Most of us can agree that the first two years of college are spent trying out a multitude of activities while settling down in college and finding one’s niche. The third and final year, in my opinion should be used to focus on one or two big projects while helping out juniors and imparting ‘nuggets of wisdom’! So as a dutiful third year student, here are 10 things I’ve learnt during my first two years in DU:
1.Take up at least one activity that gets you talking to people you don’t know.
Whether it’s joining the Sponsorship department of a college event or joining the placement cell, do something that forces you to call, email or have face to face conversations with as many new people as possible. We’re going to be doing a lot of that for the rest of our lives, so we might as well get over the awkwardness that often comes with it.
2. From time to time, attend events that have nothing to do with your field of study.
Sit in the audience for that B Plan competition even if you’re an English major. Or better yet, compete in one. Attend a seminar on the Israel-Palestinian conflict even if you study Zoology. They are easy ways to get exposed to a diverse range of topics and learn about new fields. You’re in a place like DU, where there’s some seminar, event or panel discussion going on every other day- make full use of these opportunities. (Check out our Events Calendar for some inspiration.)
3.The internet is beautiful. Try using it for things apart from Facebook every now and then.
Yes, it’s easy to get carried away while looking at albums of 200+ pictures from a party someone on our list threw (and didn’t invite us to), but it’s a shame if that’s all we end up using the internet for! Follow a couple of interesting blogs, get on Quora, reach out to alumni from your college through LinkedIn and set up a Google Alert to make sure you don’t miss the application dates for that fellowship you’ve been eyeing. (And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!)
4. It’s perfectly okay if you don’t know what you want to do, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do anything.
Most of us, (yes, even third year students) are still figuring out what we want to do. College gives ample space to try out a variety of activities. Even if you haven’t found ‘your thing’ in college yet, don’t give up. Give multiple activities a shot, find what you like doing, and then get really good at it.
5. It may sound rather simplified, but you make your own college experience.
Regardless of your college and the ‘tag’ that comes with it, your attitude and actions create your college experience, or at least a major chunk of the same. Sure, maybe opportunities are more easily accessible for students of certain colleges, but there is no dearth of opportunities for those who are willing to go the extra mile to seek them.
6. Help out your juniors and ask your seniors to tell you about their college experiences.
Freshers are a rather enthusiastic bunch and always bubbling with a lot of questions about societies, internships, exams and further studies. If you know something useful, help them out. Also take out the time to befriend a couple of seniors and ask them to tell you tales of what they’ve learnt in college.
7. Don’t burn bridges unnecessarily and don’t be ‘that guy’.
Making mean and hurtful comments may seem like a good idea in the moment, but it’s best not to burn bridges if it can be avoided. You know how there’s always that one person in every class who goes out of his/her way to make other people feel bad about themselves? Yeah, don’t be that guy. You don’t have to be best friends with everyone, but maintaining a basic level of courtesy is never a bad idea.
8. Academics are important, but to an extent.
This largely depends on what your plans for the future are (for example, if you want to get into Harvard or research, then yes, academics are supremely important), but for the most part, maintaining a ‘decent’ percentage while getting your hands into other activities can help you lead a balanced college life. This target score, of course, varies from course to course.
For example, most entrance exams for post graduate courses require a bare minimum of 50% in graduation, and some top notch companies only interview candidates with more than 75% aggregate during placement. Keep all these factors in mind, and set your goals accordingly.
9. Show up for your friends.
If your college or school friend is acting in a play, go and support them in the audience. If they’re organizing a competition or exhibition during a fest, go and attend it. These small gestures matter a lot, especially when everyone is always busy and has conflicting schedules. This is definitely something I wish I had done more of.
10. Go on a trip with your friends while in college…at least once.
Depending on your budget and how easily you can convince your parents, select a place and go there with your college friends. Whether it’s for a competition at an IIT, or even a weekend in Agra, it’ll definitely be one of the highlights of your college life. Hill stations, Bombay and Goa are the most popular choices for DU kids.
This article was taken from our partner DU Beat.