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Stepping into college: How much is too much

Updated: Dec 20, 2021

Starting college is one of the most important milestones in any individual’s life. It is a time filled with joy, learning and a lot of anxiety. Students who are joining college/university this year might have a hundred questions in their heads...

What will college be like?

Will I be able to make friends?

Will I be able to fit in with the people?

What if I don’t understand the subjects?

What if people bully me?

Will the teachers like me?

Students leaving for college ask a thousand questions to themselves.. the butterflies that keep on fluttering in your stomach before the day you join college and the nervousness after stepping inside the college is something you will never be able to forget. The institute you enter... will be your home for the next 2-5 years.

However, unfortunately, you’re the only one who will be able to answer your own questions. It is said that life is all about experiments and experiences... But at a point in time, everyone needs a guiding light now and then to make the path much more visible. Here, as a lighted candle, we’ve got some awesome tips for all the students making it to their first day at college.

1. Get the packing right!

The first step after rolling into your choice of college and course, you start thinking about what to pack and whatnot. For those who are wondering if they need to buy everything needed in a household, DON’T. If you are joining the hostel, stick to the hostel list for starters... If you are joining a PG or a shared flat somewhere nearby, stick to essentials. Remember you will have holidays to visit home and pick up or swap out any clothes or other items you may need whilst you’re away studying. But make sure to take an emergency medical box, your daily use medicines (if any), your toiletries and the clothes you have to wear for lectures and other activities.

With COVID-19 measures inflicting upon us, make sure to take face masks, hand sanitiser and other preventive items with you.

2. Take all the important documents that you might need during college

Before coming to the university, make sure to create a folder containing all the important documents you will need. For example, your passport/ID (which you need for almost everything), your VISA (if you are coming from overseas), your tenancy agreement for checking in to student accommodation, your ADHAAR card as well as any documents that you might need to register at university or picking up your student ID card.

3. Add homely touches to your room

After reaching college and getting over with all the formalities, the first thing you do is settle in your room. You're going to be here for the next few months/years, so it's best to get comfortable. Hang up some photos, lay down a rug or place a fragrance diffuser, maybe a window plant – whatever it takes to make your new room feel just like your room back at home, but neater. Make your bed, spread your favourite bed sheets, comforter, a pillow of your choice and maybe a cute cushion. A non-messy bed with clean sheets will instantly give your room a homely look.

4. Explore the hostel/PG

After settling in, go out and explore the hostel/PG. Know about the rules and regulations over there. The days when you can give laundry, what are the mess timings, what are the lights out timings etc are some of the basic information you must seek for as soon as you settle in.

5. Choose your friends carefully

All the freshers are eager to make friends and connect to people in the new environment. Friends can support, make your college life remember-able and help you out at many times during college life. Throw yourself into various activities and societies, strike up a conversation with someone at the mess – and you'll make many friends throughout the year. But remember, people you meet in your first week will not necessarily be your friends for life. Don't think that you have to stick to people like glue just because you haven't met anyone else yet.

Networking is important. It is often true that who you know is just as important as what you know. But starting university involves mixing with people from all walks of life. This can also come with difference of opinions and lifestyle choices.

Make sure you do have a close group of friends who are more like-minded individuals... who make you feel at home and have your back. Those will be the ones who will be your lifelong friends.

6. Don’t stay in your room all the time

The only way to bond with your flatmates or hostel mates is by actually interacting with them! No one gets to know “that person down the hall who never leaves his/her room”.

Of course, everyone needs some time to themselves, but in the first few days, you should try and make an effort to go out and speak to people. Trust me, you don’t want to be the person no one ever sees. Also, if you aren’t involving yourself with other freshers, you might start feeling left out, which is something you want to avoid. If you don’t show up, the others will think that you are simply not interested.

So, leave your room, join people in the living room, or mess or the common sitting area and do something together.

7. Get involved in freshers' week

Freshers week is not just about moving in – it’s also the perfect time to get to know your coursemates and flatmates and start building some friendships. It is designed with Sooo Manyy types of events that help you settle into university life, allowing you to explore your surroundings and get to know those around you. However, it is important to be aware. Hold your own resolute and do not feel pressured to do anything you don’t want to do. No. Matter. How. Much. Anyone. Forces. You.

Clubbing and nights out aren't for everyone, and that's fine – just push yourself to attend the kinds of events you'd normally go to if you weren't worried about making friends or not knowing anyone.

8. Try something new

You’ve probably spent the last few years working hard at school to prepare for university, which might have led to missing out on a few things. Now is the chance to try something new – whether that be a sport, class, books, activities--- Just name it! This is also a great time to discover what you like and what you don’t so that you can meet others with similar interests. Your students' union will host fairs to join societies, clubs, sports teams and other various extracurricular activities that your college might offer. Joining a student club/organization/society not only mean making more friends, but also a chance to boost your resume and have a say in how things are run.

9. Stock up on your favourite snacks and home town specialities

They say that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach – but let’s be honest, it's the way to anyone's heart. Grab some snacks from your secret stock and offer them to your new friends and they'll be your friends for life! Also, I’ll let you in with a secret, mess food is not always to your taste. Make sure you have a stock of maggie and coffee with you. Might as well be included in your college survival kit!

10. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help

Not everyone has a stone-hard personality and mentality. Some people are soft with emotions. If you are finding it hard to cope with college life.. or feel homesick, or if you’re struggling with anything, ask for help. You are not alone, even though, at times, it may feel so. Get a mentor, ask your friends for their help or opinions, go to your professors or anything! It can make the difference between you loving the college or hating it.

11. Don’t put off things for tomorrow what you can do today

After the lectures start, you will start getting a lot of assignments and exam schedules. In this case, work should come before fun and pleasure. Manage your time effectively; set up a timeline for getting work completed of every subject on or before the deadline. Set aside adequate time for homework, study, sleep, relationships, and work. You need not always finish every task all at once. To manage your time more efficiently, you can also break down your large tasks into small manageable subtasks.

That’s all for now! In all... Don’t be nervous and don’t be afraid. As the old saying goes, everything will fall in place. Just be patient and be aware.

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