After a stressful school year, there is no doubt that as a high school student you need a break. However, riding the waves during the day and hanging out with your friends at night may seem like the perfect way to spend your vacation, but not when you may have to answer the following question on a college application: “Describe what you did this past summer and the summer before that.”
After completing school, there is always the anticipation of joining college and enjoying life with greater freedom. However admissions to colleges can be quite exasperating as one decides which colleges are right, the best courses to choose, as well as meeting the cut off percentage for different colleges. There are also many colleges in India that conduct admission tests, based on which students are short listed. Students from different streams have to prepare well in advance for getting admissions to the right colleges.
“It was as if all of us were waiting for that ultimate moment to formalize our admission. When our class 12 results were declared, thanks to technology, the marks were immediately made available on the internet, and we all started applying,” says, Akshat Runwal, a student from Bangalore.
From finding time for test preparations to writing the college essay, from conjuring up a college list to crunching those big tuition figures, the admission process is fraught with big questions and anxiety for students and their parents. A student’s feelings throughout this crazy milestone have changed entirely so many times that it’s difficult to keep track of them all. Everything from stress, sadness, and frustration to excitement, joy, and, ultimately, acceptance is experienced by the student community.
Simran Jeet Kaur a student says, “In many colleges students are required to sit for an entrance test, particular for admissions to the honors degree courses. Shortlisted candidates are then called for a personal interview. While on the other hand, some colleges in India do not conduct any entrance test and select students on the basis of their class 12 marks, giving better chances to a few.” She further adds, “Different institutes have their own selection procedure for admissions to various courses. Students should collect the admission forms along with the prospectus of various colleges and submit them on time. There are special admission quotas available for Christian students in various catholic institutions. Colleges also reserve seats for students under the SC/ST category.”
As the trickle of decisions slowly becomes a flood over the next few weeks, it will become apparent that students who took the time to research colleges and determine which represented the best possible “fit” will realize the best results.
“The admission procedures that most colleges follow are on the basis of ‘first-come-first-served’. If a student meets the cut-off mark decided by the college for a particular subject, he is given provisional admission across the table. If he falls short, he is told to wait for a couple of days to check whether he can be accommodated after the quota seats are filled,” says Yash Jain, a student from Delhi Public School.
Waiting in line is crucial to your college admission experience. It can teach you essential skills you need to survive college and beyond. The key is using your time productively while waiting in line. But in reality, college students could find more enjoyable ways of mastering endurance and patience than standing in long lines with their entire prospectus in hand. In addition to the wait itself, is the excruciating anticipation felt as you approach the front of the line submitting your application form.
“One of the things that surprise me is the randomness of student’s decisions about which college to attend. Students are influenced by parents, college choices of friends, national ranking, campus visits and finally their own perspectives,” says Mr. Raju, a counselor in Hyderabad.
As the college application process has become increasingly available through the Web, many companies are offering search engines that help students put together a list of colleges to consider.
In this age of social networking, a time where Myspace and Facebook are just as much a part of a person’s social sphere as their friends at school and around the neighborhood. Social networks provide a way for people to contact friends, family, classmates, post videos and photos, exchange news and ideas, blog, meet people and more. With regards to education, this provides a new way for students to familiarize themselves with colleges in more details. College requirements and recruitment information is posted on the internet at college sites and others as well. A number of colleges and universities now offer and require that applications and test scores be submitted online to simplify the application process.
Sambhav Munoth, a student applying for summer schools says, “Students reap the rewards of social networking by building relationships and networks. Students are able to share dreams and ideas with people who have similar expertise and pursuits and then develop and improve themselves. Different groups, organizations, and clubs exist within social network groups that bring together students from across the globe. Prospective students are able to make inquires and give tips to students facing college admissions.”
Yes, getting into your first pick college is important, but let’s keep it in perspective. Being accepted by your first choice college is certainly something to celebrate, but it’s not the end of the world if it doesn’t work out exactly as you’d hoped.
“As my daughter finds colleges that she is interested in, I am doing my own research in order to learn about the college myself. With college admissions more competitive than ever before, it is my job to help her navigate through the process with a minimum of stress and find a college that is right for her,” says Saroj jain, parent of class 12 student.
After all the crazy time spend, running about, deciding which college to chose from the never ending list, selecting the course of your choice from the wide variety of courses that are available today, the worst is yet to come, now comes the time to prepare for your entrance exams. It’s the time of the year when every student is on a run, to get the best for his future and his life ahead.