Organising and taking part in college fests boosts our confidence, say students

Some writing, some dancing, some singing, and lots of networking: college fests provide a platform for creative talent, a space away from the everyday curriculum and assignments. For some, fests are stress-busters, for other it’s an opportunity to do networking, and another group sees it as a dynamic learning experience through interactions with professionals.

Colleges conduct fests which are not merely annual events, but opportunities. Huge money and resources are spent on them. The Hindu EducationPlus spoke to some students to find out their thoughts on how college fests help them – to develop, to learn and to share.

K.S. Ramakrishnan, second year MA-MMC (Marketing Management Communication), Convergence Institute of Media Management and Information Technology Studies (COMMITS)

College fests help us to interact, learn and share things. They involve a lot of fun activities which make us confident and provide a platform to showcase our talents. I participate in almost every fest happening in the city. By participating, we extend the support to the organising college and we market our college too. We get to meet a lot of students from various colleges and learn a lot from them. One such popular media fest happening annually in Bangalore is our "Expression 2013" which is conducted by Commits students, and held recently. It's a major platform for students to interact with celebrities, film directors, journalists, etc.

We charge a minimal entry fee for which the students are provided with lunch and a participation certificate. The show has always been organised inside the city limits, so that students can commute easily and students coming from other cities can also reach the destination in time. Reputation and location of the fest do play an important role before participating.

Rachana Deshpande, second year BA-Psychology, Mount Carmel College

College fests, to me, are less about the competitions and more about the spirit of celebration. Honestly, I wouldn't pay to take part in any fest unless and until I have been either blackmailed to attend (friends alert) or there is a really cool event happening (which by far, is rare). The overall fests are much more amusing as the students are not expected to deliver a certain standard of work in a certain competition. For example, literature students are expected to write brilliant essays.

There is a sort of freeness in a non-theme fest, much more fun, relaxed and engaging. I do not have any favourite, but of course love the whole process of helping organise a fest. Our college fest CUL-AH takes months of organising to achieve the best on such a large scale. And even if you are not participating in it directly, somewhere during these months, the preparation and excitement of all those who are organising rubs off on you.

Daksha Devnani, second year Media Studies, CMS, Jain University

Fests for me mean free hours, no attendance and going around colleges for invitations. And the D-day is a fun-mixed-with-learning experience. Be it in terms of organising a fest or participating in the competitive event or just being a spectator, as a person, media fests really interest me. There is a lot of learning that happens in the various fields like public relations, advertising and journalism.

For Melange, our CMS-Jain media fest, being a part of the organising committee itself helps us understand a lot of media aspects. The interactive sessions with experts and actually putting theoretical concepts into practice are the icing on the cake. Our cultural fests involve a lot of enthusiasm and a joy-filled atmosphere. It doesn’t really matter where a fest is held or how much the enthusiasm quotient is, it is the eagerness to learn more that drives us to fests.

Katherine Alice John, first year Bachelor of Visual Communication (2012-2015), St. Joseph’s College of Arts and Science

College festivals have earned a reputation of being ‘happening’ events in a person’s college life. Fun and frolic are the most highly regarded factors during a fest. Meeting new people, competing with people you have absolutely no idea about, surprises and how our expectations are met differently are all a part and parcel of such events, thus making it exciting for anyone participating or even simply attending them. Fests help in building new relationships and more importantly, new contacts which can definitely help us in the future.

The urgency and spirit in all the contestants are highlighted in the way they perform for the particular event. Cultural fests enable the massive crowd out there to prove their talent and themselves. Various activities get not only the crowd but also the participants’ adrenaline running. Media fests, management fests and all such theme-based fests is where the professionals battle it out. Efficiency and effectiveness come into play.

With people all over the country coming in, the competition proves to be tougher than that of a cultural fest. For me to attend any college fest, the first thing I tend to look at is the college hosting it. The reputation of the college matters to a large extent. Location is not an issue as long as our college provides transport facilities. College festivals are something that no one should miss. Grab the opportunity and go!

Sana Shoukath Khan, third year BA English Literature, Jyoti Nivas College

The fests bring the campus to life, with colours and smiles, whacky decorations, volunteers running around to get their work done, and they bring out the hard worker in every one.

These fests make us more confident as they expose us to other campus cultures and courses; the more one participates in these fests the more it boosts one’s confidence. It makes one comfortable with any kind of podium and interact with people and express opinions more freely. The variety in the kind of fests that colleges usually hold also adds to the excitement of attending them as these fests invariably cater to the interests of all students.

At Jyoti Nivas College, we have a variety of fests — Sphygmus, the sports fest; Akhyana, the media fest; Maanrita, dedicated to the social sciences; and various commerce, psychology and language fests. I believe they broaden our interests.

I usually think of what interests me most when I’m participating. I participate in things I want to learn in order to find my flaws and work on them more and at the same time I take up things that I’m good at too in order to boost my confidence.

To a large extent it also matters as to which college fest we participate in considering there are college rivalries which I think are large motivators to us participating and organising fests. The fests, cultural or theme-based, are a large and amazing part of college life and help students to come into their own.

Praveen P., third year Photography, National Institute of Creative Communication

Fests offer an opportunity to know more people from the same area of interest and to learn things from a mixed culture. They help to check where exactly we stand in the big league. I have participated in photography competitions of different college fests and won a few of them too. But over a period of time, I felt that photography contests in most of the colleges are just for the heck of it, as they don’t know how to go about organising them. But I do take part in some design and media college fests as they are organised well.

Judging photographs through Facebook brings down the aesthetic value of the photographs and is disrespectful to the photographers. I would prefer a theme-based fest as it presents more competition in the respective field with judges from the same field. Similarly, a nominal entry fee is acceptable only to filter the crowd.