Prateek Jain is a student at BITS Pilani, pursuing Civil Engineering, about to enter his final year. He writes regularly for the English Press Club, the official student press body at BITS Pilani, as well as Cactus Flower – the annual literary magazine. Here, he uses his experience of college life so far to talk about seven habits that every college student should imbibe, to make their stay in college highly effective. He says that his inspiration for writing this article was Mr Covey, because of his original seven habits, who he calls the “original” highly effective person.
Habits 1-3: Grades, tests, lectures; the usual academic fluff.
One: Don’t fall for the branch transfer delusion
You must have tried that before, but for purposes of demonstration, I insist you try licking your nose. There.
A branch transfer, or a ‘verti’, as it is known in common parlance, is a secret ambition of every other starry-eyed fresher. That is just about as difficult as what the aforementioned activity, if you actually tried it. Many a student in the past have lay waste their 1-2s (second semester of the first year) after living like a hermit in their first semester to attain said ‘verti’. Take my word; anything above an 8 is awe-inspiring.
Two: Browse through the book before a lecture
It may take a fortnight, a month, or a mid-sem, but it will happen to you. Climate, distance from your hostel and odd timings are but preliminary adversaries. Persistence and guilt may still drag you to the Lecture Halls, but your mind will refuse to board the Concorde Jet that the series of September-November lectures is.
The only trick is to read up before the lecture. As long as you can follow even 70% of what is being taught, you’ll keep attending lectures. Keep spinning the hoop.
Three: Make the most of (and attend) tutorials
Tests happen when you miss a tute. Everyone says that. But tests also happen when you do actually manage to move your hinds out of bed at for the first hour tutorial. Make sure you haven’t braved the 8 am cold and damned your cerebral cortex for nothing. Study before tutes. A lot of shrewd wannabe muggers build their CGPAs around them; don’t let relative grading get the best of you.
Habits 4-6: Co-curriculars, clubs and departments, DC++; Life in the village.
Four: Keep yourself involved
Despite all you’ve read so far, in all probability you’ll find yourself worrying frantically about the course the day before the exam. For all the other days (these, mind you, are not as many as you think; the exam calendar is more crowded than an IPL season), if you don’t want to end up staying up nights trying to recollect who slipped you roofies the day you decided to sit for JEE/BITSAT/AIEEE, get yourself in a club/department/(regional/discipline) assoc/academic group/society. If you don’t, you’ll probably fall for The Vice (See Habit Five).
Five: DC++: Alice’s Wonderland – It’s all illusionary
First off, DO NOT GET A LAPTOP IN THE FIRST SEMESTER.
It’s the ultimate pass-time. Movies, TV Shows, games, comics, the works. I love it too much to say anything against it. You should know where to draw the line.
Six: Respect the college ‘Junta’
Understand that you’re in a national college. Be it elections, club/department interactions or even tables in the mess: Regionalism has no place here.
The senior-junior relations are part of a societal structure that has evolved over half a century, and must be understood. Respect the hierarchy, if not the person.
Habit 7: How to survive the frenzy that is college; the all-encompassing habit.
Seven: Put first things first
Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important. Academics, extra-curriculars, entertainment and people – all have a time and place. Get your priorities right, and these four years are bound to be the best four years of your life.
Image Credits –
https://www.facebook.com/tips4bits (BITS Tips)