By now, I hope that many of you here, have taken admission at MIT and are eagerly waiting for the classes to start. Through this post, I would like to convey a few points, which in my opinion is going to benefit my to be Manipal juniors.
Idea#1: Come to Manipal with an open mind.
Throughout our formative years, we have been told that some things are “bad”, while others are “good”. In Manipal, you would meet different kinds of people, each with their own sets of beliefs, which may or may not appeal to you. You need to learn from the people around you, whether or not they fit into the stereotype drilled into your head. One must accept people as they are. For example lets say you are a person who is a staunch teetotaler and there is this person B who is a good friend of yours,but B drinks regularly. You shouldn’t judge B just by the fact that he drinks, and you don’t, neglecting the fact that he is a very good friend of yours, who genuinely wishes to help you.
Idea#2: Talk to people.
A continuation of the previous point. Talking to people would enable you to discover a whole lot of new things, in addition to forming bonds which may last a lifetime. In 1st year, since sections have people from different branches, it is the best time to communicate, which will help you immensely in the future in terms of gaining an understanding how each of the other branches work, and also collaborating in shared pursuits.
Idea#3: Choose your friend circle wisely.
There will be different types of people in Manipal, and not all of them would genuinely want to help you or want you to succeed. It is thus important to be able to stick around with the right people. There have been instances wherein 1st year students have ended up screwing up their college and academic life just by the virtue of falling into wrong company.
Idea#4: Ignore the Manipal Myths
You might have read exaggerated accounts of people drinking and doing drugs in Manipal, but let me assure you, no one will ever force this upon you. No senior or batch-mate will force you to do anything against your wishes. It is you and only you who is in control of your life.
Idea#5: Try to score 8.5+ GPA in your first year.
This is important so as to ensure a buffer for your CGPA when your GPA will fall in higher semesters. And it is the easiest to score a 8+ in your first year due to the huge number of people from different branches getting graded with you and having easier subjects.
Scoring in Physics cycle is generally easier than that in Chemistry cycle. I remained a 7 pointer throughout my first 2 years at MIT. When I did put in efforts, I ended up scoring 8+ in my 3rd year. I still rue the fact that had I studied hard in my 1st year, my CGPA would have been 8+.
And CGPA becomes an important component in MBA admissions and other applications, and having a 8.5+ CGPA will only going to benefit you. Not to mention the fact that hostel allotments in Manipal (2nd year onward) are done according to CGPA and less than 7.5 means missing out on the attached bathroom hostels.
Idea#6: Many a times, some students in the first year, feel that engineering is not meant for them.
This is quite common and the best way forward in such scenarios is to look for alternate options and discuss with parents and well wishers about it. If you feel pursuing a different degree will be the best decision for you, go ahead and take the plunge, but only after careful deliberations. There have been people who have changed colleges / field of study after having taken admission in MIT, and some are doing extremely well in their new course.
Idea#7: 1st year for many of you is the first time you are staying away from parents, and thus it may be slightly scary.
Do not fret. There are many others in the same boat. Try to talk to them, and you will feel better. In case you are having trouble coping up with college life, please feel free to approach the student counselor at MIT or the Student Support Centre, MAHE. They are professionally trained experts, who would be able to help you much better than others.
Idea#8: 75% attendance is the most important rule in MIT.
74% and the teacher is strict, you end up getting detained. This means repeating the entire course with your juniors, which isn’t the best of experiences.
Calculate and use your bunks judiciously. 3 credit subject= 9 bunks. 4 credit subject=12 bunks. Labs and workshops=3 bunks.
There may be subjects which may not seem interesting to you, also there may be teachers who are unable to teach well. In such a case bunking that class might seem to be a very attractive option, but I can assure you it isn’t. A better option would be to take a few books which you wish to read (any technical subject or any other book) or complete a few other pending tasks, which would fulfill the dual objective of judiciously using the time as well as keeping the attendance within limits.
Also keep noting down the number of bunks, in a diary, as the attendance may not be updated immediately on SLCM. This will prevent you from getting a shock when the teacher finally updates the attendance. Also spread out the bunks across the semester. Mind you, most people need a bunk or two before sessionals or lab end sems. Also there might be unforeseen circumstances which might force you not to be able to attend the classes.Try to keep your attendance within limits and you should be fine.
First year is probably one of the best times in college as you have zero tension, since there aren’t any clubs or placements to deal with. Make full use of this time, and enjoy to the fullest, while keeping an eye at academics. I hope that this will benefit some of you. In case of any queries, please feel free to PM me .
About the Author: Archisman Pal is a student of Mechanical Engineering at Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal.