Key Hurdles in First Year Engineering - [Knocked Down]
The start of engineering student life brings many teething troubles with it. All first years are in the same boat when it comes to making the transition to their new lives on campus. So how do you adapt mentally and emotionally to a new environment?
You will face certain challenges, which we have attempted to help solve below.
1. 1. Academic Challenges
Problem: You may have anticipated study challenges, or not. Till 12th Standard a lot of mugging was done, but in engineering you need to understand concepts very well. Again, most colleges have mandatory 75% attendance. You will be loaded with assignments and very strict deadlines. Vivas and practicals may also seem worrisome. Another dilemma is which book to refer for which subject.
Solutions: Attend as many lectures as possible in college for the first 2 months. This will solve your attendance issue and you can then take appropriate leaves after 3 months when loads of assignments are given.
Try to develop a good rapport with your respective teachers as they can really help you in your viva and practical exams.
Textbooks are vast and not exactly as per the syllabus. Referring 2 or 3 textbooks isn’t wise in the first year which has limited time, especially in the first semester where there are lots of holidays like Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi, Raksha Bandhan, Ramzan Eid, etc. Referring to class notes or paper solutions can help in a big way.
Finally it is advisable to join regular classes for tough subjects like engineering mechanics, BEE, Programming, Mathematics and Drawing, as this will help you to clear your concepts in less time and with ease. You can also join crash courses if you miss the regular class. But please join them as getting even 1 KT will add pressure in your next semester. Experienced professors can help you gain confidence in these subjects.
2. Time Management
Problem: College is academically challenging. One semester is approximately 4 to 5 months long in which students have to cover 6 important subjects, 2 unit tests, practical exams, vivas, assignments and final exams. At times, it seems impossible to stay on top of it all.
How do you manage your time, balancing between classes, study time, social time? The temptation to go out with friends for pizza and ignore the 300 pages you have to read for the next day’s class will be great. Naturally, you’ll give in sometimes.
Solutions: First Semester is the most important semester of Engineering. If you have joined regular classes for difficult subjects you have already started working for your time management. Your routine for this subject is also set and you need to concentrate on the remaining subjects on weekends. On a Saturday or Sunday which is normally a holiday, you can plan at least 3 to 4 hours of serious studies.
Make a study plan, especially during your study leaves and follow it. This can help you immensely for managing time.
Group study is a very good option in engineering. Make sure your group has at least one friend who knows the concepts very well, so that you can clear all your doubts with him/her.
Finally, it is important to schedule some time for fun and to take breaks to keep your mind fresh and clear.
3. Homesickness & Health Conditions
Problem: Many students in engineering leave home for the first time and move to a new city. Homesickness is a common struggle for these students. Heightened stress, poor self-care, and lack of sleep can cause health problems.
Solutions: If you live within three or four hours from home, plan to visit home once every month or two. In the same manner, since the first year is academically very important for you, ask your family members to visit you once in a month. These steps should greatly assist in reducing feelings of homesickness.
Eat healthy, balanced meals and at regular fixed times. Avoid WhatApp and Facebook after 10 p.m. to get a good 7 to 8 hours sound sleep. The three essential cornerstones of good health are sleep, nutrition and exercise. You will probably let one or even all three slip during your first year at college, but be careful.