Finally, the time has arrived; after going through all the possible opportunities of college admissions for higher education and applying for a seat in your dream colleges, you are selected. You have packed your bags, paid half attention to the continuous string of advice from your parents and hugged them twice or thrice. You bid them farewell and full of elation, reach the legendary place which is to be your home for the next few years. Welcome to the uniquely funny and equally exasperating college life.
College life is much more than college life. It is actually a phase of transition between your teenhood and practical life. It gives you some life lessons, firsthand and a clear idea about how your life as an adult is going to be.
Here are some things which your college life will teach you (sometimes, without you realising it yourself)
1. You become your own banker
Money becomes your most valuable resource (it already was, you just realize it now). You learn to train yourself on when and how to spend your pocket money. You become a lender to yourself and a borrower from yourself simultaneously.
2. You make mistakes but you learn from them
Decisions that you never took are now yours to make. You learn to depend on your own instincts and bank on your own judgment. In the process, you make mistakes but you also learn from them. It has been rightly said that mistakes are not mistakes if you have learned from them.
3. You learn how to manage people
The school was a place that had a less diverse set of students. Out here in the college, you get to see and meet people with different and sometimes weird mindsets. (Everyone is someone else’s weirdo, so no surprises if you are one to someone). You learn to interact and accept such people with respect and humility.
4. You learn to communicate
In school, you talked; here you learn how to communicate. You learn to disagree without blowing your head off. You learn how to make others understand what you mean and begin to understand what they are trying to convey.
5. You learn to live in tough places
Whether it’s a small dormitory room with noisy roommates or a small apartment right next to a railway line, you learn to live in tough places. With your primary goal being your education, you learn to compromise with a lot of uncomfortable things in your lifestyle.
6. You become resourceful
Improvisation becomes your mantra for solving problems. You learn to be resourceful with what you have to make do with things you don’t have.
7. You start managing your own time
Earlier, your time was managed by either your parents or by your school. Now it’s you who manage your own time. How you manage it is quite a different matter but what you learn and realize is: you must prioritize what’s more important and what’s less important. Time is less and there’s a lot to be done.
8. You learn diplomacy
The times of black and white are gone. You learn that there are grey areas when dealing with people. Diplomacy and negotiation become a part of your everyday life as you come across people with whom you may strongly disagree with but have to work with them and Vice versa.
9. You learn to take care of yourself
There is no one here who will ask you to shave your stubble or take a bath. You learn to do it by yourself without being told to do so if you want to avoid seeing wrinkled noses everywhere you go.
10. You discover your own strengths and weaknesses
Having a home and parents who looked after your needs had not given you a chance to determine how good (or bad) you are in managing yourself. Now you get to know what are your strengths and weaknesses. This knowledge and realisation will help you in playing to your strengths and working on your weaknesses.
As you turn older, you will realise that things you learn by yourself informally are as important (and sometimes more important) than things you learn in classes or lectures. Self-discovery and maturity attained by your own experiences is the greatest and most enjoyable learning. College life is more than pursuing a degree. It’s a life within life itself.