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How Is College Life at IIT – Rat Race or Adventure? 3 IITians Answer

Life at Indian Institutes of Technology can be a dream come true for some and quite a contrasting experience for others. These three students share about what life on campus means for IITians.

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To be able to get admission into one of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) is a dream come true for most engineering aspirants. Reason being they are one of the most prestigious institutes in the country. But what is the life of an IITian and how is it different from other colleges?

The hostel life, academics and extracurricular activities are stupendous at every IIT. From study materials, technological assistance, sporting activities to art and placement opportunities — these institutes are equipped with the works.

Here’s the story of three IITians who shared via Quora posts what it’s like to study on these campuses.

“It is a time to learn, live, love, laugh and make some invaluable lifetime bonds with people.”

For Deepak Singhanwal, who completed his Bachelor of Technology from IIT Varanasi, his experience at the college was summed up in one word — “life”.

He wrote, “They are only four or five years [of college] but they are there with you for a lifetime.”

“Most of the people are living in the IIT hostels, which is an incomparable experience. You live among hundreds of teenagers who are of your age — they act like you, behave like you (not in every way though) and live with you. You find friends in your batchmates, roommates and other hostel mates. There are no parents, relatives or anyone else. Just you and your friends,” he added.

“There is a lot of competition in a class due to the grades being awarded relatively.”

While doing his third year B Tech in Computer Science degree at IIT Kharagpur, Akash Tiwari said, “We have the same codes running in our compiler’s lab since 2010. Each year the problems are the same — students copy from seniors who copied from their seniors the previous year and so on.”

The three major difficulties faced by students at IITs, he said, are the ‘toxic competition’ among classmates, ‘more is better mentality’ from professors and loads of assignments.

“We’re bombarded with so many assignments and submissions that we have almost no time to do any extracurriculars that we are interested in,” he wrote.

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These reasons, he said, increases students’ stress levels, which lead to serious issues like “suicide and addiction”. “It’s no surprise that a lot of students here get addicted to drugs and fall into other bad habits. Suicide rates are also high among IITians due to the same,” he added.

“The most important thing that IIT life inculcates in you is that you become a better decision-maker, face reality, become more hard working, learn to manage time, and much more.”

Apart from the facilities and exposure, the life of an average IIT student is filled with heaps of assignments, hours of lectures and toxic competition.

Aditya Sharma, who completed his B Tech in Electrical Engineering from IIT Roorkee, shared, “The start of my journey with IIT was a bit topsy turvy as shown in the above graph. I didn’t know at the beginning what a person as an IITian should focus on — whether it was academics or skill development, or was it a life of enjoyment. I was of the mindset that I should not care about grades or placement and enjoy life.”

Having passed his JEE, he wondered if he had to suffer the same fate. “I was devastated at the moment. Do I have to do the same amount of work as I did in JEE for four more years or will this continue for my whole life?”

Writing about his most valuable lessons learnt at the college he said, “I was very bad at decision making, but when you are forced to make them, you commit mistakes, and it’s important that you learn from your mistakes.”

But while Aditya agreed with the surmounting stress levels, he said, “You have to work hard in order to gain something, and there’s nothing sad about that.”

(Edited by Yoshita Rao)

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