Stories about university

What stress can do to you

It began in grade twelve. My grades had suddenly gone down, and I had no idea why. The journey from being a class-topper to actually failing in three of my favourite subjects was a short one. It took a toll on me. A year later, the stress that I had been gathering for years appeared in the form of a coin-sized bald spot on the crown area of my head. The night before, I had slept with a full head of hair, but that afternoon as I prepared to go for lunch with my friends, I saw that hairless little ...

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Things have gone too far on Facebook confession pages

“Anum, it was so gross. Nobody had noticed my hair before, but now I feel like the whole world is ogling my scalp,” Zara winced and clutched the receiver so tightly that her nail beds turned white. “Err, no. Why don’t you forget about that stupid confession? Just keep your head high,” I paused, hunting for more motivating words to throw at her end. “We all know you don’t wear a– a wig” I gulped. “Of course, I don’t. The confession on SMC Confessions — our university’s Facebook page — said ‘Today, I finally saw Zara of first year adjust her wig ...

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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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When will Pakistan say ‘Yes, it is my fault’?

I remember during high-school when my friends and I got bad grades, we blamed the school administration. When the roads in Islamabad were polluted with squashed ‘Frost’ juice boxes, we blamed the government. When I was late for classes and meetings, I would blame my driver for driving slowly or my maid for not waking me up on time or the rain for making the roads slippery – you get the picture? After we graduated from high-school and my friends received bad grades, they blamed the Cambridge administration for a biased system. In my 18 years in Pakistan, I have NEVER ...

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Balochistan bleeds: A Saturday that shook the province to the core

Sardar Bahadur Khan Women’s University is the only women’s university in Quetta. It was established in March, 2004 and approximately 3,000 female students are currently studying at this university. Last Saturday, something tragic happened that left these students scarred for life. Now, they worry if they will ever be able to pursue their dreams. Like any other day, students attended their classes, packed their bags and switched on their cell phones to mark the end of their school day. They were chatting, laughing and bidding their friends farewell as they made their way towards the bus that would take them home. ...

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Please ask my brother not to wait for me

I woke up in the morning feeling as lazy as ever. As I walked out of my room, my mother welcomed me with a beautiful smile. My very own superman dad, who clung onto his tasbeeh tight and wore his Sufi hat proud, reached out to my forehead and gently kissed it. My mischievous younger brother stuck his head out of the sheets, that he was neatly placed under, and said, “You should not go to university once a year at least, the teachers have a right to be happy as well, you know!” I rushed to get back at him but ...

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When ragging in hostels turns to sexual abuse

We reached the university hostel. My parents very were happy because I had been admitted in one of the top notch universities of Pakistan located in Punjab. It was the first time in my life that I was going to stay away from my home and I was petrified.  I was accommodated with my seniors as there were no rooms available for freshmen. The first night, I could not sleep at all because the place was filthy and I couldn’t come to terms with the fact that I had to stay there for a long, long time. The days that followed were ...

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SAT, GMAT, GRE: Can intelligence really be ‘measured’?

Standardised testing is a system used worldwide to assess a candidate’s ability and thus forms an integral part of the college application process. The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), and the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) are all known examples of standardised tests. While universities often state that these tests do not form the main criteria in the decision making process, the reality is somewhat different. Let’s consider a hypothetical scenario in which a candidate has a very low SAT/GRE score but displays an above average extra-curricular record matched by an outstanding personal statement. Won’t the decision maker’s judgment being ...

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Does your child deserve a lower grade because he is an introvert?

Our society consists of an extrovert-dominated culture and students usually realise this when they enter an education system. However, it is not until after their university life that they are able to grasp the true magnitude of this trend. Teachers endorse a societal prejudice against introverts by valuing and praising students who are more expressive, communicative and vocal. The general perception amongst teachers is that introversion is something that needs to be overcome. The attitude of students is no better; introverts are looked down upon and treated as if there is something wrong with them or that they are somehow inferior to others. I ...

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She told me not to buy the motorbike…

Ammi was screaming and creating a fuss around the house. Abbu sat in his corner, silent. “He is just 21-years-old! No boy this young in my family has ever had a bike,” Ammi cried. Abbu nodded, not taking his eyes off the newspaper. “Are you listening to me? I said this boy is not going to get a bike. And that’s final,” Ammi was infuriated. Abbu just smiled. I knew the court had ruled in my favour. Abbu’s smile was the verdict: I was finally getting a bike. It was the best feeling of my life; owning a bike, taking it to university instead of boarding ...

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