Photographs: Rediff Archives Courtesy YouthIncMag
First things first. I feel that talking to students empowers them and gives them confidence to move ahead in life.
An important advice I share with all my Class X students is to work hard towards scoring well so that they can be admitted to the college of their choice.
The cut-offs at many colleges are really high and, unfortunately, due to the competitive atmosphere, you may not be able to get a college of your choice. There will be no point regretting not putting in that little bit extra after the results are out. For some students who don't get admission to their chosen streams, this ends up becoming a lifelong regret.
That said, I want to add that marks are important, but they are not the be-all and end-all. Your academic scores provide you an admission ticket to the college and that's the end of it. Later in life, you will be judged by the way you project yourself.
Invest your time in developing life skills
When it is the time to act, the difference between 99 per cent and 65 per cent does not matter. The better person wins. So, to be more popular or 'in demand,' make sure you invest your time in developing life skills.
Be emotionally stable, so you don't get worked up, angry or start crying at the drop of a hat. There is no one in college to babysit you. Most importantly, think rationally and be approachable. Choose your friends wisely and be with those who realise your worth.
Do not treat this year lightly
To develop skills and work ethics, students should not take the FYJC (first year of junior college) or Class XI lightly. You might have just gotten out of a whole year of hard work and want to enjoy before getting into another rigorous year (Class XII).
Even then, you should not treat this year lightly or fall out of good habits because getting back to the grind is really difficult. Instead, use the time wisely, get out of your comfort zone and prepare yourself for whatever that may come your way.
We at school nurture our children like it is their second home, but they also need to realise their potential and exploit it to the fullest. Once, the students are aware of their potential and are confident, I'm sure no one can bully them.
Don't give in to peer pressure. Stick up for your beliefs
I always tell my students that they have to stand up for themselves and not accept ragging. Not one of my students is worth less than anyone else, so why should any of them accept any form of bullying?
Apart from that, students tend to give in to a lot of peer pressure. I say, have a mind and a backbone of your own and stick up for your beliefs. Do not get drawn into things you consider wrong for you just because a group of friends challenge you.
Another problem that stems out of peer pressure is hanging outside during class timings, which only lands you in the defaulters' list. Even if you are labelled a 'nerd,' be certain to have attended enough classes to keep you out of trouble. You don't want the college authorities calling your parents about it.
Lastly, I feel that the older generation needs to understand that these students need guidance and that any kind of talk helps.
Not only do I brief my outgoing Class X students every year before they take their ICSE board exams about the above mentioned facts, I also have a similar chat with my Class IV students when they are set for senior school.
I like to let my students know what they can expect in the year ahead so that they are not thrown into the deep end, left by themselves to stay afloat. If we instill confidence in our children, I am sure they will turn out to be fine citizens and outstanding human beings.