7 Things my ‘private engineering college’ taught me
Almost 10,000,000 students pass Class XII exam from CBSE, ISC and state boards every year and out of every 10 students, 6 choose for engineering, making a total of 6,000,000 students enrolling in various engineering colleges every year. The elite and what’s called the cream batch of every year claim top seats through premium engineering exams such as JEE Main, JEE Advanced, BITSAT, BARC and state engineering entrance while the major section of students settle for rather under-equipped engineering seats across private colleges.
As per figures released by All India Council of Technical Education, AICTE there are in total of almost 900,000 seats across well-known and reknowned engineering colleges in the country so that leaves almost 5,000,000 students at a cross road where they are forced to take decision their mind is not trained to. Almost 500,000 to a million students change their mind and go on to pursue something else while the remaining 4,000,000 get themselves enrolled in colleges with names they never heard prior to their admission.
If you’re here the you are/were one of those four millions, just like me. In 2012, I enrolled in B.Tech First Year Mechanical Engineering at IMS Engineering College, Ghaziabad, a name I know you are hearing for the first but it actually doesn’t matter where I am from, what matters is what message do I have. So, it’s a little less than a year now since I completed my engineering degree and there is something that I would like to share with everybody. So here are all the things I learnt from my private engineering college.
Full Form of ROI
In my fresher year, when I first met my final-year seniors regarding some college festival activities, they were shortlisting their MBA Colleges and blabbering ROI a lot of times. Upon asking, i was introduced to the term- Return on Investment. I found the term very crude and comparative.
Return on Investment is actually profitability ration which measures the loss or gain generated by any investment. In their cases, investment would be the tuition fees and other expenditure invested in the college and return would be their placement packages. So, my Fees was actually an investment and I had to get the best out of it in the provided circumstances. Well that was heavy to sink in. I never thought of it that way.
Teachers are not teachers anymore
I was quite overwhelmed during my initial days in the college. While I knew I was not the brightest in class, I actually expected support from the teachers in everything. That’s how it worked in my school. That’s how it was supposed to work in the college, right? Not At All.
Once I went to a faculty with an idea to work on a website that would cover all the updates, latest inventions, innovations and job prospects of Mechanical Engineering in India and abroad. I had a lot of problem in shortlisting mechanical engineering colleges during my admission days so I i thought there would be a good need of websites of the like in our country and I couldn’t overlook the potential of it in four years and I was very excited about the idea.
There was one glitch while I presented my idea to the faculty, I didn’t realize I was short on my class attendance by a percent or two. So, I had to stand there, listen to everything he could think of to shame me and trust me he tried hard. I should have been sad after the incident but surprisingly I was not, I was actually disappointed. That was my first and last incident that involved me in such conversation with teachers.
I am actually not as intelligent as I assumed myself to be and that’s okay!
If not until today, it will someday vex you that how come you, who was one of the bright ones (if not the brightest in your school) land up in such a college. Is it because of you didn’t pay attention in your entrance exams? It is because you fell ill during the exam days? Is it because you simply didn’t give a fuck what happened in the exams? It doesn’t matter anyway
Well, I also felt the same while I was in my fresher year while I was figuring out what I would do with my Mechanical degree. And as the days went by and I struggled more and more with my classes and attendance, daily assignments and reworks, practical and its files, events and its preparations, I somehow got lost and my marks continued to drop.
It was all, not because I did not study, it was perhaps because I did not want to in the first place. Yes, the syllabus, teachers, their assignments, reworks, practical didn’t excite me at all. So, I found the way between what I wanted and what was expected of me. I only studied what would get me pass and that was it! And I never felt bad about it.
There are things other than academics and the world acknowledges them
Being in a shitty college has its own advantages, you start from scratch because let’s face it, you don’t expect much from yourself and neither do others. So, trust me when I tell you that’s good, it helps you try your luck almost everywhere and isn’t that what you always wanted to be, Jack-of-all-trades.
One day, while I was roaming around my campus after getting kicked out from my class (not been there in time), I joined my friend who had participated in a debate. The topic for the debate: is protest the right way for bringing in change?
I listened to participants putting their arguments I knew I could counter. So, I asked a couple of seniors around and registered myself. As I stood there, afraid and excited, I made my case with a little touch of satire and I aced it. Not just I won, people actually listened to what I said and enjoyed it. With that incident, it struck me what my USP was and I went on to nurture and polish it in the coming years.
When you have a skill and an inclination to make it your unique selling point, it at times, consume a lot of energy to be visible to the world but it does, eventually. Just hold on.
Your future is in your hands
Not Teachers. Not Parents. Not your uncle/cousin in some big ol’ firm. YOU. It hardly matters what you want to do, it will always be you who’s responsible for whatever happens (or doesn’t) to your dream. While you can get hired by TCS, submit in 9 to 5 culture and kill your or you use the resources available to you and work yourself to all that you wanted or dreamt to be doing.
With the college that you are in, it will hardly happen that you will be content, not satisfied, content with the job that you do and that un-comfortability is much needed to make you break your shell while you still can.
Miles to go before I sleep
If I had tried harder, maybe I’d be in a better college but now when I think of it, I don’t regret a bit being where I was or not being where I couldn’t (well, apart from the tuition fee thing). As I stumbled my way to reality in college days, I figured that it hardly matters where you did your graduation when it comes to success in life. However, it does help to be in a good college as you make a effective network of brilliant people but the place where you are will never stop from doing that either. Look around, who’s stopping you from what you want to do? Is it your friends? Change your circle. Is it your partner? It’s time to break up, I presume. Is it your teachers? They’re assholes. Is it your college administration? Try and find a way to work with them. Believe that someone is out there somewhere, around you that would surely help you. If you find none, doesn’t matter, work alone.
There was so much I wanted to write for the title, but article would get lengthy and diminish the readability. Here are some honorary mention to other couple of things I learnt in my Alma-mater
- Notes are Important
- It’s all, not in my head
- People can be Assholes
- Time is Money
- Cigarettes are best ice breakers
- Matters escalate
- Life’s Hard and funny!
- Soft Skills are needed
- What people think of you actually matters