There will be times when you will strive for perfection while earning your degree during which you are bound to mess up in some manner or the other. For many students, college is the first time they are responsible for themselves. The road to maturity can be bumpy for some. Okay, most.

Some mishaps can be avoided with a little common sense, but others can only be used as lessons. The growing pains of adulthood are many, but being able to laugh at them in a cap and gown makes them worthwhile.

Here are 10 mistakes that you probably made in the last semester, but need to avoid repeating (because you don’t want to have any “regrets”):

1It’s perfectly fine if you don’t have the answer to questions like, “So, what’s your plan?” You don’t need to respond to your dad’s friend’s second cousin and talk to him about your internship applications or even your academic Not everyone is cut-out for a definite plan and not everything is meant to be precisely planned. You’re allowed to feel lost. You should always strive to have direction, but you should also accept that not every second of your life will have direction, not every moment has to be about doing something for the future, no matter how pressurised you are.

2. However, point 1 does not give you a free pass to be absolutely “clueless’’. It is important to know the difference between being “clueless about what to do” and “still figuring out how to do.” While the latter can be considered healthy, the former isn’t always too.

3. You can burn out on social engagements. Wanting to spend time with everyone is completely understandable. But you don’t need to worry about the fact that you’re not being a social butterfly anymore (because you’re spending too much time with your old friends). In each semester, you reach a point when you’re concerned you didn’t meet enough people. Let me spare you the whining and complaining: you did meet plenty of people, but only a few could stick around. You don’t have to be everyone’s favourite in college. This semester, spend a little less time trying to be everyone else’s favourite and a little more time trying to be your own. That way, you’d be saving a lot more time.

4. Take care of your health. Nothing sets you back from exams, studying, or meeting last-minute deadlines for assignment submission like a nasty cold. When you think you need to sleep, trust that instinct. For those who have joined hostels, your mom isn’t cooking your meals anymore. And while there’s nothing wrong with partying now that your curfew is a thing of the past, there is something wrong with binge-eating fast food every night. Don’t ignore your health just because you’re finally on your own. 

5. Don’t use Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) as an excuse to not attend classes, or not to complete an assignment on time.Your 19th/20th/21st birthday is not the last birthday you will ever celebrate. It is not your wedding. It’s not the day you land the job you’ve been waiting for. You are going to have another birthday next year. So if your birthday party doesn’t go perfectly, it’s fine. If you don’t get to attend a Game of Thrones themed party in Hauz Khas Village, it’s fine. If you don’t get to attend Sunburn even if Jason Derulo is part of the line-up, you should be fine.  FOMO is real, but not real enough to make you miss that internal or not submit that assignment you’d get 10 marks for.

6. Remember that you’re not in high school anymore and that nobody cares what you were like in high school. It’s okay to take good memories from high school with you to college, but make sure to not get caught up in them. If you stay too attached to your high school experience, you won’t be open to everything that your next semester has to offer (this holds true especially for freshers). Don’t focus on what made you “you” in high school.

7. Don’t think it’s uncool to sit in the first row of class. We can all admit that most of the cool kids certainly did not sit in the front row of class in elementary, middle, or high school unless a seating chart-wielding math teacher forced them to do so. If, in the last semester, you looked at most of those students sitting in those spots on their own accord as teachers’ pets, rethink about it: the less distracted you are, the more you register the first time, the less studying you have to do, and the more time you have for your cool college life.

8. Every semester is different. If you had an 8.4 GPA in your last semester, it would not necessarily stop you from getting a 4.2 in the next one. You would need to up your game and address each new semester with a renewed approach. The rules are different in each semester.

9. Everyone is probably telling you right now that these will be the happiest four years of your life. What they probably aren’t telling you is that these will also be some of the worst years of your life. In college, you will feel on top of the world in one semester and utterly defeated in the next. Just try to remember that you’re not doing anything wrong if you’re having a hard time. And before you jump to any conclusions about how much happier everyone else is and how much more fun they’re having than you, sit down and talk to a friend. You’d be surprised to know how many people feel lost and directionless in at least some point in their college careers.

10. As you begin with another semester, it would be wise to leave you with a quote which stands true whether you’re 14 or 41,”For what it’s worth: it’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.”- Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button 


Feature Image Credits: YouthKiAwaaz

Vaibhavi Sharma Pathak

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Having entered the final year of college life makes me feel old and lazy. Everyday is a new reflection yet the drudgery of the daily chores never seems to leave us, does it? While on one hand, it feels as if life is circling around the same metro stations, the same college canteen hangout spots, the never ending boredom of group projects, but, on the other hand, a constant thought of this time soon coming to an end strikes hard. This time has come as a strong realisation that I have just one more year to make mistakes, without being judged and you know what, one should utilise this time in making as many mistakes as possible. Let me explain you why.

Life will be unfair to you at so many junctures that you might want to give up, but dont. Instead, fall, get bruised by the realities of life and continue playing the game of life. There will be times when youll question your choices, your decisions or even yourself, but thats the beauty of inquisition. The mortal homo sapien never gets satisfied easily, so questioning is normal.

After breaking the cocoon of school life, when a young adult enters college, hopes are high and sky is the limit, but overtime, litmus tests come one after another, some sweet some bitter, but both equally important for the recipe called experience. Make your life notes, take things as they come and never hesitate to fall. If you never fall, how will you ever know if it hurts or not? Gather the courage and tread the road not taken, whether it is taking an important life decision or just a simple day to day function, try the unconventional and put the hesitation aside. Sometimes, the ache of sitting and waiting for things to happen to you is more than the pain caused from falling down, so be wise.

To quote the poem A Thing of Beautyby John Keats, Some shape of beauty moves away the pall, From our dark spirits, that is, there is beauty everywhere but the beauty of the inner soul is supreme, and that removes the pall of all negativity, therefore, strive for it and youll succeed.

I read somewhere, If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room, and this statement left an indelible imprint on my mind. All of us are in different rooms on this earth, but our address is never permanent. There is always scope for change and thats what the room of life is all about- the unavoidable phenomenon called change. So let us work at changing our ideological addresses. For it is the fear of falling that makes us run harder, but this time, dont run to win.

Riya Chhibber
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Image Credits: pixhome.blogspot.com