How to succeed in any College
The following conversation applies to any graduate study in
India, especially if you need to move into a hostel.
The biggest stumbling blocks have nothing to do with the
syllabus and the difficulty of the subjects. It has to do with your own mental makeup and your room
mates and close friends.
- If you are staying in a hostel or a rented apartment, avoid
the hall! Get a room that allows you the option of closing the
door! In a room of 4 or more people, different people get bored at
different times. The folks in the hall are a good starting point
for conversation. Plus people in the hall end up as gatekeepers.
This is by far the biggest factor in success or failure.
- Be a little bit selfish! Some folks tend to be extremely
polite and helpful. They end up being parents to the other folks
in the room. Then frustration sets in and studying suffers. But
the helpfulness never goes away. Some of the most brilliant
folks that I have known have been victim of this characteristic.
Here is a
link to an article that tells you how to go about keeping
yourself at the top of the list.
- Do not end up as a mediator between two fighting friends or lovers!
You will get a double dose of long winding conversations and a
lot of tension and lost sleep. In the end, those folks will move
on as if nothing happened and you will be the sole loser! You
can love or fight someone if you want to, but NEVER be the
- In the event that you do fail, do not
give up! Even if you fail in subjects and even if you have to
miss a semester, do not give up!. At the end of the day, only
the degree matters. Flunking the exam does not mean anything if
you have given it a good faith effort.
- NEVER get into confrontations with faculty, including peons
and lab assistants. Some of these folks may have enough clout to
fail you. This is especially true if you are from another state
or do not belong to the majority language/community of that
area. College representatives/class representatives are
especially at risk.
- Blend in and have a nice disposition. This is good training
for future life as well.
- Avoid gangs that have too much fun! Try to mingle with more
than one group even if that makes you uncomfortable. It helps
eventually during projects and assignments.
- Start studying early. Buy the books before the semester
begins and start reading. Finish your journals as early as
- If you are an NRI or out of towner, keep a low profile among
the local friends. You might be the richer one and there will be
more action around you while you burn the money. You will end up
with a group that will encourage you to have fun. Again, those
folks will move on and you will be left back wondering what
- Brush up your English speaking skills
if you happen to be a high school graduate in a non-English
language. If the local language is used widely in the campus,
make sure you converse with an English speaking group in English. You will appreciate
this advice after you are done with your first campus interview!
If that is not possible, watch English films and
read popular English novels. English is the
language of the world and it pays to know the language well.
- Have no fear or apprehensions about
being separated from family! Your family will be fine without you and you
will be fine without them. Your hostel life will prepare you
well for the real world.
So there it is! You will still end up learning some of these
things the hard way. And that is OK!