Reflections: Messages from the Graduating Batch

Hi Y14!

As you embark upon the wonderful journey that you will cherish for your life, we asked some graduating batch people to do what they do best, fundebaazi! The life at IITK, especially the first few months, is replete with opportunities and the plethora of activities sometimes disconcerts even the best of us. It seems natural that the people who have been through the system and have successfully emerged as marvellous human beings, can guide the newcomers in this maze of challenges, so that they too are able to evolve and prepare themselves for the better things to come in the future. With this hope in our hearts, we collected and analysed messages from the ever-willing seniors, and now we present them to you.

On Academics

Some people become ardent coders, some become awesome managers, and yet others indulge in scientific and technological research. In this multitude of fields that people excel in, one thing is certain. If not anything else, IITK does teach you to become excellent engineers and scientists with the help of one of the coolest academic systems in the world. Academics is the thing that some of us can’t get enough of, while others just dread to think of it. However, hate it or like it, academics is something that all of us have to manage. We are lucky to be in an institute which believes in making the courses interesting and challenging at the same time.
As most of the seniors repeatedly emphasize, academics is one of the most important spheres of life at IITK.
Anant echoes the sentiment of the majority of the seniors interviewed when he remarks that attending classes should not be something that is taken lightly.
Many seniors have often remarked that not attending classes was the blunder that they committed in their first year.
Interestingly, almost all seniors unanimously agree that not giving the due importance to academics early on is the most glaring mistake of first yearites.
Pritam sums it up wonderfully when he comments that first yearites often get involved in too many activities and end up messing up their academics. He also says that maintaining a healthy balance is very important.
Samkit also stresses the most basic fact when he says, “A good CPI always makes things easier for you.” Yasho makes a cryptic remark when he says that the misconception that “CPI is important but a nine-pointer isn’t” is not exactly the kind of mindset that will help you. Apoorva emphasizes the subjectivity of academics when he says that many people wrongly believe that they will be able to manage academics like many of their friends without studying as much as they did during pre-JEE times.
On the other hand, Niharika exhibits another facet of academics when she argues that although CPI is essential, the most important thing about academics is the knowledge that is gained by taking the courses seriously, which may come in handy at any point in life.
She says that she regrets “…not studying academic courses sincerely. It’s not just about CPI. It’s about the wealth of knowledge you could gain that’s going waste. You never know, you might have been a good academician!”

On Extra-Curriculars:

One of the reasons you should be really excited about this place is because there are so many diverse people who surround you, with such varying interests that you are sure to find some hobby group or club that you’ll be interested in! Perhaps by the time you read this, you’d already have seen presentations by various societies as a part of the orientation program. Yasho says, “Come out of your rooms and do something you like, be it academic projects, student activities; discover your passion.” Welcome to this journey of self exploration! Anant says, once you take up something, do it with sincerity and dedication. Grab the opportunities that come your way or else you’ll end up regretting not having explored whatever you wanted to explore, like Anant who wanted to learn more about music but didn’t, or Apoorva, who regrets not developing reading habits and urges you all to.
We’re all very proud of K-OS, our dance club! Courtesy: Photography Club

The seniors, however, urge you to follow your own path, without giving in to peer pressure and/or senior pressure and taking up activities which you might find uninteresting just for the sake of it. “Don’t follow the herd, follow your passion” says Anant.
They also caution you about not focusing on your Acads (academics) because of too many extracurriculars on your plate. Gopi regrets inefficient time management many a times during his four years here. According to Pritam, one huge mistake generally made by the first years is “Thinking that CPI is not important and getting involved in too many activities, only to mess up their acads. One should always maintain a balance!”.
So embark on this journey, be excited and enthusiastic! Remember, (and this is something you are going to hear a LOT this year) “enthusiasm is the only prerequisite”!

“Listen to all, but you have the final say in matters concerning you, you know your interests and what you want to do best! Do not let anyone tell you cannot do this or that.”
-Gopi Ramena

“Trash this: “What people think”
Don’t ever let that stop you from doing what interests you-and “do it well”.”
– Niharika Venkatesh

“Whatever one wishes to do in IITK, there will most of the time be somebody who is smarter than him/her at that thing…. But there is no peer pressure, instead support from the other fellow to pursue that activity :)”
– Pritam Thakur

On Interaction (with wing and others):

Many seniors stress the importance of opening up to people and making friends. Your wing is going to be an integral part of your life for these four years! They will be your family, your agony aunts, the people whom you go to when you’re sad, the people who’ll know all your embarrassing habits and yet be as fond of you as ever, and not to mention the people who will rob you dry when there are moments of celebration in your life. Apoorva places bulla sessions with wingies on his list of “must do-things for a fresher”, as does Gopi. According to him, all freshers should definitely do what is called a “night-out”. The graduating batch also talks of the importance of interaction with seniors. Yasho and Pritam both believe that the much-hyped quad sessions are definitely something to be experienced in the first year. “The freshers shouldn’t complain about minor issues there”, Yasho says. He says he regrets fighting with his hall seniors over petty Galaxy issues. Gopi also stressed the importance of exploring all clubs (Sports, Sci-Tech or Cultural) and making acquaintances with seniors and co-ordies of various clubs. Anant encourages you all to talk to the 4th years! “They are more than willing to help you guys out with anything”. So, Y14, get out of your rooms and interact with new people! It’s a new place, every new person you talk to, be it a senior or a batchmate, is sure to add something extra to your life.

The y12 celebrating Holi ‘14. And by celebrating, we mean coloring every person who emerged from the TB(Tutorial Block). Courtesy – Johnson Kujur

“Be sure to make the most of these four years and learn as much as you can for the best and smartest people will be around you. Look around you, interact with the people around you. Your seniors, your friends, the very people reading this along with you, will always be there to advise you, spend time with you, providing you with support and feedback, and a shoulder to cry on.”
– Gopi Ramena

“Helping someone with a problem gives you far more pleasure and satisfaction than wasting your day seeing a TV series on a laptop!”
– Apoorva Goyal

“Your time at IITK is going to be the best phase of your life. Never again will you receive such independence to pursue or learn whatever you wish; and never again will you have the company of such amazing and smart people around you. Make the best use of it without any fear of failure or being judged.”
“ – Pritam Thakur

Let’s sum it up:
To end, we quote some of the choicest quotes out of the lot:

“No one is going to make your dreams come true for you here! Just get up everyday and work towards the thing that are deepest in your heart and enjoy every step of the journey rather than wishing you were already where you wanted to end up.”
– Apoorva Goyal

“If you are anything like I was when I started, you are sitting there feeling a million different emotions and having a million different questions; but let me tell you that you are here because you deserve to be, and because you can bring something new and exciting to this diverse learning community.”
– Gopi Ramena

“On an emotional note, I will say you can take a person out of IIT but you can’t take the IIT out of that person. #Best4Years”
– Pritam Thakur

“Talent can cheat you but hard work never will.”
– Anant Mundra

And finally, two lines borrowed from Richard Feynman, quoted by Niharika:

“Nobody ever figures out what life is all about, and it doesn’t matter. Explore the world. Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deeply enough.”

“Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.”

BIOS:

YB

Yashovardhan Bhagat was the FMC council general secretary (2012-2013). A lot of our batchmates got a glimpse of his awesomely helpful and cool nature in the TA202A lab. He’s sure gonna rock it at Flipkart.

AM

Anant Mundra, the General Secretary, Games and Sports Council (2013-2014), will be perhaps remembered most for the glorious way in which he led IITK to win its first GC in Inter-IIT sports meet, as well as being an exceptional badminton player. He got placed at Diamond Consultancy.

PT

Pritam Thakur has donned many hats in the campus. He was Asst. Coordinator, Counselling Service, 2012-13. In his final year, he founded Social Scribblers, to create a network of bloggers interested in social issues. He will be making it big at EXL!

AG

Apoorva Goyal, who was the coordinator (2013-2014) of the Counselling Service, is an eternal source of great advice. He has dabbled in a lot of fields like technical excellence in EE, entrepreneurship etc. while beautifully managing his academics at the same time. To top it all, he scored a PPO in ITC limited.

GR
Gopi Ramena is the one name known to all of the IITK junta ubiquitously due to the popular Student Search tool. Not many people however know that he is also the brains behind a lot other cool tech stuff going around in the campus too, along with excelling in academics. It doesn’t come as a surprise that he got placed at Samsung Electronics.

ST

Samkit Tated, the assistant coordinator (2012-2013) of the Counselling Service, is perhaps one of the most soft-spoken and brainy guys of Y10. Hailing from the MSE department, he got placed in Deutsche Bank.

Niharika Venkatesh
Niharika Venkatesh is someone who has dabbled in quite a few things during her stay here. From performimg bharatnatyam in Galaxy to captaining the female badminton team to social initiatives, she’s done it all. She also always showed an avid interest in her department (Economics) and now works for Tata Securities.

Written by Alankrita Bhatt and Dhruv Singal

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