Fun, fear and facts of University life

It is time to say bye to your young schooling days and step out into the adult world of college life. All the students who are due to start their college life this July/August must be filled with a feeling of anticipation, excitement and dread. The hype surrounding the college life makes it sound so enjoyable that you just can’t wait to start your new life. But the thought of going away from home, going away from your parents, going away from your familiar surrounding, makes you misty eye (yeah, we know, it’s just the dirt in the eye).

Sometimes these mixed emotions don’t let you prepare for the upcoming situation. So we are here to guide you a little bit and prepare you for the life you are soon going to face.

Before you embark on this new journey, there are a certain “must haves”, “dos” and “don’ts” that you need to pay attention to.

First and the foremost- the absolute must haves!

As soon as you are sure about the college that you’re going to attend, you go on a shopping spree- new swanky mobile phones, clothes (everyone want to make a BIG impression), bags and other assortments. All this is good and fine but there are a few necessary items that don’t make it to your “to buy list” and then later on you regret not getting them. Let us have a look at it:

  • Passport sized photographs- Why? Well, you’ll need it for ID cards and society membership in case you want to join. If you have it with you beforehand, it will save you from the hassle of looking for a studio in a new city.

  • Contact book- I know it sounds old fashioned to carry a contact book, I mean why should you do that when you have a phone that’s working perfectly fine? Well, because in case your mobile battery dies, or you lose your phone, you don’t want to be stranded somewhere without having an option to call someone to aid. Have all your emergency numbers and your credit card numbers in one place.

  • Important documents- At the time of your admission you are asked for a number of documents-your 12th pass certificate, 10th mark sheet, etc. You need to keep track of those documents. Well, since you are now a grown up, the responsibility to take care of your stuffs is now on you. You should have all your legal documents properly arranged in a file. Have it laminated and make sure to have photocopies too.

  • A map- Having a campus map and a city map can help you navigate your way around. If you are thinking about skipping this because you have a phone with GPRS system, don’t. Mobile phones are not always reliable. Sometimes the battery is low or sometimes there is no internet connection. It is better to be safe than sorry

  • Cookbook- having lived in a hostel, I can guarantee you that you absolutely cannot live on Maggie and bread alone! After a point it loses its appeal. So it is to your advantage to own a cookbook that has simple, straightforward instructions.

  • Essentials like umbrella, flashlight, kettle, coffee mugs. You never know when you might need them.

  • Alarm clock- So you must be thinking “why do I need that? I have it on my phone.” But than there will be times when you miss your morning lecture because your phone battery died or you pressed the “dismiss” button in your sleep, you are going to regret not getting the good old alarm clock.

Every rose has its thorns

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When we think about college life, we imagine it to be fun, free and pretty much fantastic. It most definitely is, for most part. But it takes a bit of an adjustment. College means responsibility and independence. It also means solving your own problem. What problem? Take a look at some issues you will face as soon as you start college.

  • First month away - Leaving your old friends and family behind and starting a new life is bound to be difficult. The lack of this familiar support is felt more closely in the first few weeks of your college life. You feel homesick most of the time. Every face is new and you’re conscious about your persona. But you should remember that thousands of students are going through the same thing! If you’re a new kid in the campus, so are your batch mates. You needn’t feel out of place.

  • Friends - There is no college life if you don’t have “cool” friends- this is the mindset of most of the students. So as soon as they step on the college grounds, the hunt for new friends start. Well, you have to keep in mind the fact that intimacy and friendship doesn’t develop overnight. It takes time and patience is required. Most of the time a friendship starts with a simple “hey”. So keep it casual and don’t over-think.

  • Roommate issues - Sharing a room is always tough, especially with a stranger. But the secret to having a peaceful hostel life is remembering 3 important words- personal space, compromise and adjustment. Having a room mate means that you live with a person 24*7. You get to know each other’s habits and likes/dislikes. Rather than make a chaos out of everything, try to be patient with each other. Don’t expect your room mate to become your best friend. Try not to hold grudges or to make a mountain out of a mole hill. Compromise whenever you can and be supportive and understanding.

  • New found Freedom - Sometimes the sudden sense of freedom that a child gets when he is away from home makes him lose his/her way. With no one around to keep track of their activities, they indulge in wrongdoings. A child should respect his parent’s trust and not misuse his freedom. He should deal with it in a calm, rational and adult manner.

  • Money problem - Money handling becomes a major problem. The expense always exceeds the pocket-money. From groceries to stationeries to foods to clothes and accessories, you have to handle all your transaction yourself. Sometimes the students are unable to keep track of their money and end up spending their monthly pocket money within a week. So care should be taken with your expenditure.

  • College lectures - The style of teaching is different in college than what you are used to school. Most of the students find college style to be more free and liberal so I don’t think it is much of a problem. It just takes time getting used to it. Just attend the classes and keep up with your assignments and projects.

  • Concern about safety - This is one of the major problems. New city means that you don’t know anyone and hence cannot trust anyone. Travelling becomes an issue especially at night. In order to avoid getting caught in dangerous situations, try to keep day time hours and don’t trust strangers. Be wary about your “friends” and have helpline numbers on your speed dial.

The survival tips:

  • Be friendly to everyone but choose your friends with care. Take care that you don’t fall in with the wrong crowd.

  • Go out and socialize and explore your potentials. Join different college societies and have fun.

  • Be diligent about your college work and don’t let your assignments pile up to the last minute. Last minute rushes are always a pain.

  • Attend lectures and make your own notes. Don’t play truant and depend on your friends to pass on the class-notes.

  • Try to keep your expenses within limit and in case you need more, or if the financial status is not great back home, you can look for a part time job. There are a number of options available on and off campus. There are several sites too that can help you with that.

  • Be responsible and don’t cave under peer pressure. Don’t get caught in wrong activities.

  • Manage your personal, college and job (if you have one) life. Don’t let them interfere with each other

  • Take care of safety issues. Be smart and try to get into basic self-defense course.

  • Don’t let the glamour of the college or the city bring you down. Be confident and keep the faith.

Keep these things in mind and follow the above tips and you will have no trouble adjusting to your new life. Never lose track of what’s important. Be smart and careful and have a happy and interesting college life!

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