Recently, one of my students asked for guidance on how to best use his time while waiting to return to a foreign university campus. Like the others, he would like to return to campus after about 18 months. Virtual learning ‘OK’ he felt but not only academic, but also feeling some gap in socio-psychological development.
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This period should be used optimally to prepare yourself and to create brackets for big challenges and initial problems. Preparation helps us to manage ourselves better and overcome anxiety, fear and uncertainty. They are important not only for an exam crack or admission to a dream university but also for going through the rigorous process of successfully completing the course. Now that admissions have been made, it is important for students to think about Preparation 2.0.
So, what does Preparation 2.0 include?
1. Goal setting: Start by asking yourself the ‘why’ and ‘what’ questions – why am I doing what I’m doing? What do I really want to achieve from this stage of my life? What am I hoping to use this time for?
The answers to these ‘why’ questions can lead to an answer where one can understand whether they enjoy more creative pursuits or analytical work. This is followed by a selection of courses, projects, and co-curricula that help you find the answers that will help you make the medium to long term decisions about your chosen career and life path.
2. Reflection: Try to understand yourself better. Identify your strengths and look for opportunities based on them. Work out your weaknesses to the extent that they do not hinder your ambitions.
3. Construction skills: Learn a new language especially if you are going to a non-English speaking country. Master the art of communication. Read a lot about the culture, heritage and art of India. Learn about other cultures or choose a new musical instrument. Learn to manage your finances wisely. All this will bring the elements of a well-rounded personality.
4. Improve hardness: Marks in higher education is comparatively less than in school. Deep knowledge of the chosen subject and exposure to a wide range of other subjects is the ideal combination. Build your ability to read books and receive information from a variety of sources.
5. Connection development: Connect and connect with your professors and batch colleagues. It strengthens the bond and keeps you cheerful and attentive. Try and give back through volunteer or community service – it will give you a lot of satisfaction and add more money to your life.
As a student traveling abroad for the first time, you may miss out on the many luxuries that you feel you deserve while you are at home, and the feeling of achievement and freedom will make it worthwhile – at best.
(Writer Director – Education, Singhania School and Principal – Mrs. Sulochanadevi Singania School, Thane)
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