Speech on College Life

Outline:

  • Introduction: a land of dreams: freedom, personality and
    self-respect: an entirely new life radically different from school life
  • Academic and extra-academic opportunities
  • Character-mold college infuses consciousness into human forms
  • Inter-mixture of liberties and responsibilities

To a schoolboy, the college is a land of dreams, where freedom from the iron discipline of the school sweetens every breath of life. The long years of school life, with red-hot eyes and cracking whips all around, appear to him like a long spell of intolerable winter wherefore his stricken soul socks relief. This he cherishes to find in the college where he believes perpetual spring to be reigning. Naturally, therefore, the first day in the college brings him the same message of hope and cheers as the first southern breeze, announcing the end of winter, brings to the frozen buds.

As the newcomer enters the college gate for the first time, his heart swells up with a proud sense of personality and self-respect. For some time he feels stupefied being so near the paradise of his fancy, Everything around looks novel and enchanting to his fascinated s eyes. When he begins to attend his classes, a changing panorama of experiences unfolds before him as days roll bu16. The Professors overwhelm17 him by their ever-courteous dealings. There is no compulsion of attendance nor of preparing lessons. Offenses are either overlooked or punished with an appeal to the student’s good sense. Wherever he goes to the office, the library or the laboratory — he is treated like a grown-up gentleman. All these lead him to believe beyond any shadow of a doubt that he is in an emancipated land – a land of freedom and dignity.

But as days pass by he discovers to his greater delight that the college has much more to offer him than he thought of in the first few days. In fact, the facilities and provisions of our colleges are satisfactory, if not adequate. In its academic sphere, the college teaches and tutors every subject with the help of experienced professors having specialized knowledge of their respective subjects. To aid and supplement classroom learning, an up to date library and a laboratory are always there. In its extra-academic sphere, the college is equally well-furnished and suited to the ends of modern education. A well-equipped common room is only a common feature in any college worth the name. No college neglects its games, sports, and gymnasium, all of which are perennial fountains of health and vitality. Alongside these are available the college magazine, wall-papers, debates and literary meetings, social gatherings, dramatic performances and several other healthy pursuits contributing both to the enrichment and recreation of the mind. To crown all, there is the elected College Union – the symbol and protector of academic freedom. Apart from being an unfailing ground for essential civic training to the students, the College Union, through its election and day to day activities, provides incalculable food for excitement and business all through the year. In short, the college constitutes a world of its own, where a network of opportunities exist for the students to leam and develop if only they want to.

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No less remarkable is the contribution of the college towards the shaping of the student’s character. It teaches him manners and etiquette. He learns here the mode of speaking elegantly’s, dressing decently and behaving decorously, when in the company of others. It develops his sense of humor and love of beauty and thus removes all the elements of vulgarity and coarseness. It helps him, in short, to grow into a fine gentleman. The college also teaches him how to Icad and gain supremacy over others. It is here that he learns the first lesson of how to use and protect freedom. Free from the shacklesło of constant guardianship, he comes to acquire by practice the attributes of self-help and cooperation with fellow beings, both of which are so important to the enjoyment of the blessings of life.

Finally, he gains here the first knowledge of the value of friendship and in course of sharing the corporates life with hundreds of others every intelligent student picks up several worthy’s friends. This acquisition lasts and helps him throughout his life. In fact, the higher and most essential attributes of his character are moulded and the indispensable equipment of his life are acquired in the years he spends in the college campus. “The college,” says Prof. Roger W. Holman, strives to infuse consciousness into the human toys turned out by the school.

From the above noted summary, it may seem that college life is a bed of rose. No doubt the college provides for ample opportunities and liberties. But those are always conditioned by the automatic imposition of responsibilities. In college, the student is truly the master of his self. But he is also the sole guardian of his interests. He is at liberty to miss a class or as many of them as he likes. He may choose to play in the common room when he should go to the library. He may enjoy a picture when he should review the lectures of the day. No notice will ever be taken, much less any punishment inflicted unless he commits a serious offense. He is, in short, as much free to neglect his duties as to make the best of his opportunities. But that only makes the situation all the more difficult for a sensible student. Because by this long rope his future also is committed entirely to his responsibility. To make it or mar it also rests with him and him alone. It is this consciousness – every effort is always made to create and strengthen it – which acts as a great restraint on the abuse of college life. Nevertheless, there are students who go assistant?. Such students are unworthy of the name and must be left out of consideration

A school is not a factory. Its raison dietre is to provide an opportunity for experience.

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