Excited, scared, confused, homesick? Freshman year offers you that gumdrop of joy which tastes like sourly sadness at the beginning, encased inside jaw breaking shell of frustration with a unique aftertaste which somehow leaves you longing for more. Between all the major milestones you will come across such as:
• ‘first roomie interaction‘
• ‘first CP in class’
• ‘first almost successful lab’
Okay maybe not!
• ‘survived O week without major awkward ice breaking moments’
• ‘found a presentation group in first week’
• ‘got accepted at LUMS discussion forum’ and many more, there will be some myths which will be busted during this course of time. So let’s save you the sweet and bitter surprises which will come your way. Here are some of your myths being busted.
1) “I got accepted at a prestigious institute like LUMS, Choka marna tou koi kaam he nai hai”
Hey, star pupil! Topper of the class. Apple of every teacher’s eye. Bumptious know-all, Calm down. First unannounced quiz – in fact, even first announced quiz or first CP-less class – and your confidence will be shattered to pieces; the accomplished champ in you will break down and your evident brilliance will seem to be rotting here.
Depression phases; ‘I’m not good enough’ rants and self doubt can beat you up. There are two consequences: either you eventually give up and find yourself some other activities and a bunch of good friends believing in #YOLO; or you learn from the experience and prepare for a comeback.
You might notice that the great zeal pumped in you at the beginning has started to evaporate but remember, freshman year is truly where you will find your place in chaos and sort out your priorities. You should strike back; dream big and aim higher but just like a rock climber, learn to tie your figure 8 safety knot. While planning your goals do make a worst case scenario. It’s important to buckle yourself up for the wobbly ride ahead!
And remember it’s normal to find yourself pushed to the edge of sanity when you are sitting among the finest pick of the bunch, all packed in one auditorium. And it does not mean you are pea-brained. This place is exactly where you will recognize your core competencies; you may outsmart others while speaking; perhaps you can ace the written assignments; maybe you’re exceptionally good at presentations or you are crackerjack of a psychology or philosophy course. Just give yourself some time. Analyze the competition and set out your plan of action, there’ll be times when you will have to scratch everything down and reconstruct another plan altogether – but hey, It’s not the end of the world!
2) Now this one is something which your buddies told you when you received your acceptance letter. Ladies and Gentlemen, I bring you the word on streets about LUMS. Cue the drum roll please!
“Every day LUMS will be a sight of elite echelon in raves. Fashion and trends dying and resurrected every minute. Cool groups vs. fool groups wars.”
Young soldier err student, Open Fire on your racing thoughts! Shoot them dead, once and for all!
LUMS grounds host the most diverse community you have ever encountered. With its programs as the National Outreach Programme and Student Exchange, LUMS welcomes students from all over Pakistan and abroad. The diversity is strikingly extraordinary, you will find students talking in Sindhi at Khokha, even end up learning new words from your friends’ language (the most enticing one I have learnt yet were the words from Wakhi language, spoken in northern areas near Pak-Chinese border).
You will come across trendsetter fashionistas and then a guy with crisp white kurta, shalwar inches above feet, rushing to masjid. You will find those 9 am sleepyheads having scrambled eggs at Jamin’ and then those worried fellows ranting about their budget at the end of the month.
And yet, everyone coexists in peace, maintaining their identity and still openly interacting and intermingling with diverse people around them. Acceptance and social tolerance is a value LUMS upholds and this is the reason that amidst the multi-hued culture soon you will feel right at home.
As far as “fashion@Lums” is concerned, well, there are very few and let me add, notable survivors, who maintain their smartly dressed appearance over the years, otherwise many of us loosen up with hair up in a messy bun, wearing LUMS/CARMA hoodie as a ritual, flip flops to complete the look and our faces smeared with couldn’t-care-less look.
Jokes apart, you may dress as you please (obviously under the dress code mentioned in your handbooks) without any sort of peer pressure or compulsion.
3) “LUMS is an epitome of perfection.”
Okay, this one is my favorite on the list. Management lags, system glitches and WiFi failures; we have all of them in stock. LMS backfiring when your assignments are due; Dastan-e-RO-o-Zambeel hits the headlines before every semester; instructors famed for squeezing every drop of peace from your life with their grading and assessing instruments; clashes of mid exams since there is no set exam schedule; OSA’s ineffective tries to regulate daku-ing on daku days… The list is exhaustive my friends. And in response
During all of this you will be downright horrified because that’s not what you expected, but instead of wailing and breaking down now and then, we would recommend you to halt the emotional marathon and come up with logical complaints and rational arguments.
The LUMS management is the most approachable body with people who will listen to your endless complaints and help you out. From instructor evaluations to the LUMS Student Council – your voice and concerns are valued. The Student Council has grown into a great platform where your queries are welcomed and put forward in an organized manner which is bound to bear some fruit. Over and above, you may write your heart out on LUMS Daily Student website and reach out a wider audience.
No, LUMS is NOT perfect but every member of LUMS community understands the importance of improvement and continuous effort to become better. We hope you will be a positive addition to the community.
With a suggestion to move out of your shell, challenge yourself further (and even if you don’t LUMS is always there to push you to your limits, take my word for it) and above all experiment with wide range of courses; grow your soft skills by joining societies and make maximum out of your four years stay, I’ll leave you to enjoy your O-week before all hell break loose in your first semester. Remember to keep on chewing your gumdrop and then let the aftertaste linger on your tongue for a while. We like calling it an “Accomplishment” or in plain words: “I survived freshmen year and lived to tell the tale”