The First Year In Campus
1. What to Expect
The first year of any professional academic campus or of a university is a big transition for most of the students and for their families as well. Until now, parents were involved in each and every activity of their kids, whether it was related to studies, sports, friends, entertainment, social or anything. Parents sought out opportunities for them, helped them make important decisions and encouraged them to develop the study habits they needed to make it this far. In many cases, you saved up money with a dream that someday your kid would go to some prestigious institution/university. But from the moment your kids, son or daughter, become our students, they are treated as adults by the institution. They have to make their own decisions. That is to say, in academic and other matters, the university deals directly with the students, not with their families. This is both a legal obligation and an important part of students’ development into responsible citizens. And it’s a big change for you, too. So, be strong enough to handle this turning point.
Many of you will find it difficult to take a back seat and let students take charge of their own educational, social, cultural faces of their lives. It does not mean that we are indicating that your role has been removed. They’ll still need your support. We acknowledge that families play an important role in helping our students succeed and achieve. We suggest you to treat them 'adult-to-adult' rather than 'parent-to-child'.
2. New environment
Adjusting to the new learning and social environment may leave students fluctuating between feelings of excitement and apprehension. They will be enthusiastic about meeting new people, making new friends and trying new things while having to become familiar with the campus and adjust to the increased academic workload. Being away from the loving family, old friends and dear home can also be emotionally very difficult for some students. Anxiety about fitting in and meeting new friends is common. The teaching style, the evaluation system, faculty-student interaction, tutorials, labs - they will find everything different. They will find lodging-boarding and feeding pattern - all very strange, if they have never been to a boarding school.
3. Academic expectations
Adjusting to academic life in DA-IICT presents challenges for students. It may not be attributed to the amount of reading and independent work that increases significantly. Most of these students might be toiling hard for 16-18 hours daily while preparing for competitive exams till recently. But this discipline was being maintained under your direct supervision. Suddenly scene has changed. Students on campus require a great deal of own-initiative and self-discipline to succeed, since their work habits will no longer be monitored by a supervisor on a regular basis. There is support available for students having difficulty: professors, teaching assistants and registrarial staff on the campus, certainly, will advise students and refer them to more specialized services for improving learning skills. But onus of seeking help remains on the student.
Some advises that may become handy for your kid to perform well academically during the program are:
- Never miss a class.
- Always purchase at least one book each course, even though seniors tell that e-books are available, so why to waste money on buying books.
- Follow a daily routine of at least 4 hours of self-study.
- Take proper food and sufficient calories on time.
- Be regular in studies to keep his/her SPI/CPI of first two semesters good. We have observed that if the student slips in attaining a good SPI/CPI in first two semesters, he/she looses self-confidence, thereby never could make up in studies.
4. Changes in support systems
Standing StrongEach student’s support system will change. While some students will continue to rely on family, friends and services they are familiar with, others will broaden their circles and turn to new people for support. There are a number of services and opportunities available to help students establish new support networks. Encourage your kids to develop connections with classmates and peers, get to know their professors and teaching assistants, and meet with academic advisors, professors and other campus professionals when they need help.
We have some advises for you, too:
- Don't visit them too frequently. That defocuses them from their studies or from their natural social behaviour.
- Don't bring them home each weekend (particularly those who live at a place less than 6 hours drive from the campus). By doing so you are actually snapping their concentration from their studies. Weekends are the only extra time they get to make up for or revise their studies or thinking something very original for their projects/assignments.
5. Increased freedom and flexibility :
The daily schedule of DA-IICT students differs greatly from that of a high school student. Learning is largely self-directed, meaning that students are not usually assigned work on a daily or weekly basis, and need to keep up with homework and readings on their own. This can be challenging, especially for those students who are used to relying on the structure and discipline of the fixed school system. However, a variety of tools are available to help students adapt to the new academic environment. Encourage them to adopt those new tools.
6. New independence, new ideas and new ways of thinking :
Students will be exposed to many different cultures, perspectives and beliefs once they reach DA-IICT. As a result, they may start to question some of their own values and aspects of their identities. It is important that students have the freedom and opportunity to have new experiences and explore new ways of thinking. Their families should remember that while students may change in significant ways, they are likely to maintain their core values and identities.