“Sometimes I’ll start a sentence, and I don’t even know where it’s going. I just hope I find it along the way.”
I suppose what Michael said really justifies coming to this college. My journey in BIT Mesra was complete of lessons, experiences, ups and downs, and I guess, in the end, it was all worth it. Coming to this place was never the plan, but perhaps it was meant to be. You know, I was really not happy coming to this place in the first place, contrary to most people. I was kind of… disappointed, thinking I deserved better. Soon, I was having a tough time becoming acquainted with the system, the hostels, the rooms, and everything else. I remember I once had a fight with a senior over who would get to dry their clothes at a rope. It might seem funny now, but goddamn it was intense. Back in school, I was the kind of person who had a limited number of friends and my first year was mostly spent accepting this place, the people, adjusting to the pattern of the classes, and the usual tiresome 8-5 routine. We got really tired of all the classes and on top of that, homesickness. I usually ran back to home during weekends.
I am (or is it was already) in Biotech and everyone (literally everyone) suggested I upgrade my branch. Hence, I was convinced that I had to do so in order to get a good placement. It was kind of the norm in the first year, people used to talk so much about placements and internships that it used to scare the hell out of me. I even thought of reappearing for JEE. Well, none of that happened, and it was only later that I realized that “Branch doesn’t matter”. If you are capable, if you are hardworking, determined, and dedicated, you can do whatever you want to do. I have seen people excel from these “low branches”, a term that I really hate, reminds one of the caste system. Throughout my first two years, I made so many new friends, got to know people, and got involved in club activities. It was a good phase, you know when you are a bit naïve and in the learning process as well. When I talk about clubs, I should say that being up on the stage really boosts your confidence (at least it did with me). From a queen to a prostitute, an old lady to Pikachu, Dramsoc can offer you quite a variety.
My second year comprised of partying with friends, birthdays, and all the little things that make up the college life. I’ll really miss those melancholy musings by the riverside, Laxmi, Sharma, HnC (I hated that place, so overcrowded). Not getting my branch upgraded did make me a little sad, but sometimes you don’t really have a choice, plus I got to have amazing professors. Once I cried my eyes out in front of a teacher for missing an entire month’s worth of classes and believe it or not, he actually gave me the attendance. I had to make the best of it, even if I was not interested in my core subjects. I had to at least secure a good GPA and thankfully; it was considerably easy as well (yayyy, biotech for the win).
Third-year was mostly about the little things that add value to your life and prepare you for the bigger picture. When you see your friends grabbing internships and on the other hand, you are not even allowed to sit for a single company; that really hits you hard. And the worst thing is that you have to put on a brave and happy face when you know “thoda to kharab lagta hai.” Also, you outgrow people, you get involved with new people, and it brings many lessons with it. I have been the sort of person who has been very inexpressive and finds it difficult to acknowledge the people that hold importance and I would like to say that all those who have been a part of this journey, who have been there for me, thank you all, the ones who are still there and the ones who are not anymore. As my favorite character, Diane Nguyen from Bojack Horseman says, “I think there are people that help you become the person that you end up being, and you can be grateful for them, even if they were never meant to be in your life forever.”
Fourth-year has been the most eye-opening, dramatic experience yet. Before entering this phase, I had prepared myself that this was going to be tough and I might not get a placement. One of my seniors even remarked that there would be at most 10 companies for Biotech students. We have undermined ourselves so much in these three years that we find it difficult to believe in ourselves. So was the case with me. We weren’t really given any opportunities to sit for internships in our third year, and we had to get out of that phase as soon as possible. I did crack the written rounds for all the companies that I sat for, but couldn’t really clear the HR rounds. The whole phase was very difficult, “full of BT” I daresay. Sometimes, we don’t take lessons from our failures, which is what I kept doing wrong. Finally, I secured a placement in the month of November and realized that if you work hard enough, you’ll get the results eventually and everything would be worth it.
I had the support of my family in some of my toughest times in college, and I am thankful for that. Sometimes, it was difficult to go on, but I had really motivating parents and they are one of the reasons I never gave up.
Anyway, after the taxing placement experience, Mood Indigo, IIT Bombay, offered a fresh wave of relaxation. The train journey taught me a lot; antakshari, cards, and ghost stories. MoodI was fun, with exhilarating performances. Mumbai was fun because of my wacky juniors, ‘Churchgate Public’ gets a special mention here.
The scariest part of my college life was the judgment I faced from some. I’m not going to lie, I judged a whole lot of people throughout my life, but when this college forced me in the shoes of the judged, I realized how bad it feels. Well, takes one to know one, I suppose, but now, leaving this place, I realized that those people are not going to be a part of my life anymore. You learn a lot during these four years, often from the experiences of others. It’s very important to realize that you need to be there for yourself and keep saying to that “It’s Okay.” It’s okay to set boundaries, it is okay to push those boundaries, and it is okay not trying to fit in. The real-life that lies in front of us presents a broader picture in itself. We might not always know what to do, but we learn what not to do. Even that is necessary, and college prepares us for that.
A College is a place where you see different kinds of people, some are really confident while others are really good at something. We find it really difficult to accept ourselves, the imperfections, and everything. So now while leaving this place, one thing that I have been really proud of is that I have accepted myself. Your mistakes don’t define you; they just give you a lesson for the person you are to become. You start to see things in a more positive outlook. So, chill out, enjoy the journey, and be grateful for what you have.
“Remember, we are all Beyonce, always.”