College, a word that brings memories of good times that you had with your friends, went on trips and learnt a few things about your major, organizing fests & stuff. But is that all to life and is that all you need to learn? Probably No!
In a country like ours, where we have to go through a cutthroat competition to enter into a good college, it is a little disheartening to know that college does not teach you everything. Our colleges build a shell around us, they definitely give us freedom in some aspects to make our choices but, at the end of the day, it's all bound in a small world of students and professors. And sure as hell, there is a world outside that shell.
Apart from this there are many other things that are never taught in college. We are 17 or 18 years old when we enter college, our majors are governed more by our previous academics than our interests. As 17 year old, studying medicine we don’t know what’s out there for us after this. We may later find out that maybe medicine was not such a great idea at the end; we may not like to be vomited upon or stand for hours in operating rooms. So our colleges should include a little practical work in the curriculum. Students should be allowed to volunteer in the fields of their selected majors so that we can learn whether we have chosen a suitable field or not. Also, switching majors should also be made easier rather than a messy process based on GPAs. This year in May Forbes published a list of life skills that you won’t learn in college. It included networking, goals setting, prioritizing, selling & negotiation and leadership qualities. Your college won’t teach you to socialize, the art of investing your time in people and to create long term relations with them is very different from presenting a paper on Psychology. Also the biggest flaw in our education system is lack of Practical Integration in learning, they may teach us Law but they don’t teach its applications. And Of course, they won’t ever teach you how to become a real estate agent; it is altogether a different ball game. Colleges should also focus on personality development of students, apart from giving us theoretical knowledge they should also push us to improve our soft skills and practical knowledge.
So is there a getaway for learning. Oh Yes! And the answer is just one click away. Web is a wonderful thing and an ocean of opportunities and information. They say “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” So take your first step towards practical learning, fish for opportunities in the real world, volunteer at the places where you would like to work in future. If you want to be a doctor go volunteer at small one, look what it takes and how it feels to be a doctor and then decide whether you want to pursue medicine or not. Learn about finance, accounts, law and other things by volunteering at respective firms and they decide whether you want to go for it or not. On this note, let’s open our horizons, buckle up and learn what they don’t teach us at college!