An anxious Rajvi Mehta (15) entered Narsee Monji College of Commerce with hundreds of questions in mind.
"I wondered how my teachers would be and if I would make new friends," she said.
Her questions are shared by thousands of other first year junior college students who have broken free from the comfortable cocoon of school and will step into the next phase of their lives. To ease students in, city colleges organise orientation sessions for parents and students.
"As students leave school and come to college, it is our job to tell them what they can expect from us and what we expect from them," said Marie Fernandes, principal of St Andrew's College, Bandra.
"We tell them about the infrastructure available, academics and extra-curricular activities, rules and regulations of the college. Different teachers talk to them about their respective departments," she added.
Students listen with rapt attention as professors and seniors tell them what they can look forward to in the next two years.
"I had a captive audience through our three hour orientation session, where the vice principal, representatives from student societies and I spoke to students and parents about the college," said Frazer Mascarenhas, principal of St Xaviers College, Dhobi Talav.
Along with the serious talks of rules and regulations, students also get a sneak peek into student societies and activities in colleges — something students look forward to the most.
"When I first entered college, I saw the student council working to organise our orientation and it was really inspiring to see how responsible they were," said Naveli Reshamwalla (16), a student of HR College, Churchgate, who hopes to join the council or any other society in college.
"The college has started a mentorship programme that makes it easy for the juniors to interact with seniors. My mentor walked with me to my classes and told me what all to join and that really helped," she added.
HR College also organised a carnival where the juniors and seniors interacted with each other. "We want our juniors to have a sense of belonging and feel at home right from the start," said Sahil Raina, general secretary of the HR College student council.
Being part of student clubs is a good way to make new friends. "When students join the social service league (SSL), they make 50 friends right there and the campus starts feeling like a familiar place," said Aadi Rungta, head of SSL in St Xavier's college, who feels joining such clubs boosts confidence of new students.