I graduated from college in May 2015. The years I spent at NIT Surathkal were my best – and at the same time the hardest years of my life. I’d never trade these four years for anything else in the world.
Looking back at my time at NITK, here’s a compilation of things I wish I had known back in my first year, and probably what every incoming freshman needs to know about NITK Surathkal. So here it goes:-
- Your All India Rank will not matter at all, once you are in college.
Your All India Rank is just a number, and your achievements in high school will not count. Life in college is a fresh start.
- About Professors:-
(a) There are good and bad professors everywhere – In IITs,BITS, Harvard or even Stanford. There’s a professor in my dept (Chemical) whose research work has been cited more than 300 times in the Academic Community. There are some professors in NITK working on Govt projects worth more than a crore. You just need to find the good ones and build a rapport with them.
(b) NITK has more than than 150 faculty who have a PhD. That’s roughly 12-15 teachers per department who have done their PhD. In an average college, you wouldn’t find more than 20 PhD holding faculty in the entire college.
Most college ranking magazines, rank the teaching staff on the basis of their qualifications and research output, rather than their quality of teaching. More qualified the professors are, the better and higher the research output from the college, and better the institute’s rankings. So NITK scores well there.
(c) Be careful to not hurt any professor’s ego. And try doing some projects under them. You will learn a lot when you work with them.
- Alumni Network:-
NITK has over 30,000 alumni all over the world and our alumni association is very well connected. Unlike most other colleges, NITK alumni actually come back to the college and take initiatives to help the current students.
Your undergraduate college would be a critically important professional network throughout your life. Make the most out of it.
- Entrepreneurship & NITK STEP:-
STEP stands for “Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Park”. NITK STEP is an incubation centre located on the NITK beach road. They mentor and fund startups from NITK and the nearby regions. STEP also has an office space, solely dedicated to NITK student entrepreneurs.
If you do have plans to get into entrepreneurship, NITK STEP will be very useful network.
- Student Research Activities (SRA):-
SRA is a scheme where students are partially funded by the institute to go for internships abroad or presenting papers in a conference in India. Each student is eligible for funding only once in an academic year.
The grants for the internship abroad is around Rs65-70k per student. The maximum allowance for conference paper presentation is Rs10,000.
While the institute pays for half of your total expenses, it is worth putting in other half of the money from your side and explore a different city/country.
These “internship abroad” experiences in your college life would be a story worth telling.
- Choosing your Branch:-
Do not choose a branch by its “placements”. Choose a branch on the basis of your interest and years down the line, you will not regret it.
And don’t listen to all the bullshit people say about Meta/ Mining/ Chem/ Civil/ Mech having lower packages. There will be only 2-3 people in the Comps/IT class who will get Rs70 lakhs per annum which will be all over the news. The rest earn average salary.
While most people will tell you that we are the only college in the country to have our own private beach, you need to know that swimming in the beach is really dangerous, due to the underwater currents. You are advised to NEVER swim in the beach.
The beach is generally a chill out spot, jogging spot or a dating point. Occasionally, students also play beach football etc.
- Weather & Clothing:-
There are only 2 seasons in Mangalore i.e. “Hot” and “Very Hot”. Buy your clothing accordingly.
In the classrooms, you are not allowed to wear shorts or 3/4ths. As long as you are in full pants, what you wear to class doesn’t matter at all.
I’ve seen people coming for 7:55am class in bathroom slippers, so you don’t really have to be a style freak.
- About Block Timings:-
First year boys have block timings of 10pm. It will be fun to NOT return on time, as long as you don’t get caught by the Warden. Do crazy things and break the rules, as long as you don’t damage any college property and don’t get caught.
B’coz when you leave college, you will cherish all the stupid things that you did with your friends during your first year.
- All nighters and Night Canteen:-
You can stay awake as long as you want, ‘coz when you are hungry there are three night canteens in the campus open till 3am. Even after that, there are nearby dhabbas that are open till 6am. Wanna stay up for some more time? You can have breakfast from mess at 7am and then go to sleep.
When you are working in a metropolitan city like Bangalore, away from your parents, it will be almost impossible to find some food, if you’re hungry at 2am. Make the most out of Night Canteens while you are on campus.
- About CGPA :-
You may have been the topper of your class in high school, yet you might end up in the bottom half of your class in college.
The first CC/DD grade will hurt a lot. Just the first one. You’ll soon get used to it.
- About Mess Food:-
Mess food sucks. You will always hate the mess food.
The meals you have with your first year mates will be the best that you’ve ever had, although you will always keep complaining about the food.
- About Politics :-
There is a lot of politics within the student community at NITK, especially during the Student Council Election times. And there’s no need to be scared or run away from it.
When you move into the corporate world, you are bound to experience a lot of this politics again. Your experiences as a student, no matter how bad they are, will prepare you for your life ahead.
And when you graduate from NITK, these “college politics stories” are something that you’ll always laugh at, and it’ll help you bond with any NITK alumni.
- About Friendship :-
Over the four years of your college life, your friends will change a lot. Let them change.
Friends made in the first semester, may not remain friends in the second semester. That’s completely normal and happens with everyone.
- About diversity and learning:-
You may have come to NITK to study engineering, but over the four years you’ll end up learning more about “LIFE” than engineering.
You’ll come across people from nearly every state in India, and from varied economic backgrounds. Embrace this diversity because every person has something unique to offer.
Your “Real Education” in college life, will mostly come from your peer group instead of classroom lectures.
- The Fests – Incident and Engineer :-
Do not go back home during your first Incident and Engineer. And give a tight slap to anyone who says that the “pact that lost elections” should go home during the fests. These fests, being among the best in India, would be an integral part of your college experience – Irrespective of being on the winning or losing side, you’ll make memories worth a lifetime.
Atleast once in your college life, get high in Red Rock before Incident DJ nights. You probably won’t remember whatever happened that night, but it’d still be a memorable experience.
- Student Clubs :-
Clubs will NOT matter at all on your resume – Neither during placements nor after graduation.
Club are probably the best way to get to know seniors, and some of these seniors would end up being your “Mentors” for lifetime. Try being a part of clubs for the fun and networking sake, and not for your resume.
And don’t hope that you’ll get to meet hot senior chicks in club events. That will never happen.
- About Girls:-
The boys to girls ratio is really bad, though HOT GIRLS DO EXIST. Yes, They do.
You just need to keep your eyes open and look around. And there are a lot of “dating points” on campus, where you can happily spend “quality time” with your girlfriend.
- About Ragging:-
Great friendships are built during ragging sessions with seniors. Most ragging sessions are fun and seniors make you sing/dance etc.
And it is only during ragging sessions that you can propose to a hot senior girl, even when her boyfriend is standing right next to her, and still get away with it.
Although if you are beaten physically or tortured, you are always free to complain.
- Free time & Life in the hostels :-
When you have more than 50 things happening every week on campus, playing FIFA/DOTA or watching TV shows all day on your laptop is pretty much a waste of your time.
When you look back at your college days, you will not find a sense of accomplishment in all the TV shows you’ve watched or all that Fifa/Dota games that you’ve won. STOP wasting your time on all that.
Bottomline:- In the long run, the NITK name on your resume won’t matter much if that’s the only thing on your resume. What matters the most is, what you do with the opportunities that you are given here. So go ahead and make the most out of your time on campus, and make as many memories as possible. ‘Coz these days will never come back.
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