The school -college divide

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The year you graduate from high school is a big year for you and your parents. First of all you are expected to know what you want to do for the rest of your life. This in itself is such a big thing. It is not exactly possible to understand and process your likings and skills at the age of seventeen. Most of the students take the final year of school to decide what we want to pursue for higher education. When you start thinking about the future; anxiety grips you and the uncertainty is just plain scary. You are expected to grow up suddenly and make major decisions like choosing the right course and college for higher studies.

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If these issues aren’t pressing enough, there is always the added pressure of doing well in the board exams and in the entrance exams. Only after doing extremely well in either of these; will you have a chance of getting the course and college you desire. If you do not do well enough your dream college will always remain what it was in the first place… a dream. To add to the woes is the quota system. It was created to make sure that all people had equal opportunities in acquiring a seat in a government college. Now it is more of a joke. If you are one of the unfortunate people who fall in the forward caste category, you will be shocked to realize that your chances at securing a government seat after scoring average marks are close to zero. But even then, the quota system will never be blamed. You are only expected to work harder. So you also have to work extra hard and be extra smart to make sure you get into the right college.
There are a few lucky people who manage to work hard enough to get into their dream colleges. So then what next? You would think that your life is set. But you are very much mistaken. The next phase of your life has just begun.
In school you are shielded from the outside world. You will have your childhood friends with you all the time. Your teachers would have been the nicest people on the planet. They would have inspired and nurtured you to become a good student and a good citizen of the country. You would know your school like the back of your hand. And school would always be fun. The sports days and annual days would mean double the fun. The only time you would dread is the PTA meeting. And even that would go well most of the time.
So kids who finish school expect college to be just an extension of school: with all the good things and minus the uniforms and rules. Do not be so naïve as to believe that. College is not an extension of school. College is a whole new world: a whole new world, with a set of set of brand new people in a totally new place. In school all your friends had more or less the same mindset as you. In college you get to meet people with new ideas and new standards. The exposure you gain is tremendous.

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Your right and wrong is not the same as theirs. Everybody processes things differently. And everybody responds differently. And since nobody knows anybody else, the icebreaking takes quite some time. You may start talking to people instantly, but it always takes time to get to know them. After all you make your friends for life in college. Do not get upset if you don’t find your type of people immediately. It takes time. And believe it or not; the people with the same wavelength always manage to find you. In college you need to know many people. You will require a lot of help from seniors. This is where the senior- junior bonding and the ragging comes into picture. Ragging is supposed to create a good rapport between seniors and juniors. Most of the times; it does create a lasting bond. But in some cases things go overboard and end badly. As a fresher in college you have to be nice to your seniors. Be polite and firm. Never do things you are not comfortable doing. And your seniors will also have been juniors once. So they will understand your need for space.
The next major thing in college is studying. Everybody conveniently forgets that this is the most important part of your college life. This is why a lot of emphasis is put on choosing the right course. You will spend most of your time in your college years studying the subjects you choose. You might as well take the time to make the right choice. Whatever be the college and the course; if you meet the right people and talk the right things, you will definitely grow intellectually.
Once you make good friends there will be no way to stop the fun. After all college is college. This is where you get to break the rules and have the time of your life. (Engineering college students please ignore this line: P.)

I am a third year Electronics and Communication Engineering student with a passion for literature. I am an avid reader ;particularly fascinated by modern fiction . I love to pen short pieces about day to day occurrences.