Freshman year at LUMS
The first year at LUMS is a blend of experiences for the heedless student with all their worries, doubts, fears, aspirations and dreams. Frightened of having leaped out of their comfort zones into the daunting, yet promising world of possibilities that university has to offer, the naive freshman has only hope to console himself. However, LUMS does a great job at exceeding the freshman’s expectations of the dose of growth and emotions that await him.
The first stage of the adventure is Orientation Week. Organized by the student body for the incoming freshmen, it aims to establish the first impression of the institution in their perceptions. Not only does it help the confused freshies ease into the campus climate, but it also forms their expectations of the potential memories that lie in store for them throughout the next four years. However, it is also referred to by seniors as the most peaceful period of university life and rightly so.
The academic environment at LUMS is one of the most competitive across the country, and for good reason; LUMS enjoys one of the highest employability ratings in the country. It boasts an exceptional human capital, as it has professors educated from the best universities around the world. The classroom environment itself is very engaging (class participation is a graded component for many courses) and many courses involve practical work to enhance learning. However, this gives rise to another issue—the mental health concern is a prevalent challenge amongst students and demands nothing short of the strongest guts from students if they are to weather the storm that engulfs them. Even in this regard, there is a healthy level of conversation and resources to support struggling individuals.
The LUMS Experience
Perhaps the best thing about LUMS is its culture. It is one that espouses the ideals of tolerance, diversity, open-mindedness, and discussion. People of various backgrounds study in the institution, form different cities, religions and economic groups. This mixture of outlooks engages to create an environment where various social issues are discussed and unique perspectives are welcomed. This has also led to an active Student Council which actively participates in solving student issues and presenting their viewpoints to the administration.
Campus life makes life easy for students so much so that they tend to take their privileges for granted. Not only is there a huge variety of food options in all tastes and price ranges on campus, but there are no restrictions on exiting and entering the campus either. The university provides a rich range of facilities, from all kinds of sports arrangements, to air-conditioned classes, to lightning-fast WiFi.
Additionally, students are encouraged to explore and build up their talents by a great number of student societies, in a wide range of areas, from consultancy to fitness to psychology—you name it. Joining these clubs is a key component of the LUMS experience as they allow students to make friends with similar mindsets and gain experience through extracurricular activities. The whole process starts from O-week itself when the various societies hold orientations and recruitment drives for the incoming freshmen. A lot of events also take place in LUMS which involve the biggest celebrities from all over Pakistan, from the famous Qawwali nights, to comedians like Junaid Akram, to Atif Aslam casually playing guitar on the street at 2 AM on a weekend night.
However, like all great things, LUMS has its fair share of hassles. Since students have to digitally enroll themselves into courses depending on their preferred times and instructors, the start of every semester features this process that has the potential to turn into an administrative nightmare if you are unlucky enough to not get your desired courses. Some students do not feel comfortable with engaging in class participation and ground projects so the only way out would be to sacrifice a portion of the grade. The administration is bogged down in bureaucracy in certain matters and it has been tough for the student body to make them budge (although these issues are not hard to overlook).
LUMS has lots of ups and some downs to offer to the anxious freshman but one thing is certain—you won’t stay where you are; this prestigious institution has a way of pushing you out of your comfort zone and enabling you to realize your potential in order to truly grow as a person.