Getting into a college that makes you passionate about your field is the most crucial thing. It may not have other facilities in terms of living condition but it should have such a curriculum that makes you fulfilled and keeps you going without the comfort of luxury and home.
This particular aspect of the college can make or break your life.
What is actually important?
Frankly, my college did not even have a proper campus.
Yes, believe me I know is weird. My institute is fully funded by the UGC (University Grand Commission) but it seems like the government doesn’t have enough money to fund social science institutes, however, has enough to build huge statues.
So, I might have lacked lavish canteens or proper hostels and a big spacious campus with an Olympic sized sports stadium.
My college was situated on the outskirts of the city, so travelling was a pain my a**.
Overall, it wasn’t the “dream college” from Karan Johar movies where England is said to be Delhi, students come in expensive cars like Lamborghini and Mercedes and where what’s going outside the class is more interesting than what’s going inside the class.
But the academics, the course structure and the amazing professors we had, kept me going. And when you become passionate about your work, everything else becomes trivial. I fell in love with academics.
And that is what made this my first preference, even with all its superficial shortcomings, it gave me what I wanted as a student.
What was the process that I followed?
Syllabus and course structure
The most important step, for me, while identifying the college I want was the research part. I did tons of research. First, I identified what all good colleges offer the course I want.
Among them, I felt it is crucial to see if the syllabus of those colleges it up to date or not and if it is interesting to me. According to the preference based on syllabus I listed down around 8 colleges.
Structure of the syllabus is very important. A good faculty adds much more meaning to your desired college.
The best way to know about the faculty that I found was to put up questions on Quora and ask the alumni of that respective college or find the alumni on other social media sites and contact them.
You can know about the faculty’s educational or work background from the college website itself but I cannot stress enough on how much the way of teaching is important.
May be your professor is not from the best college but she can have wonderful teaching skills.
I also came to know about the college environment from the alumni.
Based on the information about the faculty and college environment I had shortened the list to 5 colleges.
Application and preparation period
After filling up the applications, I had to wait for the colleges that had merit based entrance and prepare for the ones that have entrance test.
Mine was an undergraduate course in social sciences, mostly the entrance tests were based on GK, mathematics, English and logical reasoning. My preparation time period was 20-25 days.
My joy knew no bounds when I came to know that I got into the college on the top of my preference list.
While doing the research, I also found out that my supposed ‘first preference’ college doesn’t have a campus, is placed on the outskirts of Hyderabad, has a small population and doesn’t have any happening fests.
Basically, I came across the fact that my life was not going to be happening or “lit” here.
I would like to mention that I also got into a college in Mumbai, the city of dreams.
And I won’t lie, being a small town girl, the city attracted me. For just a few moments I envisioned a straight out of Bollywood movie scenario.
But luckily, my rational mind worked and I decided to choose academics over fun.
And guess what?
It was the best decision.
What was the result?
At first, it wasn’t all good. When I went to college, the 1st semester sucked. I had to travel 40 minutes from my college to go to some nice place.
The nearest mall was 45 minutes away! It was also difficult to find friends in a colleges with a small and highly diverse population.
The population of north Indian students was much less than south Indian. Although academics were good, I felt out of place.
All the time in the 1st semester I used to wish that I had chosen “happening” college life over good academics. However, more studying, more great classes and few friends eventually made realize how amazing this was. Later, I used to hate it when I wasn’t able to attend a single class.
As I said, academics kept me going. There was a sense of fulfillment while going to bed.
I might sound like an old grandma telling you to just focus on the faculty and course structure. In reality, when you’ll do something that you are passionate about, then at end of the day, it will leave you feeling satisfied, fulfilled and happy.
Academics are something that I love. Your calling might be different. Find what your passion is and work for it.
Image credits: Google Images
Find the blogger at: @kumar_darshna