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Life in College: Expectation Vs Reality

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While college life does appear to be a bed of roses from a safe distance, reality can be entirely different, as most students discover after setting their foot on-campus. Here’s how you can navigate this unfamiliar territory with purpose and panache.

There’s nothing wrong with carrying lofty expectations while entering college, but the ground realities can often prove unsettling to students.

Youngsters expect to be met with stimulating, intellectual challenges in graduate and postgraduate programmes. Formal classes prove to be a breeze, because a structured pattern guides students with consummate ease. However, when it comes to “independent learning and exploration” – which is considered the cornerstone of graduate education, students often feel at sea.

Usually, students are ill-equipped to face the avalanche of toil and frustration required before they experience success. It feels like a Darwinian conundrum, where students feel they need to be fit enough to survive, or ship out. An intelligent support system and regular intervention is therefore required to ensure that there is a fine balance during college life.

That’s when the plethora of extra-curricular opportunities offered by SIBM – H, come to students’ rescue. Our students are fully assimilated into the programme and given the opportunity to build support networks with other students and faculty through interaction in seminars, workshop, symposiums, etc. Regular intra and inter-collegiate meets help students build confidence and gain other key skills. The whole idea is to bridge the gap between curricular expectations and reality, and brings students as close as possible to real-time scenarios. When SIBM – H students enter the professional life, they are better attuned to tackle challenges.

Adjusting expectations

A lot of students continue to hold unrealistic expectations throughout the course despite the evidence to the contrary. A student can be going into a cumulative final exam with a solid C, but she believes she is going to ace that final and come out of the course with a high B. That may be possible in a few courses, but it’s a long shot in others and is simply not going to happen in most courses.

A reality check is, therefore, a must to avoid crushing disappointment.

Learning is your real compensation

Don’t shy away from hard work in expectation of a cushy, well-paying comfortable job. While that might appear great in the beginning, it is bound to cause more harm than good in the long haul. The more you do in college to prepare for the workplace, the higher your paycheck will be.

Choose your battles

There’s an old teaching saying: “Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win.” It’s important that you prioritize problems and tackle them one at a time, while not getting overwhelmed and staying focused.  Look out for your friends, identify distress calls and voice concerns, as and when you feel the need arises.

Don’t get disheartened!

It’s okay to make mistakes and miss opportunities, as long as you learn from them. Don’t let accomplishments bloat your ego, or get affected by letdowns. Persevere, learn, work hard and success will come your way, now or later!

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