College is inarguably one of the best times of your life. You are at your peak, both physically, and intellectually, and full of energy.
For most people, college is also the first time they have their first brush with responsibilities. For the first time, you are in a position when you have to make decisions for yourself. This is scary but also fulfilling.
Here are a few things I learnt during my first brush with responsibility, that I want to share with everyone.
Manage your finances
For most of you, the college will be your first time away from home. It will probably also be the first time you will be in charge of your own finances.
Tempting as it may be, splurging is never a good choice. Instead, start with an estimate of how much money you can spend in a day, and stick to it. Should you exceed your limit, compensate by spending less the next day or next month.
Know all the cheap places to eat
Most of you will be spending most of your monthly allowance on food. This is fine, for the initial 1-2 months, when you are settling in.
However, don't make a habit out of it.
Instead, try out the different places to eat in your campus or city. There are lots of cheap places or messes which you can find around your college. Settle for one which suits your palate, and make a habit of mostly eating out at the same place.
And occasionally, say once or twice a week, go have a pizza; you would have deserved it.
Pick your friends wisely:
Try to make friends which match your mindset. I can't strain enough on the word "mindset". You may find a really down to the ground person who in reality is very rich, and an extremely ostentatious guy who's driving his father bankrupt.
I know, it is easier said than done, and you will have to stumble upon a lot of bad apples before finding a good one, but most people end up holding on to their bad apple thinking that it's too late and that they don't have a choice.
Don't ever settle for a bad apple. Find someone who will challenge you, intellectually. You will learn more, and you will be peaceful.
Clothing and luggage - Less is more:
I know, nothing will stop your mother from packing enough clothes to keep an entire village warm. But, and I say this from practical experience, you will never find an almirah in your room big enough to hold that many clothes.
Research a bit about weather conditions of the city you will be studying in, and pack appropriately. And yes, pack it yourself, don’t let your mother do it!
Too much luggage will quickly become a gigantic headache once you graduate and need to shift again.
Develop a routine:
I am not saying you have to obsessively segregate each part of the day for doing specific things, but a general outline will help you in the long run.
Set out a time for exercising (at least you can run for 30 mins), relaxing, recreation, apart from your academics. Try to have a routine sleep cycle (if you get time from binge-watching Netflix shows), and stick to it most of the times. These things are hard, but will definitely elevate your quality of life.
Build a great rapport with seniors:
I am not saying that you should allow your seniors to treat you in any way they like (ragging is a punishable offence, always remember that). But, seniors do prove to be useful when it comes to getting notes or help with examination patterns. Make sure you have a friendly relation with a few good ones to help you out with same.
Relationships with your teachers:
Again, you don't need to be a teacher’s pet. But try to have a good relationship with your professors, even if they annoy you. They will help you out in securing good research projects or even internships. Some of them might even turn out to be lifelong mentors.
Visit your library:
Go study in your library. Seriously. Most people don't even know of the existence of their college libraries in the first year (unless it's equipped with high-speed internet!). You will find most of the materials related to your course in the library itself, and you won't have to buy them.
Don't party before completing your work:
I may sound like a boring maggu and your brain will tell you that it’s possible to stay awake the entire night and complete that pending assignment that is due the next day. But I have seen it happen all too many times. You come home from a party and crash straight into the bed. And the next day, you will be questioning your choices.
Finally, get out of your hostel room, and roam around your city. Go on trips with your friends. I know you are here to sharpen your intellectual faculties, but you are also here to grow, and to feel new things. The activities outside college will help you become more experienced and confident in life.
Good luck with college life peeps. Peace.
Manipal, Karnataka, India |
Second year, Bachelor of Pharmacy |
Content Creator intern at Konversations |
Certified web developer |