University First Year can be overwhelming for a student in many ways. It's the year when one is in a completely new environment, is in the middle ground of having teenage impulses and being a responsible adult. It's the year when one is not sure about one's future, one's career choices, one's interests and everything in this regard. And during this time, people make the mistake of getting indulged in too many things which they regret later on.
As this is the official entry of someone into their adulthood, this seems to come with a lot of baggage. There is an incessant pressure of keeping up with the crowd, being the most productive and multidimensional version of oneself. As a result, students tend to rush their way into too many activities. In most of the universities of Bangladesh irrespective of location, there are numerous clubs, societies and fraternities which mostly benefit from the naive and lost minds of the freshmen.
In this regard, a second-year student from the University of Dhaka, wishing to remain anonymous, said, "When I was a freshman, I had a lot of energy and enthusiasm. I bought the form of four clubs and societies. I tried to actively participate in the activities of all of them."
Although he made a lot of new friends, at one point, it all appeared as burdens to him as he continued, "The academic pressure started to increase. I no longer had the time or energy to actively take part in so many events, nor did I have the enthusiasm that I had during the beginning of my university life."
This statement has been echoed by many other students as they deeply regret their decisions of taking too many responsibilities out of sheer impulse while not seeing through them. But they tend to continue with the activity they are most passionate about.
Although this epiphany about passion does happen to people during the first year, this mostly hits the conscience of the students after they have gone through the 'Trial and Error' method. And the stability generally comes in the second or third year of university.
Many have singled out the concept of so-called Toxic Positivity and over glorification of hustling to be the main reasons behind the restlessness of university students. A lot of these activities generate little to no value in the long run, but for that particular time being, creates a sense of faux productivity in the minds of the students. After they are done with the cost-benefit analysis, they do not fall into this trap. But this very phenomenon takes quite a bit of time which the students could have used wisely and efficiently.
Other than this, a sense of belonging is something the freshers crave to a huge extent, as a lot of them come to a completely different atmosphere from different places and apparently have a lot of problems in adjusting and conforming to the norms of the university. Hence, they think that the clubs and societies will help them get integrated into the overall culture of the university which often backfires.
Freshman year is a year that comes with a lot of dreams, aspirations as well as bulks of energy. But making bad life decisions are also quite common during this period of time. As the saying goes- "Don't bite off more than you can chew," the decisions at this very time period should be taken carefully and not out of the blue.
Rassiq Aziz Kabir is a student of Economics at the University of Dhaka.