College days are said to be the most memorable ones. It is when you truly discover yourself, your talents, preferences and skills. It is also the decisive period when most important decisions of our lives are made. It is also vastly different from the school atmosphere. You interact with a much wider spectrum of people with different thoughts and ideas. It is very difficult to actually find the kind of people who you get along with very early.
The problems faced by youngsters in getting used to the place and make friends are rather short lived one’s and are part of the environment which is common while going to any new place. There are several other problems faced by students, which are physically and emotionally draining. In India, while the students feel they have grown up when they enter college, the parents and teachers don’t think the same way. They are restricted in every sense that most of the students don’t even get to decide what they want to study. There is famous phrase which states, “India is a country where students first become Engineers and then decide what to do in life.” Some of the common problems faced by these youngsters are:
1. Drinking and Smoking problems
India as a country has become alcoholic. Until a few years back, we had people drinking and smoking in college but they always tried not to showcase it as it was considered bad. With the advent of social media, being stupid and drunk has become the new being cool. College students go out partying and drinking and consider not drinking as being uncool. Everything is fine until it exceeds a certain limit, but students are not able to draw a line which is a real cause for concern.
College life is one which is to be enjoyed but the obvious changes in environment and the social structure is making it difficult for students to adapt and it is affecting them in the long run.
2. Lack of Interest and Motivation
College is not like school. Indian students are spoon fed throughout school and they constantly attend classes, extra classes, tests and tuitions to learn the same concepts day in day out and finally vomit everything on the day of final exam. Some of the students are pushed into courses which they don’t prefer and it makes them rather depressed. Students lose interest and forget the actual purpose of going to college and tend to become lethargic and uninterested. When reality finally dawns upon them in the final semester, it is already too late.
3. Mess Food
College and Hostel fees are higher than ever, but still the facilities for students remain sub standard in most colleges. It is easier to find an extinct animal than a hostel mess which provides decent food. It is the nightmare of any hosteller and they spend their days in cookies and maggi which is not very good for health. Students constantly fall sick and no number of strikes or protests changes this pathetic condition in many colleges. It is high time a board was set up to inspect the food in colleges and make random checks to make colleges understand the seriousness.
Another common problem faced by today’s younger generation is too much of stress and peer pressure. While the earlier generations studied and worked they were not remotely as stressed as the current lot. They are constantly monitored, and there is a constant need for competition and extra effort. Things are constantly changing and they have to keep themselves updated to stay in the game, otherwise it is very easy to get left behind while the others keep moving forward.
5. Part-Time Jobs
Until not so long back, parents would never let their precious kids take up part time jobs. In India, working and studying was never appreciated. But with increased tuition fees and sky-rocketing book prices, many students are taking up part time jobs. Part-time jobs when related to what they study, is actually useful and can provide a great experience. But, most students take up jobs in pizza outlets and petrol bunks which distract them from studies and could pose a significant problem to their growth.
6. Relationship Problems
Being in a relationship is one of the most awaited dreams of most students. Finding a person who likes you back is not easy to find and when that happens there is no better feeling. But this happiness is more often than not short-lived. Very soon, relationships can become a mental block and might hamper the relationship with other people like friends and roommates. Break ups can be very hard to take at this age and can make the students depressed.
For most college students, roommates are the biggest nightmare. It is a rarity to find someone who gets a roommate who he/she gets along with. Most roommates like any husband and wife get on each other’s nerves and the mere sight of the roommate can make one lose his mind. Spending long hours with the same people can be taxing, but students should realize the days spent fighting and hating are days wasted and could be used for better purposes.
Increased tuition fee, hostel costs, eating out, birthday treats, gifts for girlfriend/boyfriend and by the end of the first week all the money your parents sent for that month are over. After the first week or maximum by the second the students hardly eat. College students drop out of college each year because they cannot afford it.
9. Hostel life
Hostel life is fun. The freedom of not being forced to eat and sleep in time and having the option to go “Maggi” any time makes it fun. But it is always short lived. As days go by, things become monotonous and boring. Students start missing the comforts of home. Washing their own clothes and not being able to have a bed coffee are some of the things students really start to miss. Homesickness is a huge problem for most kids, but there is no solution for this because it is part of growing up. It is better to accept and move on.
10. Studying …Still!
The most common problem faced by students is that they find it hard to accept the fact that going to college doesn’t mean end of your academics. Partially influenced by movies, which show college students only in canteens and theaters students often think college is merely fun. When presented with actual facts like results and monthly tests they tend to get depressed. The parents and teachers should also be blamed for telling their kids, finish school and no one will ever force you to study again. The only possible solution is to understand that college is a place where we can make friends and have fun but it doesn’t end there. The ultimate purpose is to learn and shape your future.