As a student goes through the tumultuous motions of class twelfth, the only light at the end of an otherwise grim tunnel, is the promise of a more exhilarating life chapter known as ‘College’. College is supposed to be that magical place where plaid uniforms are traded in for funky fashion; where the concept of ‘class timings’ fades into a convenient ambiguity and where life takes on a relaxed pace, a welcome change from the stressful run in class twelfth. But these rosy ideas that most freshers harbor in their naïve mind are nothing but a considerable distortion of the truth. Because there is a lot more to college than what you’ve read about in Archies’ and seen in One Tree Hill. College, contrary to popular belief, is not your ideal world, devoid of problems and full of unadulterated joy. Rather, college is a step higher on the ladder of life. It won’t bog you down with minuscule school like issues. But it will ambush you with a whole new level of concerns, requiring a heightened sense of maturity. Let’s begin by busting some common misconceptions.
Firstly, it’s wrong to believe that you don’t have to study in college. The academic rigour in college does not dwindle; if anything, it increases in difficulty and quantity. Then, you can’t always bunk lectures to catch the latest movies or go shopping. A percentage of your internal marks are for attendance, so you have to be mindful. Finally, (and my favourite) even though there is no uniform, you can’t get away with overtly blingy, skimpy and loud clothing. These things will still be a big no. When you enter college, you’ll shed your teenage skin and become a young adult. You will have to act with prudence and reason. You will often be faced with situations where you will have to choose between what is right and what is easy.
You will realise that your independence is a double edged sword. Because when you’re left with so much liberty, you become more vulnerable to slipping up and getting carried away. The key is to keep a sane mind and never part with your morals. Be true to yourself and the rest will all fall into place. All cynicism aside, though college may fall short of your expectations (because if you’re going to expect the moon, you’ll get the stars) it still is worth looking forward to. My sincere advice is to walk into college with a blank canvas. Let the reality of your experiences, both bitter and sweet, paint themselves onto your blank page. And then you shall not be disappointed. As a parting word, remember, it’s always about the journey, not the destination. Make your ride count!