The first assignment in II semester was what is called 'actuality exercise'. It was one I loved. This is excellent to get yourself familiar with the equipment and use it freely. You can call it the equivalent of free hand drawing exercises. All you are asked to do is film something around you without intervening in it, that is, you shouldn't make anybody perform. Film what there is. Then get a narrative flow out of it. Mostly this part happens on the edit table.
It was a great experience for me. I shot at least thrice, a different topic each time. Cut and recut the material over and over again. Indulged. It doesn't really matter if you don't have a story or great images. It is designed to make you understand the concept of scenes, flow of time, editing etc. Basically something to play around with.
I strongly believe this is something anybody who wishes to make any kind of movie, fiction or non fiction should practise. It can be tiring, but will definitely make you more confident at least on the technical front.
Here is Tipu, one of the construction workers here. Someone who should be in school, working on a building where future 'film makers' will shoot their student projects.