In India, quite a large portion of the youth is inclined towards pursuing engineering, from the top engineering colleges like IITs, NITs, IIITs, GFTIs, etc. We invest our day and night to crack some of the most difficult examinations around the world, to get admission into our dream colleges for further studies. But never does anybody tell us about what are the prerequisites of getting into any university/institution. In this article, we will be sharing what things you need to know before starting your first year of engineering.
The transition from school to college is quite crucial because being into college is going to be totally different than what it was in school. Your parents/guardian will not be there to guide you at every step, you will have more freedom, more exposure, and surely become more independent; therefore it is advised to have a plan for the new phase of your life you are entering into.
There are various things we must be aware of before starting your first year. Here are the essential things mentioned;
1. Choice of college: Before taking admission in any institute that you’re looking forward to pursuing your studies, ensure that the college is capable enough to provide you with the opportunities in the field you want to make your career in.
2. NIRF Ranking/Placement records: Check the NIRF ranking issued by MHRD, to get a brief knowledge about the university. Previous year placement records will get you an idea about the placement opportunities the university provided if there is any placement cell which guides the students about placement and the companies that have visited the campus for on-campus placements.
3. Time Management: Time is what we want most, but what we use worst! If one really wants to increase his/her productivity and efficiency, he/she must know how to effectively manage time. Being in college, you will have to attend classes for around 7-8 hours, write a bunch of assignments daily, but then you also need to find time for yourself, to focus and improve your fitness level, do part-time internships/jobs; For all these things to go smoothly, you must schedule your entire day in the morning or the last night before sleeping. Some apps which will serve the purpose are Microsoft To-Do, Google Tasks, Tick-Tico, etc.
4. Knowledge of your surroundings: Getting aware of the surroundings is the first thing we all usually after moving out to a new place. Look out for all-purpose stores, medicine shops, hospitals ( even though you will be having basic medication facilities within the college campus), malls, food-courts, etc. Google Maps can lend you a hand while gathering knowledge about locals, to ensure that in a new city no stranger can bluff you.
5. Location of the University: For students who have secured admissions in Tier 1 colleges of the country i.e IITs, NITs, IIITs, BITS Pilani, VIT etc; need not to be stressed out for the location, because these colleges provide comparatively higher opportunities than a Tier 2 or Tier 3 private college. There it becomes necessary to ensure that the institute in which you are seeking admission is established in the neighbourhood of MNCs, established startups and is a developing area.
6. Gaining experience: While sitting for your on-campus placements, grades/CGPA will work only as a tool to cut-short the no. of candidates applied for sitting in the interview, whereas internships, industrial training and projects that you have made in your 4 years of college are going to give you edge in the selection process. That’s why it is advised in your starting semesters to gain as much as knowledge of the working of companies, experience and learn skills by doing internships and projects.
7. Polish communication skills: A skill that is easy to learn but difficult to implement. Having good communication ability with people around you will always be helpful for the entire of your life. Get in touch with your seniors, professors who can help you with all the academic stuff. Connect with alumni on social platforms like LinkedIn who belongs from the same field as you, all these will add to your knowledge, experience and enhance communications skills for sure.
8. English proficiency: One of the factors that play a crucial role in boosting your confidence. While in college, you will be giving a lot of class presentations; where vivid concepts, ideas and fluent speaking will get you appreciation from all. It’s quite easy to become fluent in speaking, you can take part in dramas, debates, do anchoring for events organized by the university. Apart from that you can listen to podcasts, read self-help novels, biographies, all of which will motivate you at the same time.
9. Safety: The biggest concern of every parent nowadays is safety, especially for girls. Before getting into college, learn to defend yourself, take self-defence classes. Get to know the college security office, avoid roaming around with people who you’re not comfortable with. Do not go to unknown places without informing your local guardian or parents.
10. Real college life is different from those shown in movies: When you were a kid or a teen, you must have seen in movies that college is all about bunking classes, going out, having parties without any kind of restrictions. Looking towards the real side of college, you will find a different world but not totally, where you will surely have more freedom than school but more responsibilities too. You need to find the balance though!
11. Active phone no/email id: You must be having an active phone number and email address because everything has been digitalized in this era. You will send assignments, invitational links for joining online classes all over email. Make sure you have a professional email address with no fancy words and develop a habit of regularly checking your email because if you don’t there are high chances that you miss out on some important notifications.
12. Enjoy college life: Yes you heard it right! College is the place where you will make a lot of memories, friends and alongside hustle for a bright career too. Don’t forget to go out on weekends with your friends after a hectic week.
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