What to expect in college?

Deepan Maitra (2019 Batch Chemical Engineering)
Jul 2 '20 · 4 min read |   144

You made it. The continuous hard work of two years (or maybe more?) to crack that one dreaded exam: the JEE Advanced. Remember the sleepless nights to solve that one problem? Remember waking up early in the morning, setting a routine for the day? Or maybe rushing to the coaching centres, huddled up in a chilly classroom…. attending classes after classes. You had that one bull’s eye you had to hit. And you’ve made it. Relax a bit.

We all know how the Covid-19 situation has taken a toll on your overall college expectations. We know it has been hard for you to finally decide upon one stream in one college. Maybe we can all relate to the loads of anxiety you must be feeling at this stage. From the student community of IIT Ropar, we congratulate you, and extend a hearty welcome!

Its evident that coming out of the comforts of your home, stepping out of your family circle is going to be a change you might not be expecting. But the day you enter the huge gates of IIT Ropar, know this. You’ve found yourself another home. A home that is teeming with supportive people, a home that will nurture you. Within no time, the orientation ceremony will be over. Your guardians will leave you there, along with your other hostel mates. At first, you’ll probably feel shy and hard to approach anyone, but trust me. It gets better with time. Allow yourself to slowly get settled in the campus. Don’t be rigid. Always be ready to make new friends and spend time with them. Before you know it, IIT Ropar will have become a lovely place to be.

Here, I would like to talk about the visible difference in college life that you’ll suddenly see. It’s an entirely different experience and if you know what to expect, maybe you can improvise! First things first, college is not a school, nor a coaching institute. It’s something much bigger and fuller of surprise, especially the IITs. It’s an ecosystem in itself. Living, studying, sleeping, eating, roaming around—it is a complete package. If you are adaptive to change, it gets even better.

After you’ve become familiar with the grading policies and the academic pattern of the institute, its alright to feel a little dazed. Professors, courses, quizzes, semesters—its quite a lot to handle when you first think of it. But guys, Chill a bit! Honestly if you’re just a little skilled in time management, it’s going to be really easy for you. Easy and fun. Life at IIT Ropar is full of opportunities, and there are enough resources to suit your interests.

Just after your lectures begin, it’s important to first know what it’s all about. Ask around, see how others are going about with the courses. Don’t go around asking anyone and everyone, I believe at this stage you know well enough whom to take advice from. The biggest difference between the college curriculum and the school curriculum is that here you’re supposed to understand the applications of a subject, not merely know the syllabus. Maths in the 1st semester will have you in ruins. Be it the coding course or the electrical one, you’ll see everyone struggling. But I want you to know: its possible to score good in them. Don’t believe the rumours people keep telling, take it from me: you can do it. If you just apply some intelligence as to how.

At this stage, the how to study part becomes more prominent. Soon enough, you’ll face quizzes. Its okay to do bad in them, don’t expect a direct result of your efforts. But have faith, the first quiz is only the beginning. You have enough exams and enough domains to do better. I believe, just being a little good in studies doesn’t give you an excuse to not participate in anything more. Its not true that to do well in college, you’ll have to sacrifice on your passions, your hobbies. Take them up. And explore new ones. Being great at academics and doing splendid in extracurriculars are not two mutually exclusive sets. Hope you understand this. What matters is the balance. You know who’s the best person to ask how to strike this balance? YOU. Loosen yourself a bit, make friends not only from your own dialect or ethnicity, but make friends from all over India. It’s one of the best exposures you will get.

Lastly, I will welcome you all once again. You’re about to set off on a whole different journey, hope you are excited for it!