Graduation Survey: Confessions of an Instiholic

Rose Kennedy once said, life isn’t a matter of milestones, but a matter of moments. Every student has their share of unforgettable moments in the institute where the most boring of days turn into days to remember. Over a period of four or five years one amasses so much love and affinity towards the institute that at the end of their stay they become inseparable. We did a fun survey among our graduating junta to bring to light their craziest stories of insti life, bucket list of items from their time and to broadcast their advice to their juniors on how to make the best of their stay in one of the best institutes of the country. Our to-be alumni didn’t fail to crack us up and amuse us with some really trippy and interesting responses which we bring to you here as an article.

His classmates stole a fridge and kept it in a room in Mahanadi. Apart from storing food and drinks, one of his friends found it fit to sleep inside it when it got too hot.

From getting lost in the institute to stealing fridges and mistaking cab drivers for kidnappers, our graduating junta have done it all. ‘Aristotle’, a graduating student, talks about an epic Saarang night where his classmates stole a fridge and kept it in a room in Mahanadi. Apart from storing food and drinks, one of his friends found it fit to sleep inside when it got too hot. Little did he know that he was taking “being cool” to a whole new level. Our to be alumni also seem to have a fascination for heights and a liking towards tanks. The 1974 tank remains a distinctive hangout spot with endless memories stored on its top.  Very few students fail to leave their mark there, be it writing on the walls or taking a leak so that the tank doesn’t store just water.

Ever got into a cab and thought that you’re being kidnapped? Well, one of our graduates can indirectly relate to this when he booked an Ola cab for his college mate who out of sheer negligence boarded another cab. On realizing that the driver was unresponsive to his talk he thought he was being kidnapped. In his paranoia he urged his friend to call the police only to discover later that the driver was drunk. Our poor graduate then had to go through the embarrassing situation of explaining that it was all a mistake to the police.

A drunk driver, a spaced out student and a misunderstanding involving a kidnapping- and this is just one crazy story out of many shared by our graduating batch.

‘Silicon’, a fourth year metallurgical student recollects how he got off a disco and a W grade thanks to the Black Sabbath T-shirt he was wearing, which helped him escape the situation as the Professor was himself a Black Sabbath fan. He also narrates an incident about his friend who mistook a Professor for a TA and threatened him with complaining to the course coordinator, only to realize that he himself was the course coordinator.

While our seniors did have their share of crazy moments, each of them also had their set of goals and achievements that they hoped they would complete by the end of their journey at the institute. While most graduates added getting drunk, climbing the tanks and exploring the institute and the city beyond its gates to their list, a handful also added unique achievements they wished to accomplish. An unnamed aerospace engineering graduate hoped to party and travel around Chennai while also buffing up. Sadly all his partying went in vain and his plan backfired taking his gym time to zero.

‘Silicon’, a fourth year metallurgical student recollects how he got off a disco and a W grade thanks to the Black Sabbath T-shirt he was wearing, which helped him escape the situation as the Professor was himself a Black Sabbath fan.

Bathing seems to be every hostel resident’s worst nightmare- right from getting the equipment required to having a cold water bath, the whole procedure seems problematic! This was ‘Silicon’s’ top bucket list task. Having a bath with actual soap was a dream come true for him but, unfortunately, to no avail. He was unable to find soap in his cluttered room only to end up using detergent. Adding to his list, he says that he wanted to put up a Choreo Solo piece which involved him sitting in a chair in The Thinker pose for the whole five minutes but he was never able to do it.

Life in insti is bound to give you bizarre and unforgettable experiences; and our graduating batch couldn’t agree more. They admit that falling in love and kissing your partner also fell under the “unusual experiences” list for many. Meanwhile, many have also revealed that insti life has made them excel at things they were either terrified of doing or had never considered earlier. These breakthroughs in their lives happened thanks to several EDM Nights at Saarang, hostel nights and LitSoc activities. Many also admit that insti had brought out the “anti-maggu” in them, with CGPA becoming irrelevant during several points in their institute life.

Looks like some profs really are Batman in disguise.
Looks like some profs really are like Batman in disguise.

A proud ex-Branch Councillor, who had had no aspirations of being one, admits that there were times before being a BC when he felt very critical about the way things were done in his department, and never felt like associating with it much. For another graduate, her proudest (and most unbelievable) moment in insti life happened when she volunteered (and managed to) translate a 1.5 hour long conversation in Hindi to the Dean, despite being a non-native Hindi speaker.

It is perfectly okay to have one of those panic moments where you ask yourself “What am I doing with my life?!”.

With an increase in age, comes an increase in experience and the more you live, the more you learn. Who better to take suggestions from than our very own seniors? While most graduates agreed that sauntering and exploring the institute with their partners tops their list of things one must do before passing out, having an enormous amount of free time at hand, they also recommend that the best way to use this time is to spend it discussing and arguing over arbitrary topics till the rest of the group accepts complete defeat.

Our graduates propose that one must have a drastic change in at least a few points of their personality. Getting over phobias, being able to talk to the opposite gender as also reducing our initial ego are a few goals that must be achieved. This is only possible with an increase in the overall interaction one maintains with his or her surroundings. One metallurgical graduate tells us how writing an end semester with zero preparation is easily the best way one can bring themselves back to reality. Belonging to an enormous campus gives rise to the possibility of having a number of fields that cater to sports. The best way to be physically and mentally active is to learn a sport and play it on a regular basis, says a very enthusiastic mechanical graduate. This would also help develop character and serve as a means of recreation.

Having been gifted with the most learned and experienced professors in the country teaching us and a very active workforce taking care of the institute, a word of advice that the graduates wish to give the residing students is to make close acquaintances with as many professors and staff members as possible. Doesn’t everyone require their very own man at arms during times of need?

The gleam of a shiny 9 and the swag of a 100 PoRs might fade, but your insti social networks will stay with you forever.
It would seem that in insti, you prove your mettle not with a hundred S grades or a thousand PoRs, but your level of finesse when it comes to talking to the ladies.

Whether it had been a part of a GenSec candidate’s manifesto or a result of late night pointless brainstorming sessions, graduates admit that there were several suggestions which they had wished to see in insti, but never materialised during their time there. Since no monkeyproof bin has been able to resist the attack of monkeys, a graduate wryly observes that as a technical institute, we have to go a long way to develop a truly monkey proof waste collection system. In order to promote equal treatment towards all genders, one even suggested banning girls from entering boys’ hostels, since the reverse and a coeducation hostel are distant dreams. There were many more wishes that the graduate felt can’t be granted even by a genie, from lifting the 85% attendance rule to actually giving a holiday on Pongal. The curriculum review for B.Tech and Dual Degree programs were greatly appreciated, that some graduates even wished they had joined IIT a little later! A graduate also added that such an initiative will be highly beneficial for the MA program too. It was also felt that the role of faculty advisor must be extended beyond academic help and could even be from another department.

Insti life should not be a rat race to attain the highest CGPA, get all the major PoRs or climb the insti ladder to be a ‘stud’. “No alumni has ever regretted not having studied enough, but they have all regretted not having spent enough time enjoying life in the campus with their friends”

As a final word of wisdom to the juniors, all graduates agreed that insti life should not be a rat race to attain the highest CGPA, get all the major PoRs or climb the insti ladder to be a ‘stud’. Even though there are no disadvantages in having a decent CGPA, several felt that it should not be the only driving force behind your existence in insti and it is those memories you make on the way with your peers that stay with you longer than your CGPA. It is the time you spent in building your stories and not your resume (alone) that will fetch you your dreams because it is the stories that makes the world go by. At the end of the day, it is always your passion and ability that puts you in whatever position you deserve to be in. As quoted by one of the graduates, “No alumni has ever regretted not having studied enough, but they have all regretted not having spent enough time enjoying life in the campus with their friends”.

As successful men and women who have (almost) passed their confused teenage phases, our to-be alumni believe that it is perfectly okay to have one of those panic moments where you ask yourself “What am I doing with my life?!”. While being swayed by highbrow principles of seemingly successful people around you on one side and indecisiveness about your choices on the other, it is natural that you will have to deal with a lot of pressure. They advise that sharing all that turmoil in your head with a senior (or even an alumnus) would be the best remedy and will set you back on track. Finally, treating everyone with dignity, respect and friendliness is also of utmost importance to emerge as a truly educated human being.

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Aslamah Rahman

"Now, I ain't much of a poet but I know somebody once told me, To seize the moment and don't squander it, 'Cause you never know when it all could be over tomorrow, So I keep conjuring"- Eminem