We are not going to talk about clichéd things. We are not going to tell what’s right, what’s wrong, or what is good or bad! Neither we will say that grades are not important nor will we say that participation in Amalthea/Blithchron is important. That is something that we leave onto you to decide.
We want to share a story with you, a story of a boy who lived in a small village in some part of India until he joined an engineering college. He had very little exposure to the outside world and just handful of opportunities, but he had high ambitions which him to his engineering college. His father had to sell a part of his agricultural land to finance his education.
The new college life was a sudden transition for him which made him nervous and introvert. Initial few months were very difficult for him as he hardly interacted with anyone due to difference in backgrounds and language barriers. This reflected in his academic performance as well. Near the end of 1st year, one of his friends approached him and asked if he wanted to do a project, to which he replied positively thinking – “Why not give it a try?” The project involved topics that he was unfamiliar with, which drew him closer to studies. He actually learnt the techniques of studying effectively and got to refer a lot of books. This boosted his self-confidence and he knew he can perform better.
This confidence opened him up and he started socializing. With time, he started learning things on his own – be it academic or non-academic activities. As time progressed, he became one of the toppers of his class. He completely focused on academics now and took diverse difficult courses to challenge himself. Because of his efforts and determination, he got an opportunity to visit a foreign university for a project.
While everything was smooth in his life, his brother was still looking for a job back in his town. Around the same time, his brother qualified for a coding-based interview at an IT company. As soon as the guy learnt about this news, he decided to pitch in. Across the three years, he had gathered enough skills in programming which made him sure about helping his brother who was not so proficient at coding before. He pulled extra hours from his schedule and guided his brother to become competent in programming. And Voila!! Due to his brother’s excellent performance, he was offered job position by the company.
Over the 3 years, he constantly strived to improve his communication skills which benefitted him during the placement season. The placement season started at his college with a bang. In one of the interviews, he made through all the rounds and reached the final one. Interviewer asked him, “What is the difference between an IITian like you and a regular engineering student?” His answer to this question bagged him an instantaneous offer. The answer was – Self Learning.
We don’t claim it’s an extraordinary story of an extraordinary student, but it is a story of an ordinary student who chose to rise against all odds & who chose to embrace every opportunity that came his way.
So, what do we learn from this story?
One, get out of your comfort zone.
Nice beds in hostels will always pull you hard towards them, लेकिन उसके झांसे में मत आना. कभी किसी काम के लिए मना मत करो just because it demands tremendous efforts – be it courses from Prof. Murali, Prof. Arup, Prof. Rita, Prof. Rajendran or any professor for that matter. These courses will beat the hell out of you, sometimes they won’t even let you enjoy your weekends, sometimes submission deadlines will force you to pull all-nighters, but we tell you, from our experience, it is totally worth having one nightmare course per semester. They demand stretching yourself beyond your abilities & in the end you will realize that your limits have gone far beyond.
The second thing we learn is about opportunities.
Director sir once said, “We are not in a hurry to be a new IIT. Once old, we are old forever. We are enjoying the fact that we are young.” We are very fortunate to be in a young institute like IITGN where we have enough freedom to choose our path, but opportunities are not infinite. So, think twice or even thrice before saying no to any opportunity coming your way. Taking examples from our batch itself – हरी ने हिंदी सिखी, संजय ने इंग्लिश सिखी, मिस्त्री ने Drums बजाना सिखा, विवेक ने गाना सिखा, सुशिल ने Website बनाना सिखा, रवि ने Computer networks सिखा जिसकी बदौलत आज वो CISCO, USA में intern कर रहा है. Opportunities aren’t big or small. Remember from the story we told you – the turning point in his life trajectory was the “YES” he said to that project.
And the last and most important thing – Build your network.
While exploring different opportunities, build a strong network of people – be it you juniors, seniors, faculty and even staff! जो 4 साल हम यहाँ बिताते हैं, campus ही हमारे लिए एक दुनिया बन जाता है. लेकिन हमें कुए के मेंढक की तरह ना रहकर, बाहर की दुनिया में भी एक स्ट्रोंग नेटवर्क बनाना लाज़मी है. It is not really a good idea to rely on the college or placement office for internships or jobs. Once that network is built, start seeking opportunities through it.
Dear freshers, अपनी students की भाषा में बात की जाए तो हम कोई फोडू या तोडू लोग नहीं हैं. हम बस आपसे 8 semesters आगे हैं. हम चाहते हैं कि जो चीजें हमने गलतियाँ कर-कर के सिखी हैं,वो चीजें सिखने के लिए आपको वही गलतियाँ न दोहरानी पड़े. हम चाहते हैं कि आप नई गलतियाँ करें, नई चीजें सीखें और अपने juniors को बताते चलें.
यहाँ बैठे सभी लोगों को ताज्जुब होगा की हमने उन्हें address किया है जिन्हें न हम जानते हैं, और न वो खूद जानते हैं की वे यहाँ आयेंगे. लेकिन हमें भरोसा है कि यहाँ बैठे सभी faculty, staff, juniors इन ideas के ऊपर विचार करेंगे और उन्हें अपने तरीके से आगे पहुँचाए.
And did we just forget to tell you that the guy in the story is sitting amongst us right now!
Thank you very much IITGN for giving us memories, for making us what we are today, giving us the ability to stand in the crowd, and yet be different. Thanks for giving us wings of confidence & now we are ready for take-off.