Stories about college

The Rachel Canning case and why Pakistani parents should be worried

Whoever is raising children in this present age can only applaud the decision taken by the judge in the strange New Jersey case of 18-year-old Rachel Canning suing her parents for kicking her out of the house. To add insult to injury, the girl demanded her parents, Sean and Elizabeth Canning, pay for the private high school that she is attending, her current living expenses, and some of her upcoming college tuition. The judge’s ruling was akin to music to a lot of parents’ ears that the parents were not liable for either Rachel’s current living expenses or her legal fees, which is now ...

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Pearls of destiny… deprived

Her face glowed as she reached the gates of her college. Her eyes sparkled with ambition as she took each step towards her classroom, aided by her faithful crutches. Slowly, she approached the front desk of the class, kept her bag on the seat next to her, sat down and neatly hid the crutches under the desk. It had been another usual day for Anika. She had enjoyed every bit of her lessons, making it a point to answer all the questions she had answers to when asked by the teacher. When she didn’t know the answer, she would eagerly wait ...

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Banning the niqab in Britain: How very Taliban of you

A recent ban on the niqab, introduced at the Birmingham metropolitan college, has sparked huge controversy among the communities in Birmingham and across the United Kingdom. Over 9,000 students across the UK signed a petition against this decision made by the college administration. While a large number of political activists have condemned the decision, College Principal, Dame Christine Braddock DBE, described the ban as promoting robust equality, diversity and inclusiveness. She further stated that she is committed to ensure that students are provided with a safe and welcoming learning environment whilst studying there — a truly ‘British way of life’. I ...

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Leaving for college but trying to fit ‘home’ into a suitcase

Every time I leave home, I have the urge to pack everything within sight. Accessories I will never use, dozens of Pakistan flags I will forget to put up, books I won’t get time to read, stray tokens of days spent at home so that I may relive them at will. However, this odd impulse isn’t nearly as exasperating as the reality that I can’t actually pack the things that matter the most, because they are intangible. My sister’s voice or the spark in her chatter; my mother’s worried frown when she thinks I’m overworked; long, honest conversations with old friends; the innate comfort ...

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Why you should pick a college away from home

Unlike the West, where living away from home is a norm, a large part of our traditional Pakistani society is new and rather averse to this notion. Most parents are overprotective by nature and are unwilling to disrupt the family dynamics. Thus, they are reluctant to even consider the possibility of sending their children away from home. Sure, attending college in one’s hometown is an experience in itself.  However, I think that the purpose of college education entails character-building, ability to deal with copious amount of pressure and exploring the person that one is or wishes to be. Dorm-life, in ...

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Of course I’m going to heaven; I forwarded that SMS to 10 people!

The message blinked on my computer screen – large, bright red letters of warning. “Do not delete this message or you will be permanently banished from paradise. Just send it to 10 people and find a place in heaven!” Huh? I scrolled up only to find that the sender was one of my friends, who I used to consider ‘a very sensible’ person before this email. The sad fact, however, is that we always seek shortcuts, even for paradise! Such type of chain messages, outrageous emails and SMSs are very common. They are nothing more than a mere form of religious blackmailing and believing ...

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Thank you for letting me travel to Pakistan!

Pakistan had always been a reality to me, unlike for some people who couldn’t believe that there was another nation carved out of the Indian subcontinent. But for me, it was just another nation that existed before I was born.  In 2007, I chanced upon a scholarship to finish a part of my semester in Kinnaird College, Lahore. Lahore fascinated me ever since. It was in Lahore that Sahir Ludhianvi (my favourite lyricist) spent his romantic years; where Jaun Eliya (my favourite poet) struggled through his life, and Saadat Hasan Manto (my favourite writer) passed away. While my only fear was what the ...

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The importance of being idle

Something within me changed recently. I became a productive, contributing member of society and I started doing my own laundry. It doesn’t stop here. Once you wind up on the path of being a citizen in every sense of the world, stained and wrinkled attire just does not feel right. Yes, I have a job, and yes, I earn money. Yes, I can splurge with reckless abandon and I owe it all to being bored of being bored. If slackers had a monthly supplement, I swear to you I would have graced its covers a few times over. Lying in bed ...

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Is literary guidance in Pakistan comparable to the US?

I had never been to upstate New York before, and the whole idea of attending a writers’ conference at a liberal arts college ten hours away from my home in Michigan seemed daunting. I didn’t know what to expect. I was intimidated, to say the least. I have been residing in America for the past two years only, and I still consider my poetry in English to be deeply Pakistani; I believe it will take me some time until I fully adopt the American idioms. As my father drove us through the gorgeous green hills of upstate, I was filled ...

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The Harvard Syndrome

Every morning when he wakes up, the first thing he sees when he opens his eyes are the big block letters on the chart opposite his bed: HARVARD. It taunts him, tempts him and ultimately motivates him; it’s what gets him out of bed every morning. This is the manic spirit that possesses much of the student populace in the ‘most prestigious’ schools of Pakistan. Come the first year of A’ Levels and every student switches to college mode. Thus begins the madness. On an academic level, students fill their schedules with even more tuitions, in pursuit of those elusive (or not) A-plus ...

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