The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Insti


If you’re reading this, let me begin by congratulating you. Most of you have spent the past two years studying for the exam which opened your doors to IIT-M, and some you have been working at it for even longer. Now that you’re about to move into campus, you probably have a lot of questions. What are the hostels like? How do students speak to each other? What are the facilities we have? Read on for a brief introduction to campus life.

First off, let us introduce ourselves. We are The Fifth Estate, the official campus news body of IIT Madras. We are a completely student-run body, with all the writing, editing, and publication being managed by the students. We’re on the lookout for enthusiastic new correspondents, and will be hiring soon, so watch this space.

Now, before you actually come to campus, there must be several things you’re unsure of, a multitude of questions plaguing you; we hope a good fraction of them are answered by this FAQ.

The first thing you’ll notice after coming to campus is the fact that there is a dialect, a pidgin language, if you will, unique to the student population of IIT Madras. It is affectionately called ‘insti lingo’ by students, and it is something you will find yourself using within a few days of your stay in campus. Read this for a quick introduction to this foreign tongue.

In all likelihood, you will wake up after your first night in the hostels to the sight of monkeys rummaging in the dustbins of your hostel corridors. In your trips around campus, you will run into spotted deer and endangered blackbuck. Although these are just the most common animals you will spot, there’s a lot more to campus wildlife, and it helps to know the critters you share your campus with.

Chennai, which will be your home for the better part of the coming 4-5 years, is quite infamous for its climate. Some respite is offered by the fact that you will be on your summer vacations through the worst part of the year. Contrary to popular opinion, the city does, in fact, have seasons other than summer, and the year-round experience with the weather is outlined in this article.

Whether you like it or not, the institute LAN is going to be a major part of your college life. You will use it every-day to connect with your peers and for academic purposes, and you will undoubtedly spend a lot of time complaining about how it isn’t fast enough. Take a few minutes to understand how it works, and how you should (and shouldn’t) use it.

Unlike what most people think, we do not spend all our time studying. There are lots of technical and cultural activities happening on campus all year-round, and the institute Freshie night is the first thing you will find yourself involved in. It is not just a chance to meet new people, but is also an opportunity to show off your talents in the areas of theatre, music and dance. There will also be other events aimed at introducing first years to institute events, such as the prestigious Freshie Quiz. Look at our report on last year’s freshie night for a sneak peek into what you can expect.

Should you decide to pursue any of these in a serious manner, there are a lot of avenues in and around the city to do so, and we’ve compiled a helpful list.

Come weekend, you might want to take a break from the monotony of mess food, and explore the various gastronomic options around you. From low-budget street food to continental cuisine, the city around you offers it all. We’ve reviewed some places close to the campus that you might want to visit.

As with any other social group, there are traits everyone respects at ‘insti’. Check out this article for a tongue-in-cheek look at some of those, and give it a shot.

It’s important to remember to have fun during your stay here, and to check your smail regularly. But of course, the most important thing to remember is this: DON’T PANIC.

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