It’s that time of the year when freshly admitted students, aka the fucchas, are well accustomed to their college life. They’ve probably attended the college fresher’s welcome, now looking forward to the unofficial ones with couple entry passes and free booze.
At this point of time, we have to know that the stage of life we are in often called the transition point. As we move from the protected environment of our schools and homes into the bona-fide-do-what-you-like college and hostels, we realize that we are going to experience a lot of new things in this phenomenal time. Gawky school teenagers with braces and thick glasses transform into beautiful girls with long, shiny hair and long legs. The lanky, hairy guys suddenly metamorphose into tall hunks.
Before you get distracted by all these descriptions, let me tell you that college is also a time of learning and experiencing things you could never have imagined. You are put in situations and circumstances which require to change your priorities and erase your boundaries, still not forgetting to make rational decisions. Not to scare you, but in the midst of this rat race you must also never lose track of what your goals are and who you want to be in the long run. Sounds like a huge challenge, doesn’t it?
Here’s a list of top 10 life experiences a student gets to have during his or her college life.
1. Believe in yourself
Lastly, but most importantly, it is necessary to never let go of your ambitions, your career goals, your dreams and you. In this college life madness, you tend to lose out on a lot of friends and personality attributes in order to be socially accepted by the peer group. You must never compromise on your principles and trust your gut instincts and intuition. Believe that you are the best, and be bold enough to show it to the rest of the world!
2. Street smart setting
Wanting to gain knowledge about getting work done from people with the least effort possible? That’s called being street smart, or what in India is known as “jugaad”. This small little skill is not exactly a life experience, but it helps from the point of view of giving you a competitive edge vis-a-vis your peer group. To be able to successfully negotiate someone to your advantage is a skill hugely coveted by many.
3. Confidence, courage and communication
Also known as the three C’s of entrepreneurship, these attributes will take you far in life, even if you’re not going into a commerce background. Learning how to tackle the not-so-friendly college professors with the utmost diligence just for that extra mark in your internals is an experience you can gain solely from college. This will get you the confidence which will greatly benefit you in the long run!
4. Work hard, party harder
Driven to succeed and compete in every aspect of life, the fresh high school graduates are keen to make it Zuckerberg-big at a young agee. College isn’t just about hard work and getting ahead in the rat race. It’s about enjoying life at large, and learning to sometimes let go of situations which are beyond one’s control. It’s also important to enjoy yourself once in a while, as some students become so career oriented and chasing their goals that they forget what college life memories are really all about. The friends, the gossip, the eating out, the partying, and even the bunking!
5. Choices, choices everywhere
As elaborated earlier, choices are plentiful and abundant during college years. There’s a lot to choose from, but what’s important is the choice you make. Do not lose perspective of what you really want in the long run, and always keep that in mind whenever you have to make some tricky choices. Ditch that newly released movie hitting the theatres this Friday to work for your classroom presentation sometimes. If you’re overworked, take a break and do the opposite instead. But assess your options well!
6. Freedom of speech and expression
Though “guaranteed” in the constitution as a fundamental right to every Indian citizen, this right is ever-so amplified when one reaches college. You have to travel on your own, decide where to eat on your own, spend, earn, learn, grow, do everything on your own! Your parents and teachers and relatives and whatnot won’t be there to hold your pinky finger and spoon-feed you with goodies. Eleutheromania- an intense desire for freedom is what you fulfill when you enter college. A senior tip- use this freedom wisely. Do not go overboard!
7. People always want something from you
College life usually involves a lot of people coming after you with various propositions and projects. Be it an NGO, a social entrepreneurship project, a learning-cum-earning internship, or a training program, they all want something from you! Might be they want something in the form of a cash deposit, or your valuable time or expertise. But get this idea clearly in your mind, that nothing in this world comes for free. Even if they’re trying to lure you into the abyss with certificates and letters of recommendations and freebies and whatnot, do be diligent in choosing what you work for! This is one of the most important life lessons- looking at the other side of the coin, what’s in it for the company. Always weigh the pros and cons before jumping to conclusions.
8. Just do it !
Nike used this as a tagline for a reason! College life is full of opportunities, events and things that are waiting for you to grab them. Make the most of this and go ahead with anything and everything you want to do! Be it the food blog you’ve been wanting to start for ages, or the create-out-of-waste workshop you’ve been waiting to organize in college, there is never a more opportune moment to do what you feel like. The freedom, the resources, the talent, everything is with you. All you need is- the ability to just do it! What’s more, this will come in handy in every stage of your life.
9. Everything at once
With tons of extracurricular societies, social work and internship offers to choose from, college life is a problem of plenty. There will be atleast 20 different things happening in and around your university, and at this time it’s important to choose what you really want experience in and what you want to single-mindedly devote time to. For example- an accountancy class or a photowalk to Lodhi Gardens, a biology project or an internship with an online blogging site, a course in French or dramatics competitions. This experience will help you to assess your priorities at the spur of the moment and still manage to make a good decision. Maybe even juggle between 2-3 activities, for the pro-multitaskers.
10. 7 billion people, 14 billion faces
The first thing you’ve got to get used to is double-faced people. Everywhere, everytime. I don’t mean to stereotype every person you come across in your life, but you have to know that the school-child-like innocence will mostly have disappeared. Tons of people you meet will act or behave or do something differently in front of you than they might do with people they previously knew. What’s more, they may use this double-faceted personality to your detriment. Beware!