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Ask anyone, almost everyone will say that the best phase of life was the time spent in the college.

This is the first brush with life, largely, outside of the parents’ domain of influence. This is the time of making and breaking of dreams.

Transition from school to college is also transition from adolescence to youth. Youngsters in the age group of 16-19 years, enter the college or university as a kid sometime and youthful adolescents at others with hopes and dreams they had visualized during the last years of their schooling.

This period of change in the college is crucial as it makes a boy into a man and a girl into a lady. This transformation over a period of 3 to 5 years of college or university life, generally at undergrad level, has long lasting influence in the life of every individual.

One may reap rich dividends if this time is spent well.  The activities one may plan in his or her college days can be divided into four categories.

One, Fun and Frolic – This is most important. Those who have not or did not or could not enjoy their college days have really missed out on what could have been a major part of their interesting life. It entails partying, picnic, movies, eating outs and all kinds of vailla-giri.

Two, Games, Sports and Gymming- This is the time to learn playing Tennis and Squash, going for swimming and cricket matches and similar outdoors involving exercise and physical activities. This is the time to shape up one’s body and mind both. One may go for mountaineering, hitch-hiking or even horse riding.

Three, Learning- Learning not only what is in course curriculum but beyond. Learning lessons in art, culture, philosophy and emerging areas of interest in science and technology. Learning from online courses of MOOCS and SWAYAM and other resources as well as taking live or in-person courses on dance, drama and cooking etc. Learning brings happiness and happiness enhances learning.

Four, Preparing for future- Keeping eyes and ears open to new and emerging opportunities, attending professional workshops, conferences and seminars online and offline, doing networking, developing contacts in the right professional circles. One way is to make your CV when you enter the college and another CV as it should look like when you exit the college and then do mapping semester by semester as to what value add you could do to yourself in each semester. Of course one can make modifications and corrections with the passage of time. Initial year or two may be used for understanding one’s own interests and future career paths and goals and later years may be utilized for making oneself market ready.

To cap it up, one should choose and develop hobbies and interests which are relevant to one’s profile as one would like to present it to the world or to the prospective employer. For example Travelling could be cultivated as a hobby but fine tuning could be done with regard to where to travel, how to travel, with whom to travel and what is the purpose of travel – all this could be thought through beforehand or it may even emerge over a period of time after some travelling has been undertaken. One could go for learning contemporary or classical dance styles depending on taste and purpose. Fun loving kind can go to learn SALSA or BHANGRA with friends and serious minded can go for classical Indian or Western dance on a solo basis.

One will come across all kinds of persons during the college time; the political types, social variety, business minded, career oriented, vailla types and even criminal minded. It is necessary to mingle with all of them to see various shades and colours of life. It is also important to choose right kind of friends while being friends with all kinds; good, bad and ugly. While some exposure to rogue variety is very important and necessary, average time may be spent with average kind of persons and your precious time must be spent with precious persons. Precious people are those persons who bring cheer and happiness in your life through their positive vibes, thoughts and actions.

One simple and easiest way to do well in life and enjoy life is to be in the company of good people. College life is an opportunity to choose such good friends for life time.