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College days are the most exciting times in a student’s life. It is during this time that students learn new subjects and explore the career options available to them, in a safe, knowledge-based environment. However, at the same time, it is also important that college students also begin to form healthy financial habits in college. Too often, students that start off on the wrong foot make poor decisions later on, especially when it comes to their finances. College can be an expensive endeavour, even with scholarships and other kinds of financial aid. Everything from textbooks to food in Achija or Dosa Plaza to transportation and entertainment costs something. There’s no way around it, except following the old adage ‘Spend some & save some’. But, saving money while in college may be a difficult thing to do!!
- Buy used textbooks :
You’re just going to sell them back at the end of the term. (Or end up wishing you had done so, five years from now.) You don’t need new textbooks.
- Get Organized :
It might seem like a hassle, but saving receipts of everything you purchase — from small items such as a Dairy Milk or a CD, to big-ticket items like a new computer — is a great way to monitor your spending habits. Try it out for a month. When your thirty days are up, add up all of your expenses and see where your money went. You’d be surprised at how easy it is to cut back on unnecessary spending.
- Be Creative With Your Leisure Time :
Everyone needs to unwind after studies, and the avenues are galore — movie theatres, cafes, shopping centres, etc. Enquire if any of these places offer student discounts. You can also think of alternative ways to have a good time. If you make the right choices and use a bit of creativity, you can have fun and save money at the same time. Plan a picnic in the park; make dinner for a date instead of going to a fancy restaurant; go for a bike ride around town; play Cricket or Football in Campus. All of these activities cost a fraction of the typical college experience and can be more fun.
It’s easy to think that too many things are necessities. Prioritize your “necessities” and cut out costs that turn out to be “wants” rather than “needs.”
Set a limit for everything you spend money on, from food to utilities to clothing to rent to transportation to entertainment. The natural inclination to stick to the budget, which will develop gradually, will go a long way in cutting down ‘unnecessary’ expenses.
You aren’t living on the same budget as all of your friends, so you don’t have to feel pressured to keep up with their lifestyle. It’s okay to turn down trips to Vegas or even an extra happy hour that week if you’ve reached your limit.
- Avoid Credit Card Debt :
This isn’t so much about how to save money, but rather how not to spend money. If you are not responsible with money and aren’t in a position to pay off your monthly bill in full each month, then a credit card is not for you. Stick to cash until you adjust to your new budget. If you already have a credit card, remember that it is not free money. You need to pay that money to the credit card companies and they will charge you interest for each month you don’t. You don’t want to find yourself at 23, swimming in debt.
Choose who you hang out with:
- Don’t hang out with big spenders. Some kids have parents with deep pockets. Other kids are well down the road to financial trouble. Hanging out with them can lead you through the same path to doom.
- Take advantage of College Facilities. There’s always something to do. If nothing, sit in the Library!! Get the most from your student ID!
College is the time for students to show that they can function as responsible adults in society, and while many adults suffer from poor money management skills themselves, there is ample opportunity to set the bar higher. If nothing else, simply paying attention and understanding expenses will put a student ahead of the others in life. Following these tips will ensure that you not only have the best times of your life in college, but also that you leave college without the thousands of Rupees of debt, that you would possibly have earned otherwise!!
So…Save & Be Wise!!
Time passes so quickly, I didn’t even realize when my first year of engineering was over and soon the second year had begun. It was the first lecture of the third semester and all of us were in the classroom like ‘good, obedient children’, of course, only because it was the first day. Just when the lecture was about to begin, there was a knock on the door followed by a sweet voice, “May I come in, Sir?”. The voice was sweet enough to melt the hearts of all the guys in the room, but with no consequence on the Professor in class. He gave her a stern look and retorted in a disgusted voice, “It’s your wish.” She entered, followed by two other boys who were also new joinees. But who cared about them anyway. Bells were ringing, violins were playing and I’m sure you know what I mean. Sadly enough, the professor didn’t ask them to introduce themselves and I was just waiting to know her name.
Ms. Arundhati Pazhaniappan. I had fallen for her the moment I saw her. She was smart and clever and so she quickly became one of the favourites in college. She was also elected as the General Secretary. But, I never spoke to her. Not that she was too reserved or choosy about the people she spoke to. It was just that I was too shy to talk to her. But I was sure, she knew me. Once she came forward and complimented me for an answer I gave in class. I felt exuberant and my joy knew no bounds. Since that day, we spoke more often.
Things went well, we were good friends and gradually Semester 3 came to an end. It was now time for our Annual College Fest ‘Spandan’. At first, I was a bit apprehensive about participating in it. But Arundhati was a strong motivating force. She never said a word to me about participating but I wanted to participate, just so that I could impress her!! 😉 I knew I had a talent in singing & acting, so I registered for both. Call it bad luck, I messed up in the singing event. But…I rocked the mono-act!! Everyone was impressed, but I couldn’t care less. I was performing before an audience of one, and that was Arundhati. All I wanted to know was what she felt about my performance. I kept waiting backstage. She never came. And disheartened I was!
The next day, I was simply staring at the blackboard in class, when Arundhati came to me. I didn’t know what to expect! She gave me a broad, sweet smile and said, “I loved your performance yesterday. I think you should participate in the Persona event, too.” I had no idea what it was, but I was going to participate in it for sure, “Yeah, Thanks Arundhati, just tell me more about it.” Apparently, the Persona Event was to happen on the last day of Spandan and in three rounds. The first being the ramp walk, second-the talent round and the third one – the QnA round. I had no clue how to prepare for the show, but I was sure I didn’t want to back out.
The day of the Persona Event arrived. The entire college ground was bustling with students and professors. As scheduled, the show began at 11pm. All contestants walked down the ramp showcasing their special moves and features, each one contesting for the title of Mr. or Ms. Xavier. I had no clue whatsoever of what was happening! But, just then, a figure flashed in my mind – and….Rajnikanth it was!! I walked down the ramp, gave the trademark Rajini salute and walked back!! The crowd went into a frenzy, thanks to Rajini’s global appeal!!The talent round went well too, with me doing the mono-act. Then was the challenge – the Q&A round. Much to my surprise, all contestants were asked a common question, ‘What would you like to be in life and why?’ Everybody gave diverse answers; some said they wanted to be a singer, scientist, astronaut, and so on. And I said, “I want to be a Film Director and make movies on the issues in India in an entertaining manner. I believe a Film director has the power to change perceptions and bring a positive change in people’s mindsets, that is why I want to be a Film Director”. A unique answer it was, so it had to grab attention and applause! And I believed I had done a good job. All this while, Arundhati being the only source of motivation, I waited for the result with bated breath.
After much contemplation and discussion, the judges came on the dais. Father Reggie – our principal announced Swati Nair to be Ms. Xavier. Unfortunately, among the boys, there was a tie and fortunately enough, the tie was between a guy called Francis and…ME!! Now that I was so close to winning, I felt all the more encouraged to see myself with the Mr. Xavier trophy in my hand.
I was tensed no doubt, but I was determined. I stayed calm as Father Reggie came forward to ask the tie-breaker question. He asked, “ If beauty is skin deep, then how deep is intellect?” Francis answered first. I felt he was way too verbose, but he did get a good round of applause. The thundering applause drowned the sound of my increasing heartbeats. Now, it was my turn. I thought for a while and answered, “ If beauty is skin deep, then intellect is tissue deep”. Everyone in the audience was silent. I explained, “ I am a Science Student, and that is why the analogy. Intellect goes much deeper than beauty. Without the tissues, the skin is of no significance. And so is the case of beauty without intellect.” Hearing this, there was a loud uproar among the audience; people were cheering and chanting my name!! The feeling of joy was so great, that I forgot about everything else including the trophy. But one thing remained, what did Arundhati think about it? There were more than a thousand eyeballs staring at me and I could barely recognise anyone from the stage, leave alone spot Arundhati in the crowd.
I was deep in the world of my dreams when suddenly I heard a loud burst. Father Reggie walked towards me with a crown and a sash. I had no clue what was happening. He placed the crown on my head and congratulated me. I soon regained my senses and realised that I was Mr.Xavier for the year. I just couldn’t believe what was happening. While I was wondering whether I was still dreaming, I saw a sight that confirmed my belief – I saw Arundhati walk towards me with a bouquet. I couldn’t help but I pinched myself hard, slapped myself thrice and I still could see her. She came towards me with her ever-beautiful smile and handed the bouquet to me, General Secretary she was!!
That was the most blessed day of my life, a day that I’ll cherish forever, a day that saw the beginning of a beautiful relationship between Arundhati & me.
MMS Batch of 2011-13
Dombivali is a place which I visit frequently, not because I love travelling by local trains or enjoy wasting my precious time waiting in a long queue to get the ticket from Kanjurmarg railway station but because there is one place which I love to visit. It’s an orphanage (I wish to keep the name of the orphanage confidential) – home to about 40 children right from the age of 1 day to about 8 years, 5 caretakers and a woman in charge of the entire place.
The moment you enter the orphanage, you tend to feel both happy and sad at the same time when you see children playing, fighting with each other, crying, laughing, cribbing about certain things (like who’s better: guys or girls?), dancing, and so on.
These children are really talented; some of them good at singing and some good at dancing and some just have enough talent to wink at girls! Simply observing their talent makes you feel happy and you wish you could spend as much time with them as possible.
If there is one occasion that gives me a lot of happiness and which I look forward to most, it has to be this activity. I feel I am born to spend at least a quarter of my life with these children.
It is a well-known fact and was further reiterated in my management class that every person has a ‘naturalchild’ inside of him and in my case it’s so strong that if someone happens to extricate that natural child out of me, I would probably die.
When you give serious thought to this situation, some hard hitting questions arise. It’s synonymous to getting hit on the head by a hammer; the only difference is you bleedinternallyandnotexternally. There are questions like ‘What did these little angels do to deserve this?’, ‘What would happen when these children grow up and get ready to face the world which is outside this cocoon?’ ‘Would people like us treat these children in the same way they would treat any other child, irrespective of any religious/social divide?’ and themostimportantand unworldly question of all is ‘How can the Omni power be so unfair to these children? Aren’t these children like all other children?
I think if I ask these questions to myself, I may get the answers.
After visiting this place quite a few times, I realized that most of the children are left to fend for themselves either because the family did not have financial means to take care of them or they just abandoned them. In some cases, the parents just didn’t have the experience to raise a child and had to give them up for good.
It is unfortunate how these children are in a ripe age but have already lost a significant part of their childhood hey had no one to give them a name, no one to understand and care for them, no one to take them out, and no opportunity to go to school.
None of us liked it when our parents reprimanded us for not studying properly, when we made blunders, when we fought with our siblings or friends, when we didn’t listen to them but there was a concern behind every word that they said. Secretly, there were two drops of tears shed for every tear of oursand there was an unsaid, unwrittenpromise that they would take care of us at every juncture of our lives no matter what their condition. These children are lacking all those words of care, anger, love and all the feelings that parents express towards their children.
Visiting the orphanage is a life changing experience and you start appreciating the little things in life when you see people who don’t have them. Only at such times do you tide over the insignificant and immaterial things and appreciate the bigger picture.
I feel extremely fortunate that I HAVE MY PARENTS WITH ME, THESE LITTLE ANGELS DON’T.
Batch of 2011-13
Edited by Riddhima Sharma
End of my journey today
End of my talks today
End of all the lies today
End of all the virtual existence today.
As I wait to see you around
My mind wishes to go away
It knows for it feels for you
The feeling never told.
The thought never shared
Truth never known
The ache remained
Remained for time to laugh
For reality to mock
For my heart to linger over it
For my soul to cry over it
For she might have thought
When all are present
Why is no one looking at me?
Doesn’t my picture show?
Doesn’t my voice reach?
Don’t I sound human?
Do I sound like an existence unnoticed?
An existence left to be perished
An existence to brood over mortality
Now I am gone
Do you want to stop me from going?
Do you want me to be for you?
Do you want me to cover myself in the dark?
Now I am gone, gone forever
Will you ever think about me?
Why is she gone, to feel solitude?
Why is she gone, to feel lonely?
Why is she gone, when all of us want her now?
Why is she going for a journey unknown?
Why is she going, to be left stranded?
Why is she going for a voyage unknown?
Batch of 2011-13
I was studying in 2nd grade, all of seven years of age, when I first saw him play. I barely knew the rules of the game, yet there was something intriguing about him that made me watch the game. I hold a distinct image of him receiving a man of the match award. There was something about the way he spoke at that presentation ceremony which made him my favourite at that instant itself. I discreetly started collecting pictures of him, more often than not; it was the same picture from several magazines and newspapers. All I wanted was to collect a lot of photos of him, and just look at him play. There was no me going weak in the knees looking at him, the stunning personality that he had, but it was just the sight of him that had a mollifying effect on me.
As I entered my teens, I was just another fan of him, took pride in his achievements, followed him but I wasn’t a diehard fan. It reduced to just reading the news that lauded his accomplishments. But the real fan in me awakened around the time I was fifteen years of age. It was a delight being his fan. It was like being part of some cult. The photograph collection expanded, friends started gifting me his posters, I started reading a lot about him. I self gifted myself both his biographies. I followed that series when Team India visited Pakistan around 2004 closely since it was immediately after the board exams, and he having made lot of contributions meant more photos into my collection. By now, I’m sure you know he’s a cricketer.
He is this reticent sportsperson who lets his performance speak for him, has never had any qualms taking up any role as long as it is in the best interests of his team. He’s the one who by his sharp reflexes has taken catches both at the back and in the slips as well. He can be at the crease all day which talks volumes about his endurance. Yes, it is Rahul Dravid: My hero.
Being his fan hasn’t been just about seeing his game, praising his performance and moving on. It has been much more than that. His traits are those which if you pick even one and blindly emulate will only take you nowhere but up. We’ve all heard him being called ‘Mr. Dependable’, ‘The Wall’ and I believe he has earned that. He’s got a metal exterior and interior as well. He has overcome physical as well as barriers of the mind to be what he is today.
In his biography, I read that he used to read books like ‘tough times never last, tough people do’ and ‘the power of positive thinking’ when he was in school, and I got these books immediately. After reading these books I understood that he started laying the foundation of a strong mind way before we (an average teen) start thinking of taking up reading anything other than the course curriculum.
It seemed like he played effortlessly, but he put in lots of efforts when we couldn’t see him. It’s this discipline that helped him play 93 tests in a row which is a record! You know what’s best about his records, is that he never aimed to get them, they just happened with consistent and concrete effort. He attained records only to downplay them, humbly.
What Rahul Dravid means to me is inexplicable in words. When the television set was tuned to a cricket match and we would be batting, I would sit through his innings. If we would be bowling I would wait each time to catch a glimpse of him in the slips. I admire him to bits and I have never admired someone so much ever in my life yet. There have been times when I’m in a situation and I think to myself ‘What would he have done?’
Things I have learnt from him are the essence of being consistent, letting actions speak, not letting out any thoughts however embroiled they maybe. I’ve also learned how to be calm in testing situations, concentrate on what can be done in a particular situation and not give up till the end in trying to make it right, having an intense internal dialogue to have things going in the right direction.
I have never seen him play live. My only attempt to watch him was when he came to play here in Mumbai (November, last year), but that chance never turned into a seat in the stands because of an exodus of people who had come to see another cricketer. I cried outside the stadium, much to the amusement of my friend and little of myself too. I was probably just 200 metres away from him, yet so far. Another friend who came along did raise a thought which I had laughed off. He’d said what if this is his last series. Then in the middle of our mid-term examinations came speculation of his retirement which put my emotions on some level I myself couldn’t understand. I wasn’t upset, I wasn’t happy either. I had a framed photograph of him which I placed on my table for a week from that day on. As I was writing my exam, somewhere in Bengaluru, Rahul Dravid announced retirement from international cricket. End of a standing ovation worthy era.
Coming to terms is realising that there would be no one to spot in the slips. There would be no instances of seeing his name in the match summary having made not the highest but a considerable contribution to the team total. For me, Cricket started and ended with Rahul Dravid.
Rahul Dravid holds an irreplaceable place in my life. There is no single day when I don’t think about him. Maybe there never will be.