These are 10 things that I feel every student entering the CSE/IT branch in a private engineering college should be told.

1. The facilities, syllabus and faculties are shoddy

Your college doesn’t care,your university doesn’t care and the people who work in these places certainly don’t; but, you do. Your college is a profit organization run by an industrial tycoon who makes facilities for getting through the accreditation period. Yes,you might constantly complain about how your syllabus is outdated,the testing and evaluation require dumb luck and constantly try to find one faculty from your department who you think is worth their salt.

You can go on for the next four years and keep doing this or you can stop giving a s**t because this stuff isn’t in your hands.

2. Your CGPA isn’t everything

Several volumes have been written and spoken about how your CGPA and marks aren’t the only thing in college life. This is like a pauper saying that money isn’t everything in life. Yes,it’s important but,not as important failing to have some fun on the side. An above average CGPA will open up more options than you now realize.

3. Your assignments don’t mean s**t!

Quite frankly, I’ve come across tons of assignments in each course in each semester (I have no inclination to submit any of them) and in my experience,they typically involve mundanely copying material onto an A4 sheet with a neat margin.

Imagine this:

6 subjects each semester * 5 assignments each.

That makes about 30 assignments just for one semester along with the lab work and the record writing.

In 8 semesters,you would’ve written close to 250 of these! I urge you to save paper and your valuable time.

This writing work doesn’t amount to anything except being a novel way of wasting your time (yes,they’re a waste of your time)

Use this time to indulge in a hobby,play an instrument or a sport.

4. Lobby for your internal marks

Don’t do a double take or be disgusted already. Trust me,you’ll be negotiating and pleading with people all your life. Doing the same with a professor to get half-decent internal marks isn’t the worst thing ever.

5. Do not flock to career development project centres

Most of these places fleece you off a few thousand rupees without teaching you much, just so you can add an item to the ‘blue file’. Instead,go ahead and try something original and put all your effort into it. It will be tough to make or create something of value through actual effort and most of the stuff you do will be small and pretty insignificant. Do not lose hope and never settle for anything mediocre Start learning new technologies and develop the aptitude to code in any language or platform.

6. ”But,we’re only in the first year”

This attitude will pull you back in with the mediocre majority. It doesn’t matter which year you are in. You are never too young or too old to learn and do stuff. All the learning and consistent efforts will come in handy somewhere down the line and you’ll thank yourself for signing up for that coursera or edxonline course (and actually finishing it) or making that little Java/Android application. Trust me,this makes all the difference and separates you from the others.

7. ”Will I get placed?”

This is a fair question and I understand the fact that you’ll need solid ROI after four years of paying for college. The economy,the job market and the competition have little or no meaning if you can add something unique (and useful) to a workplace. But remember, you don’t get “settled” after placement. Life and lifestyle sort of take a nosedive after this stage.

8. Begin a startup while you are in college

Almost everyone wants to be an entrepreneur. You’ve read about the flipkarts,the myntras and the Varun Agarwals and feel inspired (and then do nothing) .This is the super important thing that no one, absolutely no one will ever tell you. Why do you think that the world that is starting to get more materialistic by the second and technology growing at a quicker pace than before?

It is for you as students who are aware of these technologies to take advantage of, it is for you to come up with that mini idea for a startup and perhaps make some money and gain amazing experiences (it will also look great on an MBA application).

9. Never be ashamed of your college

You might not be at Harvard or MIT (or IIT or NIT). It doesn’t matter. Show atleast minimum respect for the place. After all, it chose to let the likes of you study there.

10. Plan your next course of action very carefully

Everyone is unique in their own way,it is when we get together that we forget this and start judging others who differ from the norm. Your peers may play a role in your decision; don’t let them. Remember that the WITCH (Wipro Infosys TCS CTS HCL) isn’t the only option. I say carefully because you don’t want to kick yourself after 2 years of the M.E degree you never wanted in the first place or feel lost in an obscure B-school or pursue your “higher studies abroad” just because a university finally accepted your application. Use the time to think and plan your next step and make sure you make the right choice (the holy trifecta being that it’s feasible, you’re interested and it pays off).

Pranav Kiran

A reluctant engineer trying to make it to the light at the end of the 4 year long tunnel.

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