Today I am sharing my experience from my academic life. I am sure we all have experienced these situations in some or the other way. These are the moments in my life that are very close to my heart. They are the reason for who I am today.
Note: Content in this blog is solely my view of things around me. Any conclusions made are my conclusions unless otherwise specified.
I am sure we all have heard “Bas 10th pass karlo fir life me aish hi aish hai” (translation: Pass your tenth standard with good grades and your life ahead is sorted) from elderly ones. This is the biggest lie that Indian parents tell their offsprings. I was also the one who firmly believed this is true. But I was completely wrong. I was a very bright student in my school and was amongst the toppers of my class. I had a fair reputation amongst staff members and I would live up to their expectations in various curricular activities held back then.
I worked hard throughout my ten years of formal education. In tenth board exams, I secured 89% which was not a huge score jump from my ninth, but I was satisfied with them. But this all seems fairly good. Where did I go wrong? It all began with the line I described above. I solidly believed that securing good grades in tenth was the end of all the hard work (ab to bas aish hi aish).
Soon I got admitted into Science college with Bifocal as my extra subject. I had heard all my cousins saying very good things about “College Life”. Some of them were:
With all those “good” things heard about college life, I thought this is it. Now is the time for all the enjoyment and fun. I went to college and the first year of my junior was the first turning point of my life.
Beginning my junior college with the belief that everything is good, I started with what everyone tends to do. I started bunking lectures, playing CS (counter strike) for almost half of my day, group meetups in the cafeteria and playing cricket. All things were sorted as I imagined until the result day. I secured a whopping 58%. Yes, a full score of 58%. For a 17-year-old, who once made a huge deal about grades in school was now sabotaged because of his score.
My feelings were shattered. I used to constantly think about what went wrong. Why it was JUST me (because I couldn’t see around because of my guilt). I firmly believe that grades are not the right factor to judge anyone, but think this way. Almost all universities in the world give admissions based on academic scores, recruiters come for placements with the criteria based on academics and grades. So I think until these factors change, grades and marks are the only means to judge someone’s “intelligence” in this hypothetical world.
I did recover in my twelfth standard and scored pretty good in boards. And now came my life’s second turning point. It was time to choose my graduation field. And in India, it is a pretty devastating experience. People give hundreds of opinions which leads to enormous confusion. I didn’t escape this caveat either. I was always fascinated with computers and I was pretty clear that I want to pursue computer engineering for my graduation. But due to some misleading factors (people), I started researching for aeronautical engineering. According to those “factors”, computer engineering does not have “scope” (which is very popularly used amongst parents these days). My parents always supported whatever I wanted to do. But it was me who was misled to another path.
I had almost made up my mind that aeronautical engineering is the one I genuinely wanted to pursue. It was just then when an uncle of mine (who is a software engineer himself) called me and asked me about the admissions. I told him everything, after which he came to know there was something fishy going on in my mind. He explained to me that how I was more inclined towards computers and did not know anything about aeronautical engineering. I still thank him for saving me from all the pain I would have to go through if I decided to pursue aeronautical engineering.
Engineering is the best thing that has ever happened to me. All those engineering memories are priceless. But I made many mistakes in engineering too. There are many, but I will share a few which I think have had a huge impact on me. I never had anyone in my friends or family who could guide me through various options in engineering. For example, after taking up computer engineering for graduation, I had little to no clue what’s it all about. I did not know what all courses/topics should I learn along with it. I didn’t know the latest tech and its applications in the real world. I wasn’t exposed to google that much those days, which was also a reason I wasn’t aware of different programming languages. I had only HEARD about C, C++ and JAVA. Because of these factors, I missed out two years of Engineering learning no significant skills. I used to just mug up things and pass exams.
This is when my life’s third turning point occurred. I consider it the most important amongst all three. Yogesh Babar sir conducted a workshop in our college on how to boot various operating systems on a single machine. It was amazing, the way he explained things got my attention and I was compelled to explore more on this. I remember, after the workshop I dual booted around 30+ laptops of my peers with Linux and Windows. But there was something more fascinating. At the end of the workshop, sir presented us with the project he was working with a tiny little machine in hand. It was a home automation project which he made using Raspberry Pi. In the demo, he showed us how to control lights and fans using that tiny device and our mobile phones. And I was stunned. I had never seen such a thing before. And sir if you’re by any chance reading this, this is the starting point of RIPPLE effect :) This made me think and apply everything I learn in real life.
The second big mistake I made in my engineering was the lack of networking. I attended/participated/organized many competitions throughout the engineering, but I was not able to maintain healthy networking with all the contacts. I am saying this because this is very important when you pass out from your colleges/universities.
Lastly was the relationship. I was in a relationship right from the second semester. I know many people may argue on this, but it is my personal opinion that I would have been even better today had I not being in that relationship.
This was my take on a few mistakes I made throughout my academics. I would like to know more if anyone wants to share some of there’s in the comment section below.
All content is licensed under the CC BY-SA 4.0 License unless otherwise specified