Over the years, we’ve noticed that every student goes through their education in what we would like to call a messy manner, no matter how organized they may be while starting out. Don’t believe us?
Remember that time you kept your books so clean and in ascending order of their height for the first few days of school, and were picking up pages and holding them together by the end of the term? What happens after the first term? We all know how that story goes.
Well, this analogy applies to almost all the students through their student life, regardless of what stage they’re in. Keeping this in mind we’ve compiled a small list of daily habits to help you guys make life a little more organised and a little easier to manage.
WAKE UP EARLY – This cannot be emphasised enough! We know that as a student, few things come close to getting in bed late and waking up at your own sweet time whenever you can, but there’s nothing like starting your day early. You get enough time to plan your day, organize yourself, and divide your time into things you WANT to do and things you NEED to do.
What happens as a result? You’re far more productive and go to bed satisfied. Try it, thank us later.
This is also a super important habit for life!
MAKE TO-DO LISTS – A student’s mind has a lot going on, we understand that completely. In all the mush going on inside the head, it is normal to miss out on things. Make lists, tick tasks off the list, and get things done!
EAT WELL AND REMAIN ACTIVE – Studies can sometimes take the forefront of your life, and you are going to be under pressure more often than not, In such times, eating healthy and getting enough sleep help keep your mind active and help you function well through the day with complete alertness. If you can take up a sport in your spare time or do some physical activity every now and then, it makes sure that your brain remains alert and is an ideal mind state to be in.
FIND A HOBBY – Reading, music, sports whatever it may be. Find a hobby that you can fall back on to blow off some steam and channel your creativity into, and who knows that might just open up new roads for you too!
Take it easy, don’t stress and just make simple positive changes that impact your life positively and clear up the everyday mess of a student life.
Students need to add a new best friend to their friends list, especially during the vacations – Books! Everyone says reading is a good habit one must inculcate, everyone should read good magazines and books to learn more about the world, improve a language, stay updated, etc. But for students, this matters more than any other age group, especially during vacations, that part of the year when they have the time and mental capacity to involve themselves in whatever they’re reading to truly reap the benefits of the activity.
The benefits of reading are a plenty, but the student needs to be ready to absorb them. This is where the vacations play such a key role. The absence of exams and availability of free time must be used for fun learning, and one of the ways to make this happen is to pick up a book and read! Before you start, here’s a thing that you need to know- do not force yourself into reading something because everyone else is reading it. There are chances that you might not like a popular book at all! Spend some time experimenting with genres while picking up books and seeing what suits your fancy. If a book is interesting, you’ll know that within the first ten pages. Even the first ten pages have so much to teach you, see! For starters, you made a decision!
A lot of students look to books as an escape. Mystery novels and science fiction are popular genres that transport people into a different world altogether. This not only helps keep the students stress free in a world that dumps expectations and academic pressure on students, but also helps broaden their horizons and enhances their imagination skills. Their mind isn’t limited to only one dimension anymore.
Another key benefit of reading is that it unknowingly improves their career opportunities in the future by increasing their vocabulary and the usage of it. A lot of famous English professors, authors, content writers have evolved into doing what they do because they started reading at an early age. The immediate benefit of this will also reflect in their coming days, where they will find themselves using these words in their essays to explain their points.
Students that read a lot of Dan Brown, or Sidney Sheldon and other mystery thrillers develop into more analytical human beings. Yes, the choice of books also has an impact on their personalities! Research says that these students use logic and analytical thinking more often to deduce current situations and analyse possible outcomes. On the other hand, students that read more of classical literature and timeless novels like Anna Karenina and Tom Sawyer have a richer vocabulary and are generally more verbose and better at explaining themselves and putting points across. So not only is reading an important activity for mental health, but from an academic standpoint it has a key impact on the immediate as well as long term future of a student in a positive way.
So if you’re a student reading this, pick a genre, pick a bestseller and just get started! And if you’re a parent, you know just what to gift your kid during the next vacation.
While making the leap from high school to college, it’s super important to make sure that you land safely. It’s not just hop skip and jump, since college is a whole other ball game altogether. That being said, you don’t need to get nervous or jittery about taking the next natural step in progression, but rather embrace it with excitement. You know what they say, ‘Your college days will stay with you forever’. That being said, here are a few things that you should keep in mind when you’re starting your college life and that could be of help to you in this transition period –
- Master the art of Time Management – You can transition into college effortlessly just by optimally utilizing your time. A lot of students love the freedom, the hostel life so much that they end up wasting half the day in bed and get stuck in the vicious circle of trying to match the attendance towards the end of the semester, clueless of what’s been taught. Attend your lectures, participate in extracurricular activities and make time to blow off steam with your friends too. It’s all about the right balance.
- Don’t be afraid to fail – This doesn’t just limit to your grades or academics, and no we don’t mean that you don’t need to study. What this means is that you shouldn’t be afraid to try out new things. Hobbies, sports, subjects, try out whatever attracts your interest. You’re still finding your feet and you’ll never know what your forte is or could be if you don’t try. Take that risk, you never know what you might learn.
- Find a Mentor – There’s nothing that smoothens the process of settling into college like having an experienced mentor to fall back on. Find a professor or teacher that’s passionate about the same subject as you, or a senior that you can relate or connect with and don’t be afraid to talk to them about your experiences and ask them for advice.
- BE SOCIAL – This cannot be emphasised enough! You can’t be in your shell and keep to yourself when you join college, it’s the easiest to make friends in the start. You don’t want to be struggling to enter groups that have already been formed later on and not know what’s up. Learn with each other and grow together, talk to your peers and find a group of individuals that you’re most comfortable talking to. Talk to everyone and maintain friendly relations with everyone. Help whoever you can, it comes back to you!
Stay in touch with your family and friends back home, share your day with everyone, and see how easy it gets to enter the world of college 🙂
At Vidya Mandir, we don’t just want to focus on coaching the children that seek our help in education. ‘Help’ here at Vidya Mandir is not merely academic assistance but a lot more than that. We prefer to pick on the roles of counsellors and mentors that don’t just help them improve their academic performances, but also help them become better human beings and understand the small nuances that help an individual make it or break it in life.
Let’s break down the process simply. In most other coaching classes, there are just lectures or classes with a couple of calls for coordination or clearing of doubts. At Vidya Mandir, we follow a different culture altogether. We have the basic classes and lectures where we encourage student to student, and student to teacher interaction. We also incorporate emails and phone calls in our communication to share feedback, have one on one sessions with students that need extra attention, have dedicated social media platforms and blogs to address common doubts and issues and share valuable tips, and most importantly – Share a personal connect outside the classroom.
In the early stages of life, a student has numerous dilemmas and obstacles that society expects you to tackle by yourself or with the support of your family, not realising that it is this age when children can’t be completely open to their parents, be it matters of studies or personal issues like bad habits, company, etc. We understand that, and aim to extend a helping hand to guide them onto the right path so that they go on to become individuals of substance that are not only learned, but well educated too and share a set of values.
Remember those intense formulas that you learnt in school? Or those endless hours you spent studying the history of the world and always wondered, ‘This stuff has already happened! Why am I wasting my life studying this?’ Or “Will I ever really need this formula later in life?” Here’s then thing- the curriculum has been designed in a certain way for a reason. The syllabus aims at holistically grooming you so that you can grow and develop into knowledgeable human beings that can take rational decisions after being well informed and in the best interests of society as well as yourself. Sounds intense, doesn’t it? But what this simply means is that education is not just for personal or social use, but a well-balanced combination of both.
In fact, the history bit is so that you learn from man’s past experiences and the outcomes, so that you know ‘his’ story and make life decisions, big or small based on previous experiences so you have a vague idea of how the world works. Knowledge of history helps you understand the current affairs in the world. Why are people of 2 regions at war? Why are certain political parties more favoured than the rest? It all comes down to a good knowledge of history, geography and civics.
We look at the science formulae and think,” there’s no way in hell that this is going to be useful to us when we’re grown up”, but these subjects have daily applications and practical applications in our day to day life, and we’re exposed to it so much that we don’t even realise the science that’s going into simple things happening around us!
Remember that paper fight you’d have in the class room right before the teacher was going to enter? You don’t know it, but subconsciously you’ve used some practical physics right there. How? Let us show you. You took a flat sheet of paper, crumpled it into a ball and then hurled it at your mate. You didn’t throw it just as sheet because the sheet has a larger surface area, making the terminal velocity lesser. You crumpled up the sheet into a ball with less surface area,then hurled it so that the higher terminal velocity makes It reach your target with speed. Amazing, isn’t it?
This is just one instance! Changing a punctured tyre, lifting heavy weights, driving, designing a house/club/restaurant/fitness space, all these are other small examples of how everything that we learn in school matters. Even simple concepts of biology such as Osmosis can be seen when you water different plants differently and just observe the many concepts and facets of gardening! Opening the door uses force, breathing uses the concept of gases and volume that pushes out the CO2 from your lungs and fills them in with oxygen. Even exercising uses concepts of science- physics, chemistry and biology!
The point here is, that studies and subjects are taught for a reason, that may not be visible right in the beginning, but they have both personal and social use in your life and ultimately play a huge role in moulding you as a human being.
When it comes to taking the next step the education cycle, it’s always a question for the parents whether or not to send the child away to a hostel. Even the children are apprehensive at the thought! Well, you can’t blame them for not wanting to get out of their comfort zone, it’s human nature after all. No one wants to leave the comfort of their homes and move out to a new place. But going away to a hostel to study has its own pros which outweigh the cons by a huge margin. Let’s discuss these further-
The good part about going away to a hostel is that you get exposed to a whole new world, a whole new lifestyle. Till now, it was not just you but your entire family involved in almost every choice you that you made. Hostel life means brings about a new level of independence! You learn how to take your own decisions, you learn how to own up to your mistakes, and most importantly you learn how to watch out for each other. Hostel life teaches you team-work and leadership in ways you couldn’t even imagine!
Another good part about living in a hostel is that it isn’t just you who’s going through this period of change and transition from the pampered life to the solo life, it’s a whole lot of like-minded people of the same age group, experiencing similar feelings which helps you bond with each other and find a family away from your own. It’s no replacement of course, but it makes life that much easier to deal with and a little more enjoyable.
Hostel life gives you a sense of belonging, and a sense of attachment to your peers. These people come to care about you, since you’re practically living with them and learning, eating and growing together. You have people looking out for you, people to interact and grow with and ultimately you guys learn through each other’s experiences and mistakes.
Hostel life also teaches you one very important life lesson – Money Management. Living in a hostel means living in a budget, and not running to your parents every time you want to eat, drink or buy something. It teaches you to budget and plan your finances and spend your money judiciously.
All in all, the hostel life is one that every kid should experience for at least a few years, and take as much learning from it as possible, so that they can continue molding themselves into able, responsible students that know how to find the right balance in life!
At Vidya Mandir, our mind set is very different to other educational institutions. We do not believe in comparing students, but simply focus on imparting education to each of our students in a way that is comfortable for them. Here, we believe in promoting Growth Thinking and broadening the horizons of the minds, so that our students can tackle any situation at hand and face whatever comes their way.
The training methodology is such that it challenges their brain at every step, forcing it to evolve and take their thinking to the next level through rigorous tests, revisions and discussions that reinforce the topic in the student’s mind without making it a tedious task that requires last minute studies and mugging up, like most pre-exam scenarios.
We promote Critical Thinking and analysing the situation to take the best possible route to get to the solution. For this purpose, a lot of the learning at Vidya Mandir happens through group exercises and group projects. Why does this help? This helps mainly because when you’re working in a group you learn a lot more as compared to when you’re going solo. You have a broader outlook to the problem at hand, because it’s not just your analysis of the situation that is considered, but that of your teammates too. You interact, discuss and then take action after weighing the pros and cons.This is a practice that is also very helpful in daily life, since it ensures that you’re on the best possible track! Not only this, but through group activities, you learn through your doubts as well as the doubts and mistakes of your teammates.
Here there’s no limit to learning, we harbour an environment for positive thinking where mistakes are encouraged and seen as opportunities to learn rather than something to put students down for. They should keep learning through trial and error and keep progressing, since stagnation is the enemy of growth!
Our method of teaching has proven to be successful, and so many names on our success stories are proof of that. At Vidya Mandir, your child is well taken care of, where his mistakes are not only corrected, but also encouraged, where positive thinking is the only way of thinking, where group studies form relations and also lead to better understanding, where critical thinking not only prepares the students for an exam, but for life.
Are you ready to be a part of our ever growing family?
Today Social Media has changed the world phenomenally and it has taken over our lives in such a way that things are never going to be the same again. Social interaction may have increased by ten-fold, but how much of that is human face to face interaction is a question that is best left out of the equation. People might be in the same room today, but still living the moment through their smartphones and viewing the world through their screens, not their eyes. You might be wondering how this is relevant to education or parenting in today’s times. Well, the fact of the matter is that social media is harming your child’s education and no one is aware of it.
Let’s start with the basics- validation! Social Media validation is something that has become of prime importance in the millennials mind and has reduced his attention span drastically. Today a child is exposed to social media from a very nascent age, because smart phone exposure almost directly results in social media exposure where being on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram is seen as a necessity and if you aren’t on at least one of these websites then you’re titled a ‘Loser’ or an ‘Outcast’ in society. From the age of 10 and 11 children get into the habit of browsing through their smart phones and scrolling through social media platforms, not realising that they’re conditioning their minds to something that is going to affect their academics and life state in a very negative way.
Today’s generation wants instant gratification in every sphere of life, whether it’s food delivery, mobile recharges, buying clothes, shoes or even social life. Why take the trouble of calling up a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while and asking how they’re doing, when you can simply scroll through their profile and stalk them or just drop a simple ‘Sup’ in their inbox within a few clicks? While this may sound a lot more convenient at first, it isn’t really human if you think of it. I mean if the person does matter that much then why not take the effort and time to connect properly? The same extends to different spheres in their life especially education.
Now what this conditioning for instant gratification does is that it reduces the attention span of a student majorly, and he’s so used to reading a couple of words and scrolling through that sitting down to read and study an entire paperback text book seems almost impossible for him. And while that’s extremely necessary at that point in his life, you can’t blame the student for not being used to this old fashioned format that our generations have been following since the beginning of education.
Also, life looks extremely perfect on social media. Children are exposed to fabricated lives of celebrities and famous people on social media. This makes them have unrealistic expectations in life, and these rose-tinted glasses are extremely tough to take off! Research also suggests that social media exposure is a leading cause of depression and other mental health issues among youngsters today.
Here is where the role of us as parents comes in. While it is important to keep our kids safe and provide them with the best we can, a filter needs to be there as to what is good for them and what isn’t. A smartphone is necessary considering safety since today almost all the kids have tuition, and extra-curricular activities to attend. But there needs to be a constant check on their activities and limiting their usage of the smartphone so that it doesn’t consume them completely, nor hamper their ability to pay attention when necessary and affect their ultimate potential.
Social media also exposes children to activities and occurrences from around the world, breaking boundaries. This is both good and bad, since a child’s mind is a blank canvas and can very easily be painted in any way depending on the kind of news it is exposed to. Here again it becomes absolutely essential to monitor and check what kind of activities the children are partaking in so that the balance is maintained and they stay well on track.
With a little bit of effort and guidance from the parents, the best of social media can be absorbed by the kids, and the worst can be averted. While you cannot escape social media, you need to make sure the use of it is controlled, at least while your children are in school/colleges.
Education as a value system is one that is built on the ideal of effective communication. Right from the time of the Indian Gurukul system, where oral tradition of passing on knowledge from one generation to another occurred, to modern times, where content is delivered on online platforms for students to access worldwide, talking and delivering as well as listening and receiving, form imperative parts of the process of learning. The only way forward is to channel this communication to make the process most effective and useful.
Feedback is a relatively new concept, being used by teachers and students alike in order to identify and keep best practices and strengthen areas of development. While teachers/mentors/parents need to keep in mind that feedback must be constructive, specific and action oriented, the same applies for the approach of the person on the receiving end.
Following are a few tips that will help you make the finest use of feedback and create the best version of yourself.
- Trust the process and people
Understand that the person giving you feedback are ones with experience and learning in the field. There are no vested interests or partiality here, all is said and done for your betterment. Keeping this in mind, and trusting that you are being helped, will allow you to open your mind and thus facilitate learning and progress.
- Communicate and resolve any doubts
If you have been given feedback you don’t seem to understand, or feel is misplaced, take the time out to resolve this with your teacher/mentor/parent. Approach them with an open mind, so as to understand the context of the feedback and the reason behind them making a statement. When you do this, you will better know the place from which this feedback comes from and will allow you to change your mind. Incase you feel the feedback is not constructive, communicate this.
- Create an action plan
There is an effect of feedback only if an action to act upon that feedback is taken. Analyze the feedback given to you, and perhaps discuss it with your mentor in terms of next steps. If you have been given appreciation for a particular area, identify how you can keep your successes. Similarly if you are given suggestions on areas of development, try to plan a way to strengthen them. An easy and effective method for the same is backward planning. Look at the feedback, and set a goal with a timeline. Then break it down into small goals, and targets with smaller timelines.
- One step at a time
Set achievable and realistic goals. Talk to someone if you don’t feel prepared to set these goals. Remember, things don’t turn around in a day, nor can everything be fixed in one go. Take one thing at a time, and focus on your current priority. Even if feedback is given for various things to be worked on, choose what you think is most important and go for it!
- Review your feedback after a while
Somewhere down your timeline and action plan, go back to feedback. Check for progress. Approach the person who gave you feedback, and look for change. If you are still stuck with the same feedback, you need to tweak your plan.
- Celebrate yourself
When you receive feedback, human tendency often makes us stress on the things not in our favor and we tend to forget the successes. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else, their life, context, strengths and weaknesses are vastly different. Look at all the progress you have made. Applaud your successes, however small they may be to motivate yourself and keep going.
Together, we can be better!
We often have an existential crisis not knowing about what’s going on or what’s going to happen, or even if the decisions we’ve taken are the correct ones or not. Have I chosen the right subject? Have I opted for the right stream? What if I change my mind? What if I can’t do this in a few months? Pause. Take a break, and allow us to tell you that you are ABSOLUTELY FINE! The good thing about this feeling is that it is completely normal and it’s in fact natural to second guess your choices and doubt the direction you’re heading in. We’re bringing you 4 tips that will help you realise that you’re doing alright! –
- It’s been a learning process – Whatever you’ve done, whatever choices you’ve made, it’s been a learning process that has helped you become what you are today. You have made mistakes and learnt from them, and never repeated them again. You have been a part of some successful venutres, and the confidence has helped you learn a lot more about yourself. The most important thing in life is to be grateful for what you have or what you’ve become, because only when you do that can you truly move forward and realise your potential.
- You’ve always bounced back – To err is human, they say. And you’re no exception! So don’t worry about the mistakes you’ve made, or the ones you’re going to make because you’ve always bounced back and kept fighting through it. ‘Grow through what you go through’ is something that’s more relevant now than ever, and the most important thing to remember is never to stop trying simply because of the fear of failure!
- You are ready to Forgive – You’ve gotten past whatever’s happened and you’re mature enough to move on, forgiving all those that have wronged you. You may not realise it now, but in the long run the lesser baggage you carry, the freer you are to explore new horizons with nothing holding you back! Breathe in, forgive and forget!
- You can make your own choices – Now that you’re mature enough to understand what works and what doesn’t, you can make your own choices. Right or wrong, only time will tell but what matters is that you possess the courage to take that call of making a choice for yourself and not thrusting that responsibility onto others! You are able to make your own choices, and that’s a big deal in itself. You’re fine!
So it’s okay to feel low and confused, take time off and answer these 4 points, and you will realise that you’re doing just fine. No matter what stage in life you are at, you;ll sail through. Just keep these 4 points in mind 🙂