally characterised success as being characterised by high test scores, medal winners, and exam top scorers. However, it is always important to remember that graduation is not a race and life doesn’t always have to be competitive.

It’s okay to occasionally stand back, take a deep breath, look around, and live a little, just for you and your tiny being.

Trust me, it all ends up well 🙂

Read Also: The Home Conundrum, and the Battle of Graduating

Featured Image Credits: Fegans (Google Images)

Priyanka Mukherjee

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With a thought of advancement on the previous admission methodology, Delhi University (DU) plans to make the entire admission process for the academic session 2020-2021 online. The pre-admission processes and the portal are likely to start from first week of April.

Earlier for the academic batch 2019-2020 only the form filling, course selection, fee submission, and the availability of the University admission form were online. But, after the declaration of the cut-offs the students had to go to their chosen colleges for document submission, stand in long queues and fill several forms to get admitted. However, this time DU plans to omit all the unnecessary trouble by making the entire process tech friendly and online.

An Admission Committee headed by Rajiv Gupta, Chairman, Dean Student’s Welfare (DSW), and 15 other members has been created. Besides this, this time a separate ‘Dean of Admissions’ headed by Shobha Bagai has also been set up by the University.

Regarding the process, a DU official said to The Indian Express that“The process will provide relief to both students and teachers students come from various parts of the country and abroad, parents and students face a lot of issues during admissions. Thus, making admissions online, the students will be able to take admissions without running from pillar to post,”  The idea regarding the same was proposed in a recent meeting of the admissions committee.

The official further told that after the declaration of the cut-offs students will be required to select a college, submit scanned copies of their documents pay an online fees, after which they will be provided with a month to visit the college for getting their documents verified. Although the same official also informed that the the proposal will be submitted and presented in the Academic Council meeting for further suggestions and only after that its implementation can be confirmed.

Feature Image Credits : Saubhagya Saxena for DU Beat

Kriti Gupta

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With early registration, de-linking of sports and ECA admissions, reduction in slack for stream change, and usage of CBSE’s database for mark sheet, the aspiring DU students could look forward to a much-simplified experience.

Delhi University (DU) will open the admission portal for the academic year 2019-20 on 15th April, which is much earlier than what was normative in previous years, when it started in the month of May. The registrations will close on May 7, giving the students a shorter duration for filling in their forms, thereby, perhaps limiting the number of applications.
In another novel step, the portal will be reopened on 20th May for students to update their marks and course, and make amends in case of any mistakes. This had been a long-standing demand of students, and previously too, the university had received many grievances about the same.
Rajeev Gupta, who is the chairman of the admission committee, and also the dean of students’ welfare, made public the schedule on Friday.
Besides, the varsity will also restrict the number of times applicants can change courses or colleges during the process of admissions. That number is not known at the moment, but there will be updates on the same soon. Allegedly, it was the principals throughout DU who suggested these changes for undergraduate admissions.
Earlier, on changing their stream, the students faced a five per cent deduction in their best-of-four. The university has now reduced it to only two per cent, making it much easier for students to get enrolled in the course of their choice.
Another much talked-about topic when it comes to admissions in DU is the Sports and Extra Curricular Activity (ECA) quotas. Here, the students who have sufficient skill and certificates for the same, give trials and are ranked accordingly to secure admissions in colleges. Up till now, these trials were a part of the main admission procedure and were linked to cut-offs to some extent, if not completely. Now, the admissions for Sports and ECA will be held separately and will be de-linked to the main procedure completely. The admissions to candidates under this section will begin on 20th May.
All the affiliated colleges, barring St. Stephen’s College and Jesus and Mary College have the combined admission process.
Another thing that DU is trying to do differently is to contact CBSE to use their database, so the colleges could get the students’ mark sheet directly, which would result in ending the practice of submitting the many certificates, and also any chance of forfeited documents.
Colleges will be required to include representatives from various categories such as SC, ST, OBC, EWS, northeast, in their grievance committees, the varsity said. With DU implementing the EWS quota, more seats are expected to be added this year.
With so many things to look at, DU Beat suggests all aspiring students to continually keep track of the changes that are being made, and update their documents accordingly. DU’s official website along with other media houses must be visited regularly for early information and updates. While filing the online admission form, double or triple checking all information will ensure that students don’t have to worry about correcting the information later. Gap year students must have an affidavit and a fresh character certificate ready. ECA and sports category aspirants must also keep checking their schedules and venues of trials.
Rest assured, it can be said that the admission process this year will be much smoother.
Maumil Mehraj
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Feature Image Credits: Niharika Dabral for DU Beat.