By Navneet Arora:
College life welcomes us to a whole new world and presents a pool of opportunities. We step into this space with a clean slate where nobody knows us and vice versa. So we have to start all the way from scratch. In such a scenario, one might feel lost, and a sense of disorientation might hover over us because suddenly we are brought out from the protected environment of school to a place where we have loads to explore.
Provided we are keen to grab opportunities and make something out of them, there is a lot one can do in their college life. We can/can’t gain a lot from our college life and our experience changes us in ways we can not even imagine. Often, people lose interest in activities and become complacent. This way the three years (on an average) of our college life whiz past without leaving an imprint on our lives. One definitely does not want that.
The best way one can feel a sense of belonging to one’s educational institution is by being a part of various events that the college organizes. For instance, annual fests, competitive events, or various society events. Sakshi Jain, a 2nd year student of Lady Shri Ram College for Women was part of the organizing committee of the Annual Academic Meet of her Department, ‘Juxtapose’, which was held recently on 7th-9th October. She describes her experience, “Teamwork is the most important virtue that one learns from such events as you are supposed to collaborate with different types of people. Whether you are an introvert or extrovert (though the latter would be better for a person in such situations) you have to be able to communicate effectively. Decision-making and self-help are two major things that you need to imbibe if you haven’t already.”
In case of societies, if a full year commitment is not possible, then one can enroll for individual events or workshops. This does enrich a student with the much-needed exposure on how to handle an event, to gauge the possible obstacles and overcome them efficiently as and when they occur in the future. It gives an immense boost to the self-confidence of a student. According to Yukti Wadhwa, a 2nd-year student of Daulat Ram College, “I was pretty shy and timid while in school and not really high on confidence. But starting all over again in college and the fact that nobody knew each other, really worked for me. I actively take part in various activities. I like taking up responsibilities, being part of college activities, making them better and giving my best shot. It has indeed given me a lot of experience and boosted my confidence. A new and different work environment prepares us well. Some students fear taking up responsibilities because they feel that they haven’t done any such thing before and they might end up spoiling things for others as well. But then, there is always a first time. It is perfectly okay to be confused. But be confidently confused.”
Juhi Bajaj, a 2nd year student from Sri Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce, says, “What has supreme importance over everything else is to get the work done. Apart from personal growth, one gets an opportunity to encounter various conflicting opinions on the way that widen horizons, instil tolerance and help us accommodate differing perspectives to look at one particular thing. Besides, we can always learn smarter and better ways to do things with other people. The worst one can do to oneself is to consider their own opinion as the ‘right’ one and refuse to listen. This habit does more harm than anything else. Ultimately such events refine your skills and prepare you for the outside world.”
Indeed what college can’t spoon feed us with, is how to set our priorities. We have to figure it out and set things straight on our own. Nobody will tell us what book to read, how to arrange our time table and what, when and how to study. The simple principle is ‘to each, their own’. We have to adjust to this paradigm shift where nobody is telling us things and we have to make or break through situations mostly single-handedly.
Precisely, college does not serve us things on a platter. Moreover, when we are new to an environment and need to start afresh, there is a possibility that we can lose our sense of direction. At this point one can, rather optimistically, focus on the lightness of being a beginner again and continue the journey with a clean slate.
Apart from making a lot of new friends, one can earn an unforgettable journey of learning and discovering oneself. We do uncover some traits in our personality that we may not have been familiar with, and we can come out a stronger and more self-aware person. Moreover, college can always be fun with friends.
After all, the biggest room in the world is the room for improvement and what better when you get a fair chance to fall and rise within this space. So it is better to do that here in college than step out clueless.