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Expectations While Joining An Academic Institution

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By Author: Prof. Chandra Kant
Total Articles: 47
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When I join an academic institution, be it a leading business school or an engineering college, I expect the following:
1. If I were good in academics in the past, I expect that my previous academic excellence and habits will continue to help me in the subsequent years
1. If I were NOT good in academics, I expect that I now have an opportunity to start with a clean slate, and not allow the past to determine the future.
If I were good in academics:
1. I had good teachers / tutors.
I maybe lucky to have a teacher who could explain concepts very well, have patience and understanding, sometimes force and sometimes cajole me to give my best. The teacher created a scaffold and gradually removed the scaffold as I became more competent. I was therefore motivated.
1. I liked the subject and found it easy or not boring. Therefore, I gave more time to the subject that I found competent to handle.
1. I had good parents, who motivated me, pushed me, cajoled me, gave me structure and showed the future. They also held my hand
1. I had good peer support, who did not pull me down, who gave me respect, accepted me as I was and did not compete.
1. I had good genes, and I was able to think well, grasp concepts, have patience, could strategise and plan my academics.
1. I could see how academics would lead to a rosy future, and I believed that I could achieve it
In short, I had
1. the ability and capability
2. a good environment and
3. the right attitude
If I were bad in studies,
1. I could blame myself, the teachers, the parents, the subjects whatever.
1. I could accept that I was good in sports, socialising, but not in mugging for exams.
1. I know that my history of academics in my home town, possibly the same teachers and the same school, same peers and their beliefs about me also determined how I was treated and examined. Now I can create my own persona, without any past references.
1. I believe that since the new college is a different location with different friends, and since I am not stifled by the environment, I can do better and start afresh.
1. I can develop new abilities; I can adapt to a new environment and can motivate myself.
But will my expectations match the reality? Will my academic life be as I envision it or will there be a mismatch?

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