1. STUDY– I’m aware I sound like your mother right now, but this is actually a good thing to do. Especially in your first year as courses are VERY easy, and are in fact introductory courses. So study hard, take all that MOJO you had for your Boards and ACE the exams. It gets harder and harder to maintain a first division after first year so if you bag it in your first, the next two years are a breeze.
2. Friends – Make friends with EVERYONE – with the chai-walla, the canteen staff, the garden staff, the receptionist, the guard, the animals. EVERYONE! It makes such a difference on bad days, seeing people who are happy to see you too.
3. TEACHERS – Build a rapport with your TEACHERS– It’s never too soon to start. Go for chai (if they’re up for that, don’t be a stalker if they say no) and talk about everything. Ask questions; even the STUPID questions. Talk about their college experiences. Just be a chatty Cathy ☺Remember you’re not in school but in college – be confident, the professors will treat you as you appear. Be mature and make that extra effort.
4. EAT – Eat everything. All campuses have a cacophony of food vendors and special college eateries. Explore them all. Eat the chaat, the chole, the chowmein, and the Maggi, try the pasta and the banta. Go to other colleges and try their canteen food, most colleges will have ‘college special’ food (D School ice tea, Ramjas Chole, Hindu Bhel Puri)
5. SOCIETIES – Find a society that interests you and join it. Be a part of everything you can. Every event, every drama, every music performance. Find some way to help out, whether it is actually performing or in the backstage – this is how you leave your mark in your college.
6. EXPLORE DELHI – Most of you are from OUT of station, or will be OUT of station after college, so take this time and explore Delhi (best done in the winter months). The city is quite beautiful and filled with exciting nooks and crannies just waiting to be explored. Take some friends, use the cycles at the metro station and just GO and find unknown places that Google hasn’t mapped.
7. OTHER DISCIPLINES – Once you’ve made some great friends in your class, make the effort to go meet people from other disciplines. If you can, sit in other classes that you find interesting (I know this works with arts subjects, I’m not sure if it will with the sciences). You picked your discipline but learning shouldn’t constrain you!
8. PASSION – Find your passion. After some time, people begin to lose their steam, if that’s not you, great! But if you do loose your steam remember why you came to college, why you picked your subject. Try and remember the dream. Find a passion that motivates you to continue, it need not be course or subject or college related. It could be as normal as doing all the extra readings in your course, or as abstract as taking up a random hobby like baking or photography or dance.
9. READ – Most libraries in colleges are fantastically stocked and poorly used. Pick something and read it, find interesting people and ask what they’re reading, take suggestions from your teachers, circulate good books.
10. TRAVEL – Our college had trips that they did as an ice breaking tool, but if you don’t, get together with some friends and just go! Jaipur Literature festival, the Taj (open on full moons), Dharamshala to escape the heat, the possibilities are endless and quite cheap too ☺
11. Internships – Do an INTERNSHIP, or two or three – there are so many internships that take students during the summer holidays, take advantage and go join something to add to your CV. It’ll give you experience, a chance to see what work would be like and something to add to your accomplishments.
12. PRANKS – Once you know your professors and you’re sure they’re fun loving (this could take a year) play a prank on them. In class, set the scene and watch the fun unfold! (Remember play safe!)
13. CITY LIFE – Be a part of CITY LIFE. You’re in college but it’s also time to look into the city and what’s going on. Go for Jazz festivals and Music nights, NH7, go for plays, and take part in peaceful protests.
14. PLACEMENTS – It doesn’t matter if you’re interested in going for the job in question or not, but being around the placement groupies will take its toll. They’re great for finding out how best to make your CV, what things the employers of tomorrow are looking for and most importantly, how to get them to LOVE you for YOU.
Written for Fresher’s Handbook 2015.