Aparna Krishnan, III Year B.A. Sociology.

It’s that time of the year, guys. The newbies are here. Freshers. Little thumb-sucking babies. These are the words that come into my mind when I think about the first years. Also feelings of superiority now that we’re finally up the rainbow ladder and thoughts like, “Gosh, I’m old”.

This is quite confusing for me as a senior. Do I pretend to know everything? Am I supposed to be their go-­to person? Or just, as the Madagascar penguins put it, “smile and wave”? But to be fair, I too was that wide-­eyed fresher who looked up to my seniors to teach me the ways of a college student. It’s a jungle out here. I’d watch my back if I were you…just kidding! Or am I?

Hi, I’m your friendly senior. Take this article as a guide to survive or don’t. Let me be the responsible one and tell you first, follow the college rules. It’s fun to wear fancy clothes and whip out our phones to take a selfie. You’ll take it to the next level if you post it on Instagram. I will stand and give you a round of applause if you use the doggie filter. But, no. Do it on your own time and definitely not in campus. You see, suddenly someone will perform a magic trick and your phone is in their hand. This magic trick isn’t fun, unfortunately. That’s my first piece of advice.

My second piece of advice would be to wear your ID Card at all times within campus. Pin up those fancy badges and feel proud. That’s your first identity as a Stella Marian. Also, you’ll need it to get in, out and around campus. Next, the most important one, keep up your attendance. Don’t think you’re above the Holy Attendance Principle: 85% or Bust. You don’t want to learn it the hard way like us.

These are just the basic survival skills. But how do you go out there and live?

Simple. Get out of your comfort zone. It’s easy living in a shell, being the awkward one and waiting for someone to tell you, “Honey, it’s time to get up.” Our college provides multiple opportunities and they are yours to take. We have a wide range of amazing clubs which give you a chance to mingle outside your classroom. Trust me, you will have an easy time finding your clique there. Participate! Nobody will judge. We’re all wacko and quirky in our own way. Own it.

Be nice to people and get to know as many as possible, especially your classmates. These are the people you’re going to see most of your education and they’re also going to be responsible for your grade. Find mentors in your teachers; they keep you on your toes and are a guiding force who constantly give you a reality check.

College is that bridge, the ‘in-­between’, between Comfort and the Real World. You could hate it or love it, take it as it comes. Give that extra bit, and it will be twice as rewarding. Just go out there and have fun. These are my words of wisdom. I’m now going to go to the canteen and eat some masala dosa. It’s the best.

PS: Watch out for those crows. They’re vicious and have a photographic memory.

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