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Memoir of an IITian: The Initial Days at IIT-Delhi

The first time I stood in front of the IIT Delhi gate as a student, it filled me with a sense of happiness and excitement. I had achieved my dream of pursuing computer sciences from one of the best colleges in the country and felt like I was ready to ace this and transform my life.

My life did transform, just not according to how I had exactly planned it. As I pen this down with nostalgia, here are the major realizations (rather reality-checks) that I experienced set the premise about how life is going to be at IIT Delhi, my dream college:-

The struggle has just begun

I knew the hard work, dedication, and exhaustion that went in to secure my admission in IIT Delhi. It felt like an achievement and being honest, I had a sense of pride in my aura. However, observing the students and environment, I realized that the real struggle had just begun.

Contrary to my definition of a relaxed and chilled out college life, the people here, or at least the ones I met, were running the race to success right from Day 1. The fear of not getting a job, not being able to learn a great number of things, clearing exams, and living up to the “IIT Tag” had already seeped its way in. In simple terms: For me, it was 4 years of college life at IIT Delhi. For them, it was 4 years ONLY.

Career Dilemma

The biggest realization of all. When I entered IIT Delhi, it was clear to me that I wanted to make my career in the field of coding and software development. Aligned with the market demand, my interest, and the conventional definition of an engineer. But, then it all changed the day I was looking for a circular on the official college website and managed to explore the alumni network.

For me, IIT Delhi students were just technical geniuses and the concept of entrepreneurship was budding back then.

I also came across a dynamic list of people who’ve passed out of this institution, and had an inspirational journey, such as Avinash Chander, Pawan Sinha, Rajat Khare, R.S.Pawar, Rajat Gupta, Vinod Khosla, Sachin Bansal, Deepinder Goyal, Neeraj Arora, and many more.

For the first time, it felt like I was at the right place to make my career without being sure of my career. There was still a lot to explore.

Alumni Network

IIT Delhi had always been a dream because it is different for any other branch of the institution. The college initiatives, facilities, and students are the primary factors that, at least for me, make IIT Delhi, the best. I’ll back this with an example.

While I was feeling a little directionless and consequently, demotivated because of the absence of a definitive career path, I came across the IIT Delhi Alumni Network. Rohit Thomas Koshy, the President of the network, flunked a year at IIT, took CAT six times, and then, in 2003, scored 99.78 in CAT. In spite of this, he managed to get interview calls from six IIMs.

As I read about their professions and life journey, especially after their degree from IIT Delhi, I felt connected. Honestly, it somehow seemed like Avinash Chander, Pawan Sinha, Rajat Khare, R.S.Pawar, Rajat Gupta, Vinod Khosla, or any of those alumni’s might have gone through the same dilemma at their time.

Best part? IIT Delhi alumnus is a community in itself, which makes networking, self-help, and career discussions easy.

Professors

Thankfully, most of the teachers at IIT Delhi know what students go through with each passing year and thus, are very supportive. More than faculty, they act as guides and mentors to our ideas, fears, and worries. There is no doubt about their knowledge prowess, of course.

However, there is this small chunk of professors who bring you back to reality and remind that securing admission in IIT D is just the beginning. I still remember one of my professors saying something similar to you all have cleared the exam. Good. Congratulations. Now, you’re just students in a classroom. Let’s study!

People at IIT Delhi

Arguably the most beautiful, vivid, and difficult experience of my life: People at IIT Delhi. Initially, it felt every person is a different personality. No common grounds. Everyone had a couple of tangents to talk about and then back to their own shell. It took some time, but I found my kind of people through Cricket, Tea, and Coding. Once that happened, IIT became a unique journey in itself.

To conclude, I’m nostalgic. After four years of computer science, I can say three things for sure:-

  1. IIT Delhi is not a college. It is a world in itself.
  2. IT will change you. For better or worse? You decide.
  3. Late night walks around the peaceful campus. You’ll miss it the most.

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