Life after high school is strange, you no longer smile indulgently and say “I want to be a ‘doctor’, a ‘lawyer’, or an ‘engineer’”, because now, the questions are more specific (and uncomfortable too, if you are on a lookout for a college): “What stream are you going to take up?” or “Which colleges have you applied to?” or “Are you preparing for any competitive exams?’ or “What is your college plan?” Your answers are scrutinized more seriously; so maybe it’s time for you to be serious about your future too!
However, don’t get too bogged down by the prospect of joining a college. Trust me when I say this – by the time you finish your first year, college will form an integral part of your life; one without which you cannot envisage yourself. College plays a significant role in shaping the growth of an individual. Apart from the course certification, it is the place where an individual embarks on his journey from teenage years to adulthood. The experiences, which one gains during this period are important as well as instrumental. However, for most high-school students, college is like an abyss. They aren’t sure about what to expect and thus look towards college with skepticism. Therefore, here is a checklist for each high-school students which they can use to evaluate their undergraduate options.
College Planning Guide:
Choose your course well
In India, students have to choose their course in class tenth itself, as after grade tenth students study specialized subjects related to their stream. You will be choosing from the streams like – commerce, humanities, or science – based on your interests and preferences. The lack of flexibility in Indian colleges, forces you to pursue what you studied in grades 11 and 12 – for instance, if you choose to take up humanities after grade 10th, dropping science, it becomes almost impossible to take an engineering or science course later in college/university. It is advised that if you are torn up between options, pick the Science stream as it will give you the freedom to switch to Humanities or Commerce later; it is impossible to do the other way around if you change your mind.
Take professional help
This period, understandably, can be a time of uncertainty. Take help from an education counselor who can analyze your aptitude and preferences and help you make a choice. An education counselor assesses the students by testing their aptitude, intelligence, and personality quotients, which help a counselor to evaluate the student’s potential and assess their verbal and numerical reasoning skills. The students can also meet with experts from their chosen field to ask for help and guidance in this crucial period.
Do your initial research
An initial research is always beneficial, once you have chosen a stream to pursue in college/university. Many ‘professional’ or ‘vocational’ courses have very limited seats; hence, you can only get admission in a college or a university after clearing a competitive exam. You must be aware of many important facts – such as the dates of these exams, the registration process, fees, and the minimum marks required to clear such exams. A candidate who will be well prepared for the exam will have better odds of getting selected in a course of his/her choice.
These three steps, if followed, can go a long way in shaping your overall performance and can lead to a very conducive period in college. Please click here to read PART-2.