05 Mar Beyond College
“What do you want to do after college?”
“What are your plans for the future?”
“Am I not doing enough?”
These are some of the common questions we, as college students are asked, either by the society aunties in a condescending tone, our concerned parents, or by our rather confused selves.
Our generation, though full of creators and bright minds, is also that of procrastinators. So even though the idea of doing something occurs to us soon, the actual execution is planned to happen after watching one more episode, or after the upcoming exam passes, or as soon as we’re back from a trip organised after the exams, or just simply after college.
But why not during college?
My parents have always reminded me that there are fixed hours in a day for everyone and that I have to make time for things I want to do; “I don’t have time” is not a good enough excuse. As helpful as academics are, I’ve always tried to keep myself engaged in other activities. Whether it’s enrolling myself into doing three sports in a year, participating in drama, or simply doing community work, I’ve learnt to keep myself busy and manage my time along with my academics
Overtime, I’ve realised it’s crucial to get out of the school/college walls and look around. Watch the world around, observe, learn things; about people and about yourself. And in the process, you might just find something you can do other than college. Yes, school/ college work is necessary and needs to be done, but it is only important when it comes to completing your formal education. We’ve all heard ‘real learning happens outside the classrooms’ and while this is a tip mainly for teachers, it’s also aimed at us, the students.
So then the next question is, “Where do I start? What should I do?”
I’m still learning to answer this question myself, but if it were me, I would go out, look for something that excites me and try my hand at it. It’s all a part of learning, trial and error. Whether it is waiting on tables of a restaurant, volunteering to help the community and joining an NGO or interning for an organisation, anything that gets you out of the routine of home-college-classes-home and into something challenging. At the end of the day, at least you’ll know what you like doing and what you don’t. Stepping out and simply trying will not only help you figure out the answers to the questions asked previously, but will also add some experience and caliber. And it has extra points for giving you a cool story to talk about during dinner.
Let’s start by making connections, friends, talking to people and by finding something you think you’re good at, and then actually going through with it. Not after exams, or the end of the term, but now, when you get the idea. So while others are busy struggling with notes, and finishing projects, you would be taking the load off by figuring out your interests and getting yourself a head start.
Let’s start by doing something beyond college.