Note: If you have already lived through your college years, this post may not be of much relevance to you. But if you are yet to see the college life, or have some time left to be spent at college, then please continue to read.
College is the place where you spend the most important years of your life. This is when you are old enough to live on your own, and yet the youth inside you allows you to enjoy, whatever the college has in store for you. No matter what you do in your college, or if you do anything or not, it will have an impact in shaping your personality and consequently in deciding where you will end up in your life. Most of us don’t have much idea about – what to do in college, or how to make the best use of this time. There are many doubts as well. This post is based on my own experiences and the observations that I have made in all these years. Hope the below 20 points will be useful in your college journey.
- All the time that you have in these four years – it is all yours. You will be the captain of your ship. Everything that you do, or you don’t do, determines the kind of person you will become in the future. Plan wisely.
- Explore as much as you can. Particularly in the first or the second year of your college, keep exploring your interests, your likes and dislikes, or simply put – your own self. Make mistakes, be irresponsible, but then… Don’t forget to learn from them.
- Pursue your hobbies. And try to be fairly regular in pursuing your interests. You will get enough time in college for that, and even if it impacts your academic results to some extent, years later you will realize that, it was a smart investment.
- Make friends every day. College friendships do not end in your campuses but they go a long way. Also, this will be the only time in your life when people around you will have no egos but only generosity. There is no better place for networking than your college.
- Go out on dates. Allow yourself to fall in love, but never rush in to it. It’s all right to have heart breaks than wondering how does it feel to go out on dates.
- Dear boys, don’t be so desperate. And don’t complain about the poor girls/boys ratio in your college. Remember, there is a world outside your campus as well.
- Dear girls, if a boy asks you for a date, he does not want you to marry him. Relax. Take your time and go out if you feel like. Once again, falling in love is a beautiful thing, but never force yourself in to it.
- Do not miss the flavours of hostel life. Remember, for day scholars, college is just an extension of school with unserious education. Staying with Mum Pa sounds adorable, but please, grow up now.
- Academic records are not always helpful in your career, but don’t become insincere. Whatever you do, do it with all your heart and give hundred percent. Passion and not talent, determines your success in any field.
- Choose the optional subject carefully, purely out of interest. Sometimes, one subject if studied well, turns out to be career-changer in your journey.
- Dream big. There will be a lot of people around you who will judge you based on your academic score, your higher education programs or your job options – ignore them. Pursue what you love. People’s opinions change with time. Do not let that negativity influence your plans.
- Do not worry about the jobs. There are plenty of them out there. What matters is your expertise in a particular field. And if have developed enough of it, no one will deny you an attractive offer. In words of Rancho, “Chase excellence, success will follow.”
- Learn to value money. During college, parents take care of our expenses and after that you will soon get a job, but in between you might forget to understand the value of money. Take a part-time job in summer breaks or go for the right internship opportunity. I learnt much more in my part time job as a waiter than I learnt in the corporate world, after the college.
- Relax, if things get tough, the world does not end there. Flunking a couple of subjects would not make you a loser. And if any sort of failure comes, do not get disappointed. They will only help you become a better (and stronger) individual.
- Maintain good relations with your professors. As a student I always considered them inconsiderate and cold blooded, but they have their reasons for that. It is a false belief that teachers’ role in your life with your college education.
- More than teachers, your fellow students have a lot more to teach you. And if you do not let your ego come in between, then you can learn a number of things from them.
- Learn as much as you can. This is the investment that you are making for a bright future. Make time-table and see how much time you are devoting to your learning.
- Take care of your health. Your body is at its best in this age and taking it for granted, or not doing enough with this much energy and ability will be foolish. Good health and fitness is another sound investment that will pay you later.
- Sleep for long hours. Because after college, you might not get the time for it or if you get time, you might not get sleep. Sounds funny, but true.
- Read a lot. On a variety of topics, if possible. Open your mind to new ideas.
- Make notes, whenever you can. Those who maintain a diary, are doing it right. But it is not possible all the time, and for everyone. Do not forget to write short notes, every time you feel like. Years later, you will find it more valuable, than anything else. Same goes for pictures. Click as many as you feel like. After all, what remains, is nothing but the memories. And this is the time to make them beautiful.
Wish you all the best!!