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How to Make the Start of College ‘Mind Expanding’ and ‘Memorable’ - Pearl Academy

A kick-starter approach from a Design College in India

Being a freshman can be daunting, to say the least. Especially if you have left home and moved to a new city. When asked, freshers said that they were nervous about fitting in, about whether they will be good enough and also whether they are cool enough.

Teachers, on the other hand, want students who have left the constraints of high school behind and are ready with open minds and clear heads for the year ahead.

I am sharing what we have been doing for the last four years to help students feel confident and a part of a family while at the same time catalyze their creative juices, learning, sense of choice and independent thinking.

This may be of interest to other educators who face a similar situation with every new cohort.

“The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul.” — Dieter F. Uchtdorf

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” — Albert Einstein

In today’s academic scenario creative studies are essential for building a comprehensive educational ecosystem where students can share innovative ideas and apply them in their regular curriculum. Creative workshops and events serve as a catalyst in broadening the student’s thought process and make them more inclined towards exploring exciting opportunities.

The Idea
A series of incredible creative weeklong workshops where students can sign up for what they find interesting. Workshops are led by well-known young cool creatives and are unrelated to any learning that the students are expected to get in their disciplines.

Pow Wow Workshop

Original image from workshop

This year it was Pow Wow — the Act of Making where freshers were encouraged to search for new ideas, expand notions, break rules and think out of the box. In parallel and almost unconsciously, they met people, made friends, worked collaboratively, explored the college, were physically involved, and engaged with young creatives (conducting the workshops) who have different takes on life.

Here are some examples of the workshops conducted

Bend it like Bamboo was a workshop led by a designer involved with various food and beverage entrepreneurs for the development of a unique take on bamboo disposables. The students learned the art of weaving bamboo and making different eco-friendly products. Another workshop introduced students to the culture of comics, graphic novels and sequential art — Let’s tell a story highlighted the importance of art as a means of communication. Soundify took students through a musical journey introducing them to subjects like acoustics, instruments, physics of sound, music and the human body. Mural painting, resin art, calligraphy, cyanotype, upcycling denim and creating holograms were others.

Being creative and hands-on not only helps students identify with themselves but also with one another and with new ideas, giving them a thrilling experience and the joy of starting on a fresh journey.

The Outcome
The Pow Wow Orientation experience has been memorable year after year.

Pow-wow workshop

Original image after workshop

It has helped students hone their cognitive and lateral thinking skills; understand the importance of multi-disciplinary learning, develop an open attitude, understand the value of giving attention to detail and believe that every individual engagement in the world has its consequences. Overall it is a great way to embrace freshers into the learning environment.
It has also helped with reducing early worries and attrition of students who are not sure whether they fit in. In fact these workshops have become something that incoming students look forward to with anticipation and excitement.

**Shared from Medium

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