I was sitting down with chai-samosa at my favourite joint when I found a group of college teens walking in. The enthusiasm, the chatter & laughs brought a feeling of nostalgia. 17 is the age you leave your folks at home, head for a college to become independent – the age when stakes are higher. I was wondering what I would tell my 17 year old self & came up with this list…
Live off on what you love to do: Find the answer to the question “what is the work that you cannot do?”. Find your strengths, talent and passions and see how to build a career out of it. Don’t choose a course or college because it has great career prospects. You have a long career path ahead of you and it can become a winding one if you have no interest in what you do. Live off your passion to bring the best out of you and make the world a better place.
Begin your career on campus, not after: Industrial Visits & Internships help you get real-world experience and help you decide what to do after graduation. Explore the opportunities through alumni chapters and college career counselling cell. Many organizations provide summer internships for interested students. Check their website for details. This will help you to know what to expect at your workplace and can help you hone your skills accordingly.
Surprise Yourself: College is a whole new experience unlike school. Look forward to the change, take advantage of the variety of opportunities. Don’t be afraid to try new things right from the start. Join one or two clubs that would challenge you and let you explore some unchartered territory. Remember you have nothing to lose and might learn something new along the way. Take off those academic blinders and explore your passions/fleeting interest.
Hone your social skills: One of advantages of college is the ability to meet diverse individuals. Let’s face it. If you don’t do anything in college, you never meet anyone. So find many activities other than the mandatory ones and share it with those around you. Organize a weekly game, watch a favourite TV show, form a book-club. The ideas are endless.
A sound mind in a sound body: The art of living starts with a sturdy canvas. Eat right, exercise, be flexible and think positively. Start a new exercise regime, try new dishes & cultivate more friendships.
College is the best chance to prepare, to learn, to grow towards the knowledgeable and adaptive individuals you need to be to succeed. Grab it & make it work.