If you just check this blog of mine, you’ll find that I’ve written dozens of posts related to the lives of youngsters, their education, work and mindset. Ever wondered what drove me to do this?
Well! All this stuff is based somewhat from my personal life only. Some wrong decisions of my life, that I took two years back, were so eye opening that I looked at all the events that followed with a critical perception.
I read so much about education, society and whatever was unexplored from the mainstream.
Hence, this post is for all students, be they in schools, colleges or have opted for a gap year (though I don’t advocate or support gap years at all). Even career oriented people will be greatly inspired from this article.
Talking about my life, my schooling was done in Muzaffarnagar, then I moved to Delhi and eventually to Dehradun. Hence, I gained many experiences.
Juniors who took my advice are really doing well in their lives; while, those who didn’t listen to me are indeed regretting or living like sheep. Anyway, it’s none of my business to fix them.
Following are the things you should definitely do as a student.
1. Pay Attention
Paying fees for your school college doesn’t make any sense at all if you’re not attending your classes properly. That’s a waste. Just to rejuvenate, bunking a class or two is okay, but not every time.
Make short notes. Ask questions. This is also a phase.
Wait Boy! We’re coming to fun topics as well.
Meanwhile, just read the article about how to avoid sleeping while you’re in class. I never had this tendency while I was in school, but faced it when I entered college.
My attention span declined rapidly, but I fixed it. Continue reading to know how I did it.
2. Always push yourself to a new potential.
Don’t remain a stepping stone, young man. Life is moving on, time is moving on; then why aren’t you moving on. Don’t just stop at one moment. Keep moving.
Our brain is constantly expanding and creating new neurons to meet our demands. The more you demand, the better your brain supplies.
Don’t overwork, but research on Good Stress.
3. Diploma, certificate, advanced Diploma, Extra degree permitted by ugc
Let’s suppose you’re pursuing Majors in Commerce, but you also want to learn another subject equally; say, Sanskrit. As per the UGC norms, you can pursue, a regular Degree course, a distance degree course, one PG diploma, one diploma and one certificate, all at once.
If possible, pursue your courses up to this limit. Just like I’ve already said, increase your potential.
In this way, you’re exploring more of your interests. Push yourself.
Your teenage and 20s give you a lot of chances. Make sure you take risks and explore.
Don’t you dare worry about managing them or giving an excuse about time availability. Most of the college students get serious about the exams only during exam time. Most of them borrow books and get the notes photocopied only in that time period.
The regular and distance exams are organized in different months. You’ll genuinely be able to manage everything. The only condition is that you lay some efforts. That I don’t think is too much to ask from you.
4. Don't pursue courses of whose books you can buy and read yourself.
Most of the degrees in most of the universities are useless. Literally!
Determine only the income generating courses for yourself. Just determine if the fees you’re paying to the college is going to generate you an ROI.
If you can buy that majors’ books and read by yourself without getting anyone explaining you, then why do you bother paying to college for that?
There’re several courses which require guidance, but some people do them on their own as well. Hence, it’s you who has to decide what works out and what doesn’t.
Let’s take a few examples. You need guidance in Law and a license to practice is only given if you have its degree. Hence, paying for it is worth it. I’m learning Sanskrit. A tutor is required to explain me the sutras of Paninian grammar. Hence, paying for it is worth it.
My decision of doing B.Com is partly justified. There’re certain subjects which are too basic that I can read them on my own, such as Economics, Ecommerce etc. However, some subjects, like Income Tax, Accounts and Financial Management require guidance.
On the other hand, think for yourself, if your degrees in History, Political Science, Gender Studies, Philosophy etc. ever going to pay you.
Most of the subjects of humanities are based on core opinions (or rule of thumb). What they preach are not tested (and even might be fulfilling agenda).
5. Read More
If you’re not reading what is extra to your syllabus, then mark my words that you’re not exploring and are going to end up where everyone else is.
With the dynamic nature of the corporate world, what is being taught in schools and colleges is limited and obsolete. To be job or business ready, you’ve to learn more than what is in your syllabus.
There’re various ways through which you can read more.
This is the cheapest way you can read. A lot of ebooks are available online. You can read them from the comfort of your home.
Some of the well known sites are-
Join a Library
A library is not entirely free but is an affordable option. You might have a good library in your school or college. If not, join one.
I joined Doon Library and Research Center situated near Parade Ground in Dehradun. Guess what they charged? Only INR 300 per year and security of INR 1k.
I read over forty books in three months, before lockdown emerged in the scene.
I don’t like this option particularly, but you own your books this way. You can do this with books you’re supposed to be rereading frequently.
6. Pursue online courses
We’ve already discussed how your regular curricula are limited with respect to the real world.
Not everyone is good at reading, so online courses can be of great help.
Coursera, Edx, Futurelearn and Udemy are some of the most useful sites for online courses.
It is a topic in its own. I recommend you to read my previous articles on this topic.
7. Do only meaningful extra curricular activities.
When you enter your college, you might be acquired with various glamorous clubs for extracurricular activities.
However, you need to be mindful while joining any.
Ask yourself some questions while joining:
- How is joining this society going to help with my career?
- Who is at which position of this club?
- Are the students already in any club really passionate about what they’re doing? Have they succeeded?
You’ll get your answer. Save your money as more as possible. Don’t waste it. It’s precious. Only those activities which help you ace in your career are useful. Just for fun is not justified. You can do them on your own.
I joined a literary club last year. They were doing it good, but I soon noticed that I didn’t feel like a community. Most of the book reviews members posted were only mainstream books, for which they never explored. Nobody in that group thought. They just watched TV and wrote on what was the most popular opinion. They just uploaded posters of different Jayantis.
They were good but not my type.
8. Enhance skills.
Enhancing your skills is extremely important. This step would maximize your productivity. Just like many others, this is also a wide topic on which I’ve written previously as well.
9. Interning for experience
Interning is a good experience towards your career, whether you want to do job or start a business.
This would make you confident in your skills. You would be able practise appearing in tests and interviews.
10. Look for actual jobs asap.
Don’t just stick on the previous step. Keep moving further.
Once you feel confident by doing internship(s), start applying for actual jobs. Don’t wait for final or penultimate semesters to start applying for jobs.
Even if not full time, you’ll be able to get remote and WFH jobs if you’re skilled.
My only suggestion is that you must set your preferences right away and know it well, what you’re applying for.
11. Jack of all trades is not bad at all.
Once my friend called me a jack of all trades. I called him a jack of one trade, beginner of only that one. Don’t place limitations on yourself. Your responsibility is only to grow, not to inhibit it.
Learn some bare minimum survival tips. Learn to cook, sew, fight, swim and whatever else might help you in adverse conditions.
Be a minimalist. Keep only the essential items with you.
13. Look after your finances.
For god sake, never take any loan for your education, no matter how big or small the opportunity is. It is never worth it. Work extra, settle for less, but please.
Learn finance while your pursuing your education. Look after your expenditure. Save and invest somewhere. Learn more about it.
I had a friend in my hostel (he still exists, but is no longer my friend) who used to borrow money from me and showed his inability to return a few times. On the other hand, every day or two, I saw him ordering his dinner online. I don’t know what would such people do online.
Helping people or asking for help when you need can be understood. But, asking for money just for the sake of having fun and not having to spend your own is such a cheap activity.
14. Be mature
Own your opinions. Be informed. This is an essence of what I have to say, otherwise this is voluminous topic in itself.
15. Start a Business
Starting a business, no matter how small or big will teach you so much with experiences that no book or college can teach you. Make sure you start a business. Even if it doesn’t turn out to be full time, maybe you get successful in turning it into your side hustle, at least.
Will be writing more on this topic, once my own business is fully established.
Check out my furniture business, by the way.
16. Don't move out just for the sake of it.
I made a few friends when I was in hostel and asked a set of them who were from distant cities and states, that why did they move to Dehradun for this college. Replies of most of them were stupid. Some just gave a glance at the website before moving in. Parents of some of them were brainwashed by agents.
Living away from your home is expensive. Move out only if the course and college prove to be worth it.
However, there are various advantages of moving out such as, a sense of independence, personality development, looking after your daily affairs without being dependent on your parents etc.
I suggest you run a pros and cons analysis before taking the final decision.
17. Post content online
Fix a social media handle where you’re the most active. Still, be active on other handles as well. This might turn into a source of income later on.
I can provide you content writing services, if you ever seem interested.
18. Don't be too dependent on your school or college
Don’t let them interfere with your education. Follow the tips I’ve given you, religiously, in order to get quality results.
However, some teachers might be open minded and friendly. You can talk to them. They’ll lead to your upliftment.
19. Other Issues
In this post, I tried covering many topics, but, the issues of student life are never going to end. Check a few other topics, you’d like to read about.