Sometime around this time in May, but five years back, I was surfing the internet, reading up on Manipal, and how to prepare for the adventure that awaits us in the form of, for most of us, our first time away from home for an extended period of time—our first tryst with independent living, but without our safety nets, figuratively speaking—excited, but at the same time, quite scared of what this strange land holds.
If it helps, within a year’s time, and I exaggerate, it won’t be so strange. Back when I was going to start my undergraduate course, the internet portals about Manipal that you will find today were either still to come into existence, or were in their nascent stages. Whatever little information my fellow batchmates and me could get was primarily from blogs of people who were in Manipal back then; today, there is no dearth of such websites with post of and about Manipal, Hostel Life, and so on and so forth.
I, however, would like to point out a few things that these internet sources usually don’t point out. All the best to you for the future, and have a great time in the place I call(ed) Home. (Its been a year and a half since I left Manipal for the outside world, but a friend requested me to write this post, so here it is.)
1) Explore the Pan-Indian culture that Manipal offers: Manipal’s, is one of the few campuses in India where you will come in contact with people from the high-rises of Tier I cities of Mumbai and Delhi, to people from towns like Singrauli and Bhagalpur. There will be people from Jaipur to Guwahati, from Dehradun to Mysore, and many other places between, around, and afar. This is just an indication of the varied people you will and can meet from different walks of life.
There will be people who have lived in a city for all their lives, to people who have moved all of their lives because their parents are either in the Army, Railways, and other such organizations, groups, or companies. If you sit back and try to think about this, it is actually pretty overwhelming. You will be inclined to group up with people from you city, your area, or your state, etc. which is not a bad thing, but in doing that, do not forget to interact with other people.
Out of the many things Manipal has taught me, is the acceptance and tolerance for people and situations in general. Leave behind those stereotypes, and leave behind those notions, because they are false, at least in Manipal they are.
In summary, by the time you are done with Manipal, or rather Manipal is done with you, you shall be, as one of my friends Prannay coined, Manipalized.
2) Ensure that when you go Bungee jumping, you double-check your Bungee rope and lock mechanism: No, Manipal does not have Bungee Jumping in its local vicinity. What I intended by this statement is that Manipal will offer you a plethora of opportunities to experiment and explore, whether it is academically, emotionally, and in ways for which there aren’t appropriate English words of the like.
From experimenting with circuits to alcohol, from food to cannabinoids, and even stronger psychoactive products, you may at one point of time or the other, have the opportunity or will to explore it; however, though it is not an issue exploring and yes, college is about trying out new things, make sure that when you go out exploring you know that you have a map and can walk back home, make sure that your Bungee rope is intact so that you don’t fall down the cliff.
Explore, Enjoy, Learn, but Survive.
If you don’t understand what this point was about, then, I am sorry you should reconsider getting away from a safe environment. Lastly, yes, there have been cases, many in the recent past, when some people did not walk back home, they just didn’t.
3) Keep Busy, Keep Happy, Be Happy-tired: Trust me when I say that college is probably going to be the best time of your life, and I speak from experience. The outside world is going to be quite different. We all know this fact, but choose to ignore it.
Don’t waste time in college by not doing anything else but attending classes and whiling away your time in the room, watching TV shows all the time. Find a group, club, sports team, or organization that appeals to you, and join it. Explore your interests, and talents, and indulge in activities that can help you improve them, because you may never get a chance to do that again in the future.
You never know, it may just be your calling. However, while doing so, make sure that you don’t take so much on your plate that you are stressed out, unless, of course, you like that, because you have the entire life after college to stress about things. Take breaks, and entire day or two, if you please; keep a check on your attendance status though. Go on a trip to Goa, Coorg, or some other place.
Live. Don’t be dead.
4) You don’t need to be a scholar, just consistently okay: It is a self-evident fact that not everyone is extremely good at studies; however, our education system is not pro-vocationalism. Nevertheless, it is extremely important that you don’t ignore your grades, and the first two semesters are quite crucial, affecting one-fourth of you final grade.
You don’t need to try and get a 9+ pointer if you cannot manage, but try and get a consistently improving grade beyond a certain threshold lower level you set for yourself. This lower limit is something you will have to decide on your own. It is only in the 7th semester when you will realize the importance of a decent grade point average, when placements and applications for further studies begin.
Also, avoid backlogs, and if you do have to repeat any exam for some unfortunate reason, make sure that you clear it in the re-exams immediately after the main exams. Talking about the worst case scenario, repeating a year is something you don’t want to do—something anyone who had to, unfortunately, will tell you about.
5) Find yourself: There is nothing I need say about this point, but “Find the you, you want to be.” Period.
Have a great four years in Manipal. Keep safe, be smart, be Manipal.