A spring-board for the future

A spring-board for the future

Pre-university is about enlarging vision, extending influence, correcting past errors and setting a pace in life, writes Mohan Das.

The onset of the monsoon is not the only exciting feature of the month of June; it is also the month when lakhs of students take to pre-university. It is a time of hectic activity not only for students, but also for parents.

Take a stroll through any of the PU colleges and you will find a carnival-like atmosphere bristling with excitement, anticipation, boundless energy and anxiety.
On an average, each student would have applied to at least a dozen colleges and for a few weeks after their class X results, they will be svhuttling from one college to another with their families in tow.

And, at the end of two grueling years, what do the results declare? At least 40% of the students fail to make it. This year, the pass percentage in ISC and CBSE - XII exceeded 75%, while PUC pass percentage stood at around 60%. Why are PUC students falling behind? Could their ‘uprooting’ from schools after class X have played a role?

The absence of proper guidance after ‘uprooting’ does play a role in poor performance. In a hurry to admit their children, parents forget to instruct them on how to conduct their way safely through the doldrums that beset pre-university stage, and help them get the best out of the experience.

Many parents even think that once the admission is done, their job is also done. It is also possible that parents’ advice may be completely out of touch with the ground realities of current pre-university life; often they think nothing much has changed since their learning. 

Joining Pre-University Course means different things to different students; no homework, no fixed schedules, new friendships, new teachers, new world to explore, and new opportunities.

 Pre-University is not only about getting good marks in the decisive annual exams, but also about enlarging one’s vision, extending one’s influence, correcting past errors and setting a pace that one must maintain for several years to come.

Be regular and in time

The best way to approach the new stage of life is to begin work from day one; begin slowly but steadily build up your pace until you attain a comfortable pace in about 8 weeks time, just in time for your first tests. You should never underestimate the importance of regular attendance; missing even one class for no valid reason can impede understanding, dent interest in the subject, and damage your performance in the long run.

Scheduling Life and work

Far from thinking of freedom from homework, you need to learn to give yourself homework if you are to succeed. This means you will continue to maintain a homework diary that you will use to plan your day.

You must decide the best time for study, how much to study, what to study, how to rest and how long to sleep. Use your diary to schedule your day well leaving little time to waste.

Use your diary to note down topics that you find difficult, topics that need you to put in extra effort.

Ensure that you spend time during weekend with difficult topics until you have mastered them.

Keeping track of your work using a diary will help you manage the umpteen distractions pre-university environment generally brings.

Regularly following a schedule should easily prevent work from pending. If there is too much work pending, spare time to take up one pending task at a time and finish it before moving on to the next. Only a person who is working well will also want to rest well.

Some teens need 8 hours of sleep while others need only 6 hours or less. Give up the misconception that those who stay awake longer are also working harder. How well you study, not how long you study, is important.

Be professional

Most Indians, especially those who enjoy good job-security are found to have a casual approach to work. This lack of professionalism is one of modern India’s scourges.
Scheduling your work and following it up are the first steps you can take towards a successful professional life. It will keep you alert, sharp and active.

Practically every step you take at pre-university level will consciously or unconsciously drive you to greater success or a devastating loss. Make scheduled hard work a habit and you will be surprised how much one can do in just one minute.

Be on your own

A few days into pre-university and you will find that your approach to learning is very different from what it was in school. You will find that you are on your own. You will also find PU teachers, save for some, less friendly than school teachers.

This should not scare you. Instead, it should teach you to stand on your own feet.
If your friendships are distracting you, or are not helping you, or are not allowing you to help, then you must break out of such friendships.

Do not shy away from good competition, rather strive to attract it. Always remember that you are there to learn and there is always something to learn from even the worst among teachers. Make every effort to listen carefully in class.

Be focused

Do not be too ambitious and set unrealistic goals. Do not be consumed by your ambition rather aim to excel at whatever you are doing currently. Temper your impatience by focusing on each day’s work and not some future, uncertain goal.
 
Nurturing hobbies

Nurturing good hobbies is vital for healthy and holistic development of your personality. Spend sufficient leisure time with a good hobby or pastime instead of haunting a mall, or chatting endlessly on your mobile, or surfing the net.

Do not sacrifice a hobby you have already nurtured. If your hobby requires regular practice, make time for it in your schedule. Make time for physical activity as well in your schedule.

Make reading a habit

Learn to be well informed without being swayed by dubious ideologies. Learn to respect students who are slow and do not waste an opportunity to help them. Read as many, even all, books recommended by your teachers, be of any subject.
At this age your mind has attained the capacity to store much information, so ensure that you gather as much good information as you can.

Be social

Resist the temptation to become an isolato. Instead, start a study / discussion group that will help you explore new ideas and share your thoughts on a variety of important issues.

Learn not to be too sensitive to criticisms from friends or family. Learn to make a good impact wherever you go. A good track record helps stabilize your life and can teach you to make careful, wise choices.

No matter what others say, remember pre-university is another name for higher secondary school.

It may seem harmless to call yourself a college student but this term can give you a delusion regarding freedom that in several cases leads to a sense of irresponsibility more than anything else.

Above all, be sensitive to your failures in studies or in relationships without becoming overwhelmed by them.

Face your failures, your losses, and your setbacks boldly and do what you can to correct yourself at the earliest.

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