- Both are formative phases: mutual compensation
- Charms and pains of school life
- Marked changes in the college
- Academic and extra-academic life in both are different
- Which one better? difficult to make a definite answer: both
have their respective good and bad sides
- Feelings of post-student life: both school and college memories equally dear
School life and college life are two phases in the formative period of one’s life. Viewed from a distance both school days and college days assume the appearance of lost Arcadius. The impressions gathered in the school, though immature, remain in one’s memory as engravings on granite, never to be wiped off by the vagaries of time. In the college, the school-time gaiety may be slightly sobered; yet the novel sense of freedom, responsibility, and maturity, tinted with pride, highly compensate for the little loss.
Children are admitted into the school at an age between 5 and 8, the time when their minds arc tender and extremely receptive. Then their capacity for enjoyment is boundless. Everything is now and amazing to a budding mind. Just the very entrance into an impressive school can set a little heart throbbing with excitement. The teachers with their varied temperament, classmates, games and occasional punishment and such others combine to adorn the years in school with a chequered color. School endeavors to mold the raw material of children’s mind into a human shape. Consequently, schools observe a code of strict discipline. School students are checked and guided at every step. The teachers keep a sharp watch not only on the lessons but also on manners, movements, dress, and habits of the school students. Exuberant’ as children arc, breach of discipline occurs quite frequently which is promptly followed by standing on the bench; detention after school and even caning. So, school life is full of crosses. At Icecast that is how school students feel. Compared to that, the college is the Elysium a student’s fancy, where an ogre of a Headmaster does not make life a torment.
In college, the students enjoy much more freedom than in a school. Here they are regarded as intelligent individuals, with a mind partly mature. The professors address a collegian as a gentleman and are disposed towards treating him as such. A college student is not chained to his classroom from morning till afternoon like a schoolboy. He can take his time and go to his classes leisurely with no apprehension of being scolded for late coming. He may not even be present at the class. If he wishes to enjoy a matinee show or a radio program instead of attending the lectures, no one will restrain him. He is, in short, the absolute master of his own self.
Method of teaching in a school is vastly different from what it is in a college. A class in a school consists of a limited number of students. The teachers become closely acquainted with each of them. Every day new lessons are given to the pupils and they are compelled to prepare their classwork and home task, failing which they are sure to get punished. No one can be absent from a class without being noticed immediately. Not only in the class-room but also in other activities of the school a student’s part is defined by the teachers and he has no choice. If an imaginative lad tries to escape with his ‘Arabian Nights’ during the games period, the drill-master will have him punished or even himself pull his cars in presence of the rest.
In the college, professors scarcely know the faces and the names of their pupils nor ever care to do so. After the lectures, professors need not inquire about the progress made by the students. College students are quite free to use or waste their time. They are never forced to prepare their lessons as school students are.
But it is not so easy to give one’s definite opinion as to which of these two conditions, the rigid discipline existing in schools, or the complete liberty prevalent in colleges is more desirable for a learner. In the school, a student, though shackled by the strict watch, is still free from the responsibility of improving his own mind. For, this responsibility is borne by his teachers. College students may enjoy some freedom no doubt, but that freedom is weighed down by a heavy responsibility on his shoulders. Very few students can appreciate and utilize their liberty. For the lazy, unintelligent, indifferent boys and girls this absence of restraint and direction proves to be the doom of their academic career.
In schools, much greater intimacy between the teachers and the pupils enlivens the atmosphere with a homely spirit, whereas in the college an average student completely loses his identity in a large crowd and is reduced to a mere roll number. But then, the college common room and the library offer him an ample opportunity to spend his time profitably and pleasurably which the school does not provide so liberally.
Games and sports are organized both is schools and colleges. For school children, games are more or less a spontaneous outburst of energy. In the college, a well-equipped gymnasium is maintained for students to build up their body by systematic exercises.
It is not so much before as after we have left both school life and college life far behind us, that we are in a position to appreciate fully their respective values and charms. Both our school and college have great influence in molding our life and character. Most of us are just what our alma maters have made us. The school is left behind and the college also is about to be crossed overalls. And as the memories of both will become more and more things of the past, they will appear in our vision in their real perspective – as ideal homes of joy, where so many invaluable lessons of life have been learned and precious friends made. How keenly shall I then pine for the lost paradises, as all our predecessors! do now!