Surashree
on 20 July, 2013

TAKE IT FROM THE ONE WHO KNOWS


College started this week. Not for me, obviously. I saw a few kids at the station, wearing KJ Somaiya ID cards, wearily trudging up the stairs at platform 1, saying - probably - "God. College started again... this sucks!" Two months ago, I'd have probably pointed at them and said "HA-HA" to their faces, like Nelson from The Simpsons. I can't do that now. Anyway, I am not going to whine about college again, I am guessing you guys are bored out of your minds listening me do that, but if you're just starting college, or even in the middle of it, read on.

So now that I am a nice, piping-hot, freshly-out-of-college graduate, I like to think of myself as a sort of Mumbai University (MU) veteran... you know, a know-it-all when it comes to surviving Mumbai University. Believe you me, it really is no walk in the park, however studious/grade A class-topper/alpha-nerd you may have been. So, here's a list of dos and don'ts I've made (keeping my extremely busy after-office chores like sleeping, TV, etc. aside) considering you are:

a) a decent student (not too ambitious, not too we-don't-need-no-education type... somewhere in the middle) and
b) in a fair college - not too strict with attendance, that is.


Dos


  1. Get involved with college activities. That is not to say get into every little club that is present in your college, instead, choose a council that you like, and stick with them till your final year. You'd learn a lot in this way.
  2. Do attend lectures. Granted, most of us slip (and sleep) through each semester, sitting when our hearts fancy it, but really, it is not possible that you hate every subject in your semester. There has to be something you like. Attend those regularly, and do pay attention.
  3. Bunk if there's something really fun to do. No, my alter ego did not take over in the last five seconds. I really mean it. College isn't measured in the number of lectures you attended. In the end, all you'll remember is the crazy shit you did when you bunked these lectures.
  4. STUDY for the tests during the semester! If your college is anything like mine, you'll have tests during the semester too, the marks for which will be added to your internals. And I'll let you in on a secret: those class-toppers of yours, whose marks make you go, "Wtf! Who gets marks like that?!", score that much only because they score more in these tests, not because of some out-of-world brilliance during theory exams.
  5. When it's placement season, do brush up on everything that you claim to know on your résumé. Don't say you know JSP only because you had one measly experiment in your 4th semester, a year ago. (The dos for this topic would probably be an exhaustive list, so I'll save it for some other day.)
  6. It's okay if you sleep through most of your lectures - you're going to do that without me telling this to you, anyway - my point is, do your experiments diligently. Because really, the industry couldn't care less if you didn't know the principles of software design, or some such really arcane topic, but they'd like you to know how to make a state chart or a class diagram for a software. Anyway, point is, don't goof off in the practicals, do them sincerely.

Don'ts


DON'T TAKE UP ENGINEERING ONLY BECAUSE YOU SCORED 96% IN YOUR 12TH BOARD EXAMS OR BECAUSE YOUR MUM'S BROTHER'S BEST FRIEND'S DAUGHTER'S HUSBAND IS AN ENGINEER FOR MICROSOFT IN AMERICA AND EARNS 150 GRAND A YEAR.

You should know why I wrote the above line in caps. I've said this time and again, and I'll say it again. No kind of obscene salary figure can get you job satisfaction. In the end, it boils down to what YOU like, and what your interests are. So, make your decisions wisely.

  1. Don't waste four years of your college on the first bench of your class. Be silly, be crazy, break a few rules, be with your friends, keep the books aside for a while - they aren't going anywhere.
  2. Don't be too smart-alecky with your teachers. Be in their good books as far as possible. Believe me, good relations with teachers go a long way in helping you.
  3. For final year students, don't give the GRE only because your friend is giving it. Honestly, I know a bunch of people who did it for this f*cktard reason (as I like to call it). Come on guys, it's a 10 grand exam. Put some thought into it before you register for the test.
  4. Don't waste vacations lazying around. I know, you're going to end up doing that nevertheless, but in case, just in case you get a vacation longer than a month (extremely rare for us poor MU students), do something worthwhile... write a paper, maybe? Or get an internship. Trust me, when you reach 4th year, and you've to scratch your head for ten minutes, thinking what to write in your CV, you'll think of me!
  5. Don't be depressed if you fail an exam. Study and clear it the next time. Really, all these things reduce to nothing once you pass out. So don't pull too many hairs thinking how bad your score-card's going to look. No one cares.

Hmmm.. It's 12 am. That's all I can think of for now, fellow MU students. If you can think of something, feel free to add (See Comment Box below)! I hope that for now, this helps.

P.S. Honestly, no dos and don'ts are going to help you. The university will give you a hard time, but it'll be worth it. :)


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Surashree


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