We were been asked by few readers of this blog to share our college days. I can understand their feelings, particularly of those children who have just passed out from the school and are preparing to go to the college for the first time.
I remember very well my son passing out his 10th std and joining a college in Matunga, one of Mumbai suburbs. Until his first day at the college, he had never travelled alone by local trains in Mumbai or even till Thane station also I believe. He used to go to few private tuition classes during his 10th std either by auto or sometimes we used to drop him there by our car. If he had some work outside Thane, our driver used to take him or he used to hire even an auto or a cab. It was a jump distance for him to the school from our house. So there was never any occasion for him to purposefully go out of our residential complex for any work or anything. Rather I would say till he passed out his 10th std, he was totally unaware about the world outside our complex which is a very safe place to live.
After his 10th std, all of a sudden he was exposed to things which he had never done before. I agree that everyone goes through any new experience for the first time in life someday or the other. But for my son, he had to go through a bunch of new experiences at the same time, at one go!
Let me be very frank here, he took quite a lot of time to cope up and adjust with this entirely new venture called “College”. Going to Thane station by bus or by auto etc, catching up a crowded train to college, mixing up with all new faces coming from South Mumbai and various other locations, attending science practicals at various time slots, eating outside, coming home late and finally studying! All this put too much of toll on him at the beginning of his college days.
Academically, a step up from school to college is not at all steep. But students actually feel that it is. It’s quite simple actually. Believe me. My son experienced the steepness due to his limited exposure to outside world apart from his school and house.
One more different between school and college life what can trip up first-year students, is the atmosphere in which learning and studying take place. For some of the students the self-discipline and making the adjustment is not that difficult, but others get swept up in the social whirl of college life.
In Colleges, most of the students are on their own for the first time in life. All of a sudden parents start feeling the need to keep tabs on their kid.
During the days when we were going to school, we were on our own right from the beginning. I have travelled on my own for the school from Bhandup to Thane by local train. I was just 10 years old when I started travelling alone in local train for the school leaving home at 6 am and returning back at 1 pm. Later when we shifted to Thane, I still used to go to Mulund by train for a private tuition in my 10th and 12th std. Since the time when I was just in 6th std I remember, many a times I have walked down through the railway tracks on terribly heavy rainy days, when local trains were not working.
Today, I fail to understand why students living in the proximity to school come to their school by cars etc. I feel that the children are more pampered now a days (mine included). A school bus for children staying far away and at the most a bicycle for children staying in the proximity is fine; rather I would say children should walk down to school if they are living in the the proximity.
Parents – Let’s leave our children alone, let them explore, let them be street smart, let them learn by experience, let them fall – they will get up on their own. The sooner we remove our helping hand away from them the better it is for our children.
Our children might be technology and gadgets wise more advanced than us. But do we see them socialising enough, playing out door games which we used to play and which has made us bolder and street smart?
I think, we were more prepared than today’s students to face our first day of the college.
For the unprepared, the transition from school to college is often full of surprises. In both contexts some set of skills are required. Mastering more challenging study skills are required by college. As your teacher-based support system is usually less available in college education, you’ll need to become more of an independent student in your college life. So you will have to master these skills asap so that you’ll set yourself up for success in your college life.
Learn early the advanced study skills like analysing, researching, note taking, listening, and comprehension. Your abilities will help you do well during your high-stakes exams. Crucial part will be learning to create schedules and sticking to them. Plan and study well in advance to avoid fatigue! Learn efficient time management and anticipate your course needs.
Learn speed reading, as your study material will grow more and more difficult and lengthy, speed reading will help you overcome frustration of having to go through lot of study material in a limited time. By learning to read fast you will understand without sacrificing comprehension, save a lot of time and won’t stress yourself.
Many colleges follow a lecture model of teaching. Most of your classes will be in big auditoriums with as many as 300 other students.
Taking notes efficiently is the basis for academic success. Note-taking is a vital skill. If you learn it, your skill will improve your exam scores and help you to study with less effort. Note-taking has to be intelligent, selective, and critical. It requires practice and a lot of focus to take meaningful notes that will assist and guide you while studying.
Note taking was the thing on basis of which Surekha, my wife has completed her entire college education. From her junior college level to Masters’!
But let me also mention here that for most of the today’s students, self-confidence is a natural personality trait. Teachers have a powerful influence on students which help them feel confident and proud of themselves and their accomplishments. In the company of teachers and parents, students feel secure enough to show willingness to learn new stuff.
This is what students can do to confidently begin their college life which starts straight out of the school –
- Always have a smiling face.
- Stand up straight.
- Practice self-confidence. It’s a skill.
- Interact with others and have a free conversation with them. Don’t be afraid to talk.
- Take care of your appearance and dress up nicely. Always wear shoes if possible.
- Challenge the fear and don’t be afraid to do what you feel right.
- Find a Mentor or a person who inspires you or motivates you and talk to him regularly.
- Help others. Do whatever is possible to help other person out.
- Try doing something new, e.g. developing a hobby, sport or anything which you have never tried before.
- Read something inspirational and motivating, some book etc.
- Focus on the moment, try not to think of past and don’t bother much about the future.
- Have defined values in life and behave as per them, no matter what.
- Take any failure in good spirits, learn from your failures.
- Have a vision. Think about how you want your life to look like.
- Train your brain to avoid thinking negatively. Rewire your brain. New wiring, new habits.
- Take care of your expensive gadgets. Keep them safely in your bag. Best is to avoid taking them along with you to the college.
- Keep yourself away from all bad habits.
- Take good care of yourself if you are going to use a two wheeler to the college.
- Avoid eating outside food; don’t be ashamed to carry tiffin. Carrying even a sandwich or two in tiffin is better than eating outside food.
- Try to save maximum out of your pocket money.
All the best!!!
Inputs by Surekha Garde39