As a 12th standard student, you think that you know what college is going to be like.
Well, reality check.
I’m going to share a couple of tips about college.
First, I’m going to talk about where my perspective is coming from. I’m a undergrad student at an elite engineering university in the US. I did my high school education in India, just like most of the readers here. My experiences in college may have been very different from college readers there, but neither I nor you know whether that’s true or not.
Also, my opinions come from a engineering perspective.
You start from scratch. When you go to college, your board exam score and your excellent rank in a competitive exam mean zilch. You’re going to a college where your classmates got the same scores as you and are just as smart and hard-working as you. You’re not smarter than anyone, and nobody is smarter than you.
Think about it as a chance to build a castle from the ground up. This castle will contain your experiences, your personality, your grade-point average, and your beliefs.
You know how when you were in school, you were smarter if you knew more stuff? College (if you go to a good one, that is) will teach you that the thing that really matters is your perserverance and ability to reason out complex problems. For everything else, there is Google. Most of my professors share one trait in common; they’re forgetful. And they’re still the best in the industry.
Start thinking, stop rote-learning. Sorry, chemists; this might not apply to you.
College is the time when your independence becomes the greatest thing in the world. It’s brand new and shiny, just like a new toy. And you like it. Keep your parent’s hands off of it. If you can, get you parents to clearly state that they’ll finance your education till you graduate. Make sure you do this before starting college. This prevents them from pulling the “If you don’t do what I say, I’m going to stop paying for college.” on you. Let me make one thing clear: you are in college purely for your benefit; not for your parent’s happiness, not for your family’s pride. To the traditional, this may sound absurd and selfish. It’s not; your parents care about two things (the first being more important): 1)You 2)Them being proud of you. These two categories do not necessarily always overlap. Your responsibility to your parents should be to make yourself an independent, successfull adult. This directly translates into you making all of your own decisions. You, not your parents, understand your environment, your limitations, and your capabilities. From this point on, your parents cannot and should not be telling you to do anything. Period.
(this is all assuming that you go to college far away from your parents.)
You thought 12th was hard? Good joke.
It gets harder. This may only apply to top-tier colleges, but if you expect college to be easier, you’re in for a surprise. It’s not necessarily bad because you will learn a lot more every year in college than you did in school. You’ll also feel more accomplished after you’re done with each semester, and you’ll laugh because you thought competitives were hard. The one thing that will get you through is persistence and drive, which is what you’re in college to develop in the first place.
College is fun.