How to Choose Right College?

If you’re all set to go in for higher education and boost your career and personality, choosing a college is the foremost step. But it’s not as easy as it may seem. Choosing the right college amongst thousands present in the air can prove to be a challenging job. Even if you do decide on certain options, one never knows if it’ll turn out to be of help or a total disaster. One can’t guarantee you success but if you do take a bit of pains, you would most probably never face a time of regret. So let’s have a look at a few pointers indicating how to choose the right college.

Classify the colleges as good, better, best

So you’ve got the names offering the particular course you want or fulfilling your requirements. Now, divide them into groups of colleges that are the best – he ones that are difficult to get into but provide elite education, better than good – the ones that are not as good as the best colleges but not too bad, and good – colleges that are easy to get into, if you don’t have an option you can easily opt for them. Now try your best to get into those elite colleges, make them your first preference.

Explore the infrastructure

Check out the size of classes, labs and fields. See if the labs are well equipped. Check out on the living facilities – whether students commute or live on the campus. If on the campus, see if it’s suitable because you have to spend four or more years in those surroundings. Make sure the dorms are modernized and if you want an attached bathroom, see if they provide it well before applying for a residential facility. If you are a privacy freak, find out before hand if there are compromises to be made.

Gender problem

Well, many girls are uncomfortable studying in a co-ed atmosphere and similarly many colleges do not accept applications from male students. So it’s advisable that you choose a college according to your comfort zone.

Do not be influenced by age  cropped-cropped-download21.jpg

Remember, it doesn’t matter how old or young a college is, what counts is the quality of education imparted and the reputation of the college. So don’t turn down a college just because it’s young or opt for one just because it’s ancient.

Check on college directories

You may like to know about certain numbers like the population of the college, activities; number of fresher’s recruited each year, etc. For this, the best is college directories like their booklets and websites. They’ll equip you with all the technical information you need, however they won’t provide you with the updates on the college campus and its atmosphere and culture. For that you need to contact people actually living there.

Trust yourself

Sometimes you may get an intuition that a particular college would be best for you. Try it out, explore the college and it may prove to be the best deal. Some students have successfully lived this experience, now your turn to try!

Attend college fairs or talk to representatives and counselors.

Brochures and websites are a good start to know more about the college, but what the final step needs is interaction with real people. Most high schools sponsor college fairs where representatives are present to have a one-on-one with applicants. So don’t be shy and approach them, clear all your doubts and ask everything. If your high school does not organize such fairs, don’t fret, the National Association for College Admission Counseling always holds one around fall. Just go online and get the details required.

Responsibility – A work of fiction!

Written originally for a school presentation ! 


“Any complaints?”

“Oh come on Anya. You know your work is flawless! I just don’t understand why you’re stuck up with this boutique. You should go for one of those big fashion chains…” Namita, a daily customer of the boutique, babbled, picking up her delivery and proceeding to pay.

The bright smile on Anya’s pretty little, twenty nine year old face shrunk a bit as she averted her gaze. Why bring up this topic, she winced inwardly, deciding not to answer her.

“Answer me!” Namita prodded, “Do you want me to help you with your CV?”

“Uh-no,” Anya replied, “I had done this, years ago. They say I need a degree in Designing and Arts to qualify for a seat…”

She paused for that to sink in before perking up her expression and returning the change.

“And why, in the lord’s name, did you not go for it when you were younger?”

“Ah-a long story!” Anya replied, her face blushing.

“I love long stories,” Namita answered with a grin, making herself comfortable on the plastic chair.

With a sigh, Anya took her seat behind the counter, her elbow resting on the counter top, “Dates back to when I completed my 12th with a 95% in physics. I dreamt of going in for NIFT entrances, you know National Institute of Fashion Tech.”

Namita nodded for her to go on.

“And so, I revealed my wishes to Mum and Dad. Dad, being the typical traditional fellow he is, immediately objected claiming I was born to be an engineer.

On the other hand, being the typical rebel I am, told him what I thought of his great idea f making me an engineer.

Daily there were squabbles and finally we decided I’d appear for both the entrance exams.

In my opinion, both my exams went off well. The condition was I’d opt for the subject I score better in. I passed JEE with a placement in one of the best colleges. Dad was overjoyed. But I waited for my NIFT results…which never came. I never lost hopes, but when months passed and it was time for me to start with my engineering, I had to give in. Seems like I failed. I did my engineering. It was tough. I’m a B.Tech.  in computer software. My husband’s the MD if an IT company. But I can’t work with him. You know why?”

Namita shook her head.

“Because I’m an engineer without any knowledge of engineering! I mean I can’t program a simple thing because when I sit to do it, my head spins and I fell like ripping my skull apart!” Anya paused to take a breath and continued, “What do you suggest I do? I tried whatever was needed but…well now it’s too late to ponder over that!”

There was a chime at the door. Anya stood up as a man in his mid thirties entered the boutique.

“Mrs. Anya Tiwari?” he announced looking at the two ladies.

“That’d be me…” Anya said, “Tiwari’s my maiden name,” she gave in the way of an explanation to Namita’s inquiring look.

“Nice to meet you madam. I’m Tarun Halat and I’m here to give you this,” he said, fishing an envelope out of his bag.

“What’s this?” she asked, turning the big thing in her hands.

“Well, well, well! You see ma’am my father, Late Mr. Arvind Halat was a postman,” he waited for her reaction, when none came, he continued, “About ten years ago, he won a lottery of half a crore through those stupid games we see at TV stations. Well they’re not so stupid after all! Ok, so to talk of the envelope, he brought a new house and stuff and left his old coop locked up. Recently he passed away and we got the opportunity of sifting through his belongings. Inside his cubbyhole, we found a whole bag of undelivered letters dating back to the day he resigned. As the irresponsible man he was, he forgot all about these. But we decided to turn them in to the rightful owners…so here it is. We went to your home on the Prithvi Road, your parents told me I’d find you here…”

“Oh,” Anya whispered, reading the address on the envelope having a NIFT seal. Peeling off the seal, she slid out a worksheet along with a letter.

Tarun and Namita waited patiently as Anya read and re read the contents. Her eyes watered as she looked up to the two of them. Tears welled up those beautiful black eyes as she repeated the printed lines in her mind…

…having secured a merit position in the NIFT entrance exam, you are bestowed with the privilege of selecting the institute of your choice…
Reply within a period of ten days…

“Why have you brought this to me…” she whispered.

“Pardon?” Tarun said, leaning in to her better.

“WHY HAVE YOU BROUGHT THIS STUPID THING TO ME…” she yelled, tossing the envelope by his feet, “You realize what this is? You want me to cry all over again? You to make me REGRET?”

“Ma’am,” he tried to cut her.

“If only you had brought it ten years back…if only…” she whispered, stumbling on her chair and turning her face in an unsuccessful attempt to hide her tears.

“I’m sorry, from my father’s side…” he began.

With a jerk, she looked straight at him, “YOUR FATHER SPOILT MY LIFE MR. TARUN HALAT. GET LOST! I DON’T WANNA SEE YOUR FACE…” she hissed.

Later on in the day, she realized she was wrong in scolding him. He had helped her and she had been ungrateful. But she had to vent out her feelings…no?believe9

Ten years, ten long years she had lived the life of shameful failure, had believed she’d FAILED not just in the entrance exam but in her life! A life of low self esteem, dismay, and uselessness is something worth crying after…

And all this at the cost of a man’s irresponsibility?

Contemplable eh?

A Villain with a Heart

I wrote it when I was 11 !!


My eyes misted as I clapped for my son who marched up the stage to accept his medal. I was really proud for the deeds my son had done as a military commander for the country but the cause of my tears was the memory of a friend, Jackhans_7507

Jack was an excellent shooter and a famous (in the underworld) personality. How did we meet? Well, he saved my life.

It was a chilly morning of December when I was walking down the Eve Street, unaware of the danger in store. The locality was deserted and except me there were only a couple of other peoplea young man and an old womanon the street. Everything was quiet when suddenly a shot rang out, shattering the stillness. In an instant the young man had his gun out, aimed at the old women. The woman, surprisingly, lost her limpness and ran for cover behind a wall (and she too had a gun) – she turned out to be a man. I shrieked as someone grabbed me from behind and blindfolded me. I was carried in, perhaps, a car to some musty place, which turned out to be the dungeons of the Webster House. My blinds were removed but my hands and feet were securely tied and then I was thrown in one of the
cells.

Sweat poured through my body, all sorts of thoughts passing my mind. I looked around myself and found to my surprise that there were a dozen more people in the vault, all unconscious. They were all VIPs (except a couple of girls who were simple citizens like me)relations of different ministers whom I knew by faces .For a minute I felt honored to meet such people but then again the thoughts of the gangsters filled my head. Otherwise, the room vault was completely bare and was illuminated by the glow of the only light bulb present there. I tried to wriggle out of my bonds but they were tied quite professionally. At that moment the metallic door opened to reveal a lot of rogues.

They were all dressed in black and were carrying AK-47s in their shoulder holsters. I got scared when they started towards me but they didn’t even seem to notice me and passed on. They carried the unconscious figures of the VIPs out one by one and closed the door. Now there were only three of us left in the cell- the two, partially conscious, girls and myself. Once they were fully recovered I tried to talk them into telling me what the whole affair was about but they were too scared to utter a single word.

After a few hours of silence, there came a grating sound and the door opened. In came a man, closing the door behind him. He was dressed fully in black like all other thugs; he advanced towards me with a sharp knife gleaming in his hand. I screamed with fright assuming that he was planning to kill me. The man gave me a sharp look with a finger on his lips; I understood that I had to be quiet. When he came a little closer, I gasped in recognition- he was none other than the underworld face whose picture was on the wanted list of criminals on the papers, famous by the name of the Jackal.

He walked up to me with the sharp blade, and with one stroke of his arm…

I closed my eyes, waiting for death to come but instead I felt the grips of ropes loosen around my wrists. I slowly reopened my eyes and gazed at him who was setting the other girls free. My mind still wasn’t ready to accept what was happening, I was sure that he was going to assassinate me but my heart opposed it as his eyes showed concern though he appeared to be ruthless.

The man motioned us all to sit and said, “The doors are heavily guarded at present. It’ll be easier to get out at noon, the guards at that shift are easier to handle.” I sat close to him and asked in a hesitating manner, “Aren’t you the-“

“Jackal, yeah!” he said interrupting me. I sat quietly waiting for an explanation but when none came I again inquired, “What’s going on here and how come you saving lives instead destroying…I…please, no offence or anything intended.”

“None taken. And about your question, the whole thing’s this- these people are an international group of terrorists, want money and their dangerous fellas set free from the clutches of the police. They’re holding important people as hostages. And about why I’m helpin’ you’ll- it’s a long story but in short” he sighed “my sister, the only one I’ve ever had to call a family, was abducted and was brutally murdered by a group of outlaws”, for a moment his eyes were filled with misery and sorrow but in no time, he regained his ruthless attitude and resumed, “I can’t see innocent children and women killed and I came forward. And my reputation helped me to gain the terrorists trust, so here I am.”

“So you mean to say that you entered as a terrorist but are actually working for the government?”

“Not. For. The government.” He said this slowly yet furiously. “I told you how much I cared for my sister Laura. When she was in danger I was not there to save her; and I find… peace on saving the innocent. And the government is actually after me, ‘cause I’m a wanted criminal, am I not?”

A criminal saving women and children, weird.

I sat for a while, looking at the man and then extended my hand, “I’m Jane Maria Christie.” He gave a quick two fingered salute saying, “Jack Sullivan”

After a sleepy hour or so, Jack stood up, asking us to do the same. “Now, follow me and remember-if there are any shootouts, stick to the ground. Clear?” We all nodded.

With gesturing to be quiet, he moved out of the door with all of us tailing him. After turning a corner we followed him at a brisk pace towards the door, but Jack came to an abrupt stop and to our horror, we were face to face with one of the assassins.

He, at first ignored our expression and gave Jack a friendly smile and extended his palm, asking for a pass. From Jack’s expression it was clear that he wasn’t expecting anything of this sort. When Jack was unable to provide him with what he wanted, his expression became grave. He looked first at Jack and then at us, and at once took out his gun. Then there was quite a lot of shooting between a few terrorists and Jack. As instructed, we went down on our bellies and crawled all the way to the door.

“Run, run for your lives, go to gate 4, hurry” came the orders from the wounded Jack as he was still blocking the door so that the terrorists couldn’t follow us. Unwillingly, we left him to fight for himself and ran out. Whatsoever, we were being followed by a couple of gangsters. Once outside, we saw that the atmosphere was tense as if preparing for a war. We saw on a city map displayed on a board that gate 4 was a military base and was not too far from where we were standing. We ran at top speed, stopping only once to catch our breath. We finally reached the base (where one of my companions fainted out of tiredness) where noticing our conditions, we were carried inside.

In a week, we came to know that the terrorists were under control-all because of our army-and the VIPs were located.

The next morning’s paper showed that several of the gangsters were found dead on the door of the Webster House (I knew it was Jack’s work). It also explained that the army men were under cover, patrolling the city (like the old woman who turned out to be a man) and it even revealed that the Jackal was found dead too, outside the dungeons.

Every one still thinks that he was a companion of the terrorists. No one knows the truth about the daring hero. Now, 20 yrs have passed but the incident is still fresh in my mind. I’m really happy to think that I got a chance to know such a great person who gave up his life just for three citizens whom he didn’t even know. This was not exactly a friendly meeting but to me he would always be a friend-a savior.

There are many villains in this world, but this one was different …he was a villain with a heart.