What do you want to do? Who do you want to be? College is a time of self-exploration, and the dawn of a new year is a chance to hit reset. For some, this means learning a new skill or a foreign language, for others, it’s a time to change tracks and pursue a passion.
Nirmiti Kamat, 20, is in her final year of a BCom degree and says 2019 for her will be a year of new decisions. “I want to pursue journalism. It’s what I always wanted to do,” she says. “I am done being surrounded by calculators.”
Kamat adds that she pushed herself through the CA exams to fulfil her parents’ dreams but realised last year that this is not her strength. “In the new year, I will study to be a journalist, and I will seek out writing internships,” she says.
Seeing her work hard towards that goal has changed her parents’ minds too. “They have accepted that I won’t be pursuing the CA qualification anymore,” Kamat says.
Meanwhile, 19-year-old Economics student Shweta Kushe, wants to go into the new year completing her teenage dream of learning Latin. “Since school, I have been fascinated by the language, largely because of the Harry Potter series. It’s known to be the language of wizards. I’m excited about learning it,” she says.
Kushe plans learn the language from Coursera’s basic Latin reading courses for dummies.
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Zahaan Ghadiali, 19, meanwhile, wants 2019 to be the year he ‘sets things right’. “I always let things slide and don’t step up to the plate. So my resolution for 2019 is simple: I am going to step up and prove myself,” he says.
Changing tracks, learning from one’s failings… these are signs of evolution, says Kavita Mehta, co-founder of education consultancy The Red Pen.
“Students must keep in mind that nothing they study or attempt will ever be wasted,” she adds. “In today’s digital world, where access is so vast, students must use multiple avenues to purse their passions. While doing a BTech, for instance, you can take an online diploma course in creative writing.”
Teachers are having fun making new year resolutions too — from structuring a hip-hop course at the University of Mumbai to using the Socratic method in class, where one feeds students more questions instead of answers, there are plenty of experiments afoot.
Professor Yatindra Ingle of the university’s department of communication and journalism is excited about a hip-hop course he is set to launch in 2019. “My resolution is to offer students an in-depth curriculum in underground street culture in India and around the world. We will also encourage students to undertake their own research in subjects relating to pop culture. As site visits, we will take students to live underground rap battles and street dance battles this year.”
The certificate course for hip-hop studies comes under the department of communication and journalism at University of Mumbai.
Professor Jaimine Vaishnav who teaches at OES Akademia College in Navi Mumbai, meanwhile, plans to use the Socratic method in to host unconventional discussions in class. “It’s my objective to produce more thinkers,” he says.
And Jagdish Rattanani, faculty at the SP Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR), plans to have students interview CEOs and MDs from leading companies, for the Ethics course. “This will be the actual learning for students instead of reading some chapters. They will get lessons from top managers on their experiences with ethical dilemmas, and how they employ their values when navigating the business world,” he says.