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Admission mission

With June comes the unavoidable admission angst. Here’s a list of reasons that may prompt students to choose their colleges.

education Updated: Jun 02, 2009, 11:05 IST
Hindustan Times

This being the month of vacations, schools are over and done with and all the youngsters are set to step onto the college campus. They’re on the threshold of one of the most exciting phases of life! Undoubtedly, the prospect of morphing from school students into collegians is a thrilling one! But a word of caution - the transition from school to college involves more than just getting a new wardrobe and bag! For some, it’s quite a daunting experience.

Selecting a college is a decision that requires a lot of thought and deliberation. It’s a choice that will affect your entire career and subsequently, future. Baffled? Don’t be! HT Horizon comes to your rescue, with all you need to know about choosing the right college. There are loads of things one must take into account. Shailaja Mulay, assistant Headmistress, St. Michael’s and student counsellor says, “A college with a good reputation and proficient faculty tops the list. But students generally look for a college with an aura of glamour. Often they are not aware of the actual facts and join up depending on hearsay,” she says. But there are several other things that a student looks for in a college.

The ‘peer’ factor is one thing all college students swear by! Often, a majority of students join colleges which their friends or peers have enrolled in. This trend holds true mainly for first-timers. Youngsters, especially the shy, reserved ones, are petrified of being on their own in a completely new environment. Thus, they adopt the herd mentality and are shepherded to wherever their friends are headed.

Extra curricular activities of a college are probably next thing a student considers after reputation (and in some cases, the first). College festivals, the drama club, the sports association, the Rotaract club and their sister concerns take precedence over mundane things like professors, lectures and assignments. Hardly anyone wishes to stay shut up in class, listening to a professor drone on when there is a host of exciting activities to participate in. They form the crux of a college student’s life and are attributed utmost importance.

Next, is the nerve center of a college — its canteen. Anybody who is somebody will take care to be seen in this haven of students. Cribbing about a professor, plotting against a rival, gossiping about a couple, discussing fashion trends or Sachin’s records- this is where the action is. Believe it or not, the canteen is also a criterion for students to join or reject colleges. (To some extent, it is rightly so, as it is symbolic of the vivacity that a college embodies).

With the thrill of college life comes the icing on the cake - bunking (what several students consider their birth- right). After the compulsory classes at schools, students eagerly look forward to attending lectures as and when they please. Nothing quite beats the joy of experiencing your first bunked lecture. Students prefer to attend a college that does not make a fuss about attendance for varied reasons. Some of them cannot attend on a regular basis as they have other classes e.g. CET students. Others……well, let’s just say they’ll be hearing the syllable ‘blacklist’ sooner or later. Dhvani Shah, a private education counsellor says, “Students essentially look for a good crowd, and a convenient location for the college. It also helps to have your peers with you rather than being on your own. ”

As she aptly put it, the location of the college matters. No one wants to travel to a far-flung institute in a distant locale. But not everyone make it to the coveted colleges situated in the key areas. That in itself is a deciding factor. At times; parents are reluctant to send their wards to distant places, as even commutation becomes an issue. As for the students, the lucky ones hop into a cab or a rickshaw, while the others have little choice but to adhere to the Western railway or BEST services.

The prominent community in a college also makes a certain difference. Each college has a particular community as a majority e.g. Gujarati (Mithibai), Catholic (St. Andrews), Maharashtain (Ruparel) etc. While this may not impact the decision, students may take time to feel at home among members of a different community. However once you break the ice, its smooth sailing all the way, no matter what community your classmates belong to.

Lastly, the courses offered by a college are not just something to adorn its prospectus. They are an important aspect as students opt for a college, which offers courses, related to their field, and is preferably the best. Internships, placements, exchange programmes are also taken into account. For e.g. NM, HR are not only top colleges for commerce but also offer management, finance, and other related courses in the same stream. Students prefer a college that, along with coaching them academically, also gives them a boost into their selected industry.

The financial aspect of education also needs to be considered, as it will resolve your next step up the career ladder. So, the choice is now yours. Make sure the choice of college is made keeping all the abovementioned factors in mind. Till then, enjoy your vacations!

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