Beyond fun, fests can teach lots

Beyond fun, fests can teach lots

While students exhibit their talents out in public, they tend to get motivated.

College festivals or ‘fests’ as they are popularly called are an integral part of any higher educational institution. These fests could be cultural, technical, subject or sports-oriented.  They play a significant role in shaping the career, skill sets and personality of a student. Most importantly, they help in inculcating confidence.

Whether it’s an intra-college or inter-college fest, a wide range of revelations are offered with a mix of all disciplines. Through these fests, a student will be able to equip themselves with new knowledge, expertise and communication skills. Participation in any fest will highlight a student’s enthusiasm, talent and potential to work with others, while enabling a student’s capacity to manage time, priorities, schedules and deadlines, thus helping in managing dynamic events in day-to-day life.

Confidence booster

An active role, especially in a group, would boost confidence as well as help in getting enrolled in higher studies as fests make a candidate stand out among peers. Participation in these co-curricular activities enhances a student’s ability to work ingeniously. 

Graduation is largely a formative year of a student’s academic life where one contemplates on several things, such as subjects of choice. These decisions can make them weigh their interests against other determinants. For instance, they may think of the probable economic security. Or they may try to find a balance between the aspirations that their parents have and their personal likes.

Probably, a student thinks on more realistic lines when thinking of their career choices. Hence, a fest’s event could provide more clarity to student’s facing dilemmas. An installation at an event could trigger an idea; an invited speaker could bring clarity to sort out the confusion that the student might be facing.

A student might find a mentor through a college’s workshop as students are encouraged to visit peer institutions to gain these exposures. Aiming for an award through events participation could also be a reason to do so from an institution’s perspective, which would work out in the student’s favour.

Along with personal aptitude, a set of social skills develop through academic events. These provide an excellent opportunity for mutual interaction and teamwork, as well as forming new bonds, thus paving the way for networking and for students to work with others from different backgrounds and interests. Thus, interpersonal collaborations are enhanced, which, in turn, can prepare a student for the real world. Often, these collaborations might take shape of start-ups or a corporate social responsibility initiative.

While students exhibit their talents out in public, they tend to get motivated. This is the case, especially in festivals related to courses and technical aspects which are generally an integral part of the course curriculum in most institutions. These provide a platform to students for showcasing their innovative ideas which could lead them to develop these into path-breaking business ideas.

For example, a program like Hotel Management demands students to test their culinary skills in public. A student ought to invite others to taste and provide feedback. This is how a student gains both soft as well as hard skills of managing people and working in a group. This holds similar for art students, as well. Events related to literature, theatre, music are the popular choices for art students. At the age of 18 or 20, not everyone sings or acts like a prodigy. The knowledge level of each member is on the same wavelength with a slight variation. So, the ‘awe’ that emanates from the audience in a stage show is a sign of public confidence rather than claiming it a definitive dexterity. This is the beauty of a college fest. 

Though the idea and practice of fests are pretty diverse, a fest in any form would always gain convergence and aggregate many possibilities. A student also has to take participation positively, to at least observe what their peers are doing. As the brain remembers everything the eyes record, they all would come out in abstract forms when needed during personal adventures. Even volunteering would help as it shows the attitude of taking initiative and helping others. Companies look for such candidates who can balance between personal and professional goals and this has to be programmed consciously right from student life.

Those students who focus only on academics, classroom learning and exams will miss out on the wonderful moments of participating in fests. They would also lose out when it comes to placements as these fests are not only about courses but also preparing them for real-world challenges.

Many of us have heard about alumni reunions. Meeting members of the college’s cultural team, years later, it was funny how we recalled each other’s names by the event that each of us was participating in or the prizes we got in those particular events. ‘Mad ads Manoj’, ‘Singer Geeta’, ‘Guitarist Roshan’ and so on, it went. 

Even if events don’t help in career growth, at least one will have some precious memories to laugh and reminisce about!

(The writers are with Christ, Bengaluru)