The Role of Seniors in College

The Role of Seniors in College

Let's discuss opportunities for seniors in college to contribute to the little student community around them.

Technology is vast. Coming into the industry as a student can easily be overwhelming given the amount of information that is out there.

The most common problem I've seen with students who are pursuing tech-related courses is their lack of awareness vis-à-vis the latest trends in tech, preparation for placements and tech-related activities on their campus.

The teaching faculty has their priority set (and rightly so) on covering their respective syllabus and related academia. The easiest way for one to get any kind of awareness is by communicating with their seniors. But it ain't as easy as it sounds, is it?

Most people do not approach their seniors purely because they are hesitant to start a conversation.

Now, let me get this straight. Talking to seniors isn't the only way to get awareness and insights. Heck, I'm pretty sure they haven't sorted things out for themselves. But they can help you with their experiences, things that they found out late, the mistakes that they made and more.

But as a senior, I feel that we have a responsibility to contribute to the community of students in our college. Here's how I suggest you can do that.

Foster Awareness of College Opportunities

Three men laughing while looking at the laptop inside a room. Image shared by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Right from picking the best dishes in the canteen to identifying the best professors for specific subjects, or professors who let you go easy on attendance, I feel that you have a better idea than the poor kids coming freshly into your departments.

Just having a word with the juniors, and making them aware of these little opportunities on campus is a great contribution to the community in itself, and besides that, it adds a new friend to your tally. I've had chats with an endless number of people about the companies that come on campus when the placement drives happen and how they can approach them.

Talk about community programs, talk about internships, I'm pretty sure you can talk about your college the entire day, and now you have a set of ears to listen to you as well :)

Cultivating a Tech-Driven Campus Culture

A team of people working on their individual laptops. Image from Highspot

I hear a lot about people not getting opportunities in Tier-3 institutes and/or universities. It's going to take some effort to change that. I feel that a few right steps from seniors can be the ideal ignition to this process.

Start by organizing tech events that allow people to network with each other and facilitate tech-related discussions. The more you talk about tech, the more it will be brought up on different occasions.

As people get more and more aware of the benefits of building a dev profile and solving DSA problems, you'll start seeing a shift in the mindset of people.

Raising the Skill Bar

man using laptop in front of brown chair. Image shared by Alex Kotliarskyi on Unsplash

I briefly discussed developing a solid culture in and around the college, but this is arguably the biggest challenge in any institute, to improve the overall skillsets of individuals coming in year after year.

It's not about those one or two individuals who get amazing offers from big companies, but what the majority of people are trying to achieve. That is when a college truly experiences a culture shift.

If you ask any random person in an intra-college hackathon what stack they are working on, the majority of the folks would say HTML, CSS and probably PHP and MySQL. I speak from experience. Your challenge is to take this to React and MongoDB. Not for one team, not for two teams.

I was using HTML/CSS/PHP/MySQL and React/MongoDB as references not because one is better than another, but because you start with HTML and CSS as a beginner, and you gradually pick frameworks to work with. The more experienced you get, the better the chances that you are working on a framework.

Conducting workshops and seminars that explain the real-life use cases not just for web frameworks but any technical specialty, in general, will facilitate this kind of growth. Organizing Hackathons is another solid idea.

Here's how I look at it. As a senior, especially during the final few months in college, I felt that I should try to create an impact on the community around me. These people in college, they are my people. The ones who are still there and those that will join every year. These are just a few ways through which I was able to give back to this little and wonderful community. Please feel free to share your ideas in the comments too 😊

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