Emotional Quotient Education

Take a leap of faith

NEW DELHI, 14/06/2010: Students looking at the first cut-off list which was put on display at St. Stephen College, in New Delhi on June 14, 2010. Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma

NEW DELHI, 14/06/2010: Students looking at the first cut-off list which was put on display at St. Stephen College, in New Delhi on June 14, 2010. Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

How to make the transition period as a freshman a little easier

Can you believe we are halfway through 2017 already? Where did the time go? Do you have any idea what you were doing for the past six months? I know I don’t. For many of you, the year so far must have been equally hazy, but at least you had a legitimate excuse — cramming for board exams. Now, you can breathe a sigh of relief, because whatever your results, the ‘ides of March’ is firmly behind you, and you have college to look forward to.

Joining college is exciting, but also kind of scary. You’re going to meet new people (but what if they don’t like you?!) and learn new things (but what if the course is too hard?!). You’re not the only one who feels this way. However, remember that on the first day of college everyone is new, so you know as much or as little as the other guy. That said, here are some pointers to ease the transition from school to college:

Say ‘Hi’: Rather than waiting for others to approach you, walk up to them and say hello. You don’t have to introduce yourself to the entire class, but even making conversation with a couple of people will open the doors to meeting many more.

Avoid being judgmental: You are going to meet people from wildly different backgrounds from yourself. Don’t be quick to judge or dismiss others without getting a chance to know them or hear their story first. Even if you don’t find common interests, perhaps they could be a helpful study partner in the future, you never know.

Try something new: Join extra curricular activities and take part in sports or hobbies. You don’t even have to be good at them (despite playing football in college for two years, I am still not completely sure what the rules of the game are). Extracurriculars are a good way to meet new people because you’ve already found something in common with them.

It’s ok if you are not the class genius: Perhaps you were used to doing very well in school, and find — to your horror — that you aren’t doing as well in college. This is not a cause for panic. A lot of people face this, especially in extremely competitive environments where all your peers used to be “straight-A” students. If you don’t understand the subject well enough, don’t be afraid to ask for help from a professor. You could even ask a classmate who knows the subject well, and with whom you share a good relationship.

Don’t lose sight of the goal: People sometimes describe the first year of college as a “party”. True, compared to any other period of higher education, it has pretty low stakes, since you’re not likely to base any major life decisions on your performance during this time. However, the primary reason you are in college is to study, pass, and get the heck out of there. Having a good time on the way is just a big bonus. To paraphrase Ice Cube, “Check yourself before you wreck yourself.” There is such a thing as having too much fun.

The author is a psychologist and management consultant. krithvis@gmail.com

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 3:07:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/take-a-leap-of-faith/article18955160.ece

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