College life myths


How does college life hold up to the expectations of freshers?


I remember how I walked into my college the first day- dressed dandy, eyes glimmering with hope and my tote bag heavy, with things enough to last a zombie attack. The college itself was brimming enthusiasm and anticipation- the kind of anticipation only 18-year-old kids finally going to college can muster.

For some, college life is a new beginning. For others, it’s a chance to finally delve into what they love. Regardless, I wasn’t the only excited 18-year-old there. A romantic by heart, I was expecting my own Pitch Perfect-esque adventures.  Coming to college felt like that Miley Cyrus song, the one where she hops off with a dream and a cardigan.

The first week of college felt great, but I knew it was too good to be true. The rose glasses soon came off. What I expected were breezy days where I could dress up to my heart and come and leave whenever I wanted, finally doing something I truly was interested in. What I soon found out was that technically college was all that, except with an asterisk that said Terms and Conditions apply in the fine print.

While I already had low expectations, the first thing that college changed was my study habits. Education took a backseat on this ride. Travelling for an hour for just one class became a chore and education for me started revolving around attendance, assignment submissions, internals, and externals. Like every other fresher, I got involved in college societies.

The biggest surprise that came was how the hype around societies failed to meet the expectations. The entire buzz around societies, auditions, and inductions mellowed down as soon as it dawned on us that societies, too, weren’t all games. The first week was filled with overenthusiastic students like me eager to be a part of every society possible. Fast forward to two months later, and half of us had already left or were regretting what we joined.

The desire to join a society, though, felt like a part of my bigger desire to fit in. To find a place. To finally figure out what it was that I was meant to do. It was easy to get lost in a space where everyone is just as talented, especially when I was still on my path to self-discovery and enlightenment.

The one thing that college did get right is the diversity and variety. That any given point of time, there was something happening for someone. Interested in student politics? There’s a protest in the Arts Faculty. A film critic? The film society is hosting a screening. Into drama? There’s a street play at the metro station. And this gave me, and every other fresher out there, a chance to try out new things.

College life showed me how it is easy to get caught up in this whirlpool. Easy to get lost in the eye of all this newfound freedom. Easy to forget who I was amidst assignments, projects, new friends, and ‘getting a life’. What they said was that college was about going out of my comfort box, meeting new people and discovering myself. What they didn’t tell me was how college was also five continuous classes a day, piling coursework and sometimes biting off more than I could chew.

But what I’m learning is that college comes with so many firsts. But it also seems like a place that makes things last and I’m just taking my time on my ride!


Featured Image Credits: DU Beat Archives


Satviki Sanjay

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The modus operandi of a college with its jam-packed classes and extremely busy professors defers from the relatively relaxed atmosphere of a school. Although it might not be easy to shake off the feeling that school is over, you will face the ultimatum of settling in inevitably. Here are some ways in which you can understand, right at the bat, the crucial differences between the operating systems of schools and colleges:

  1. To each his own: Unlike the schools where there are set timetables and teachers know the students personally, colleges are have thousands of students. The professors are too busy with academic ambitions of their own to go out after every student and ask them about their progress. It is largely the duty of the student to pursue their educators and let them know if they face any problems.
  2. It’s not all a party: No, unfortunately colleges in University of Delhi (and elsewhere) do not host year-long parties. Parties are highly small in number and restricted to a handful of formal occasions like fresher’s, farewell, the fests, and so on. Even though informal parties might abound, students are often seen buried in books, trying to outpace the amount of readings given to them to save their lives.
  3. Bunking is not occasional: Those of you who have concocted rose-tinted dreams of college life being full of bunking classes and going to their “hangout” spots, are about to get a rude shock. Professors are strict about attendance in many colleges, and unfortunately, it is one of those ways in which they actually track the movements of the students.
  4. Hush, it’s not all that bad: Although there are many things that make college life harder than school life, there are some amazing perks to be enjoyed as well such as the relative independence it offers, the wide range of societies that cater to the different skills of a student and of course, the out-station trips and the fests. Enjoy these moments with full enthusiasm because of their apparent rarity, almost like pearls found in an oyster.

Although college life can be intimidating to many, the important thing to remember is that adjusting to college life is something every student grapples with in the beginning and figures out by the end of it.

Feature Image Credits: Surabhi Khare for Mercatus

Sara Sohail

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As rosy as the picture may seem, college life isn’t all about bunking, sleeping or partying. For all 12th grade graduates who are looking forward to this enthralling college life, here’s something to burst your bubble. Movies have painted a very misguiding image about college life where it seems to be just about  hanging out in canteens, going out with friends or sleeping if there’s nothing better to do. And since we believe that you have the right to know what it actually is like, we bring to you the truth about the much-hyped and much talked about life in college:

1. Studies don’t matter a bit!

This. Is. Not. True. There’s no more or no less to add to it. Whether you’ve enrolled yourself in an arts or science course, studies do need to stand in your priority list. Sadly, the fact is that competition doesn’t cease to exist in college either. So one does need to be in the game to sail through. Though whether you do these studies throughout the semester or towards the end is another issue (and choice) all together.

2. Bunk college, nobody is going to care.

Well, guess what, you’re going to care immensely when you’re required to sign a monetary bond in case of your attendance being short. Certain colleges are no less strict than schools when it comes to attendance. So, the next time you plan to bunk college to catch a movie or go out to your favourite restaurant with your friends, think about the money you’ll have to let go of towards the end of the semester.

3. Girls’ colleges and the stigmas attached

Okay, let’s get it straight. Girls’ colleges are no unending Lakmé Fashion Weeks. No, girls don’t dress up to colleges; no, there are no cat-fights and no, they definitely are no boring places with gossiping girls all around. Quite honestly, girls’ colleges are as fun as co-educational ones; with equal opportunities and avenues. One can witness girls in all sorts of apparels- from pyjamas to dresses. (Get over this myth, please!)

4. You’re all grown up and have it all figured out.

Apart from all the fun college has to offer, there certainly are times wherein you miss being younger. Taking decisions independently, working out your finances on your own (there are going to be lots of debts) and the idea of living alone does intimidate one. It’s natural to mess up a bit in the beginning but one does figure it all out eventually. You do grow up through the course of college.

5. The crowd college has to offer

It’s very easy to adjust; given that everyone is new, everyone is in the same boat as you are. You’re likely to meet multiple people before you belong yourself to that one group. With this, college has a very vibrant and dynamic cultural life to offer wherein you meet people from all across the country. So no, there are no snobs. People are quite friendly on the other hand! Also, since everyone is trying to fit in, there’s a rare chance for you to find that ‘someone’ within a few months of joining college. Try to not look, in fact. You’re likely to have better chances then!

No matter what anyone says, college life is genuinely the best time of one’s life. Explore your possibilities and opportunities. You’ll go places. And even though it may seem than college has no rules at all, there certainly are a few which one should adhere too. Also, things might go a little rough on your pockets at times, but friends are the best debtors after all, aren’t they?

Feature image: campus.ie

Arushi Pathak

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