Coming to university means becoming associated with a whole new identity – one that will
stick with you for life. BITS Pilani, like any other university, has a culture, and it will rub off on you through your time here.
Of course, art of any campus culture is the myths that surround it. These range from the fantastical ghost stories and murder mysteries, to simpler, more banal misinterpretations.
So yeah, you’re a BITSian and all, woohoo, but blind faith doesn’t help anyone. Have you been advised to “Lock yourself up in a room and concentrate on ishtudies, beta.”, or, more horrifically, to “take lite”? We’re here to bust these myths.
Myth 1 – Clubs and all come later – you should only focus on academics in your first year.
Hey, give yourself some credit. You cleared a pretty tough exam to get here. You’re not
stupid. If college is the final training for life, this is where you start learning to manage work
and play. This is the part of your life where you focus on working smart, as opposed to working hard. It’s okay to want to score well, but it is not okay to give up on your dreams of singing or dancing or playing football or learning a new skill. You DO NOT need to lock yourself up and study for seventeen hours a day, and if you still don’t believe us, just come to campus and ask around – there are plenty of multi-talented people doing really well academically.
Bottom line – prioritize, and make sure you have a good time and challenge yourself. Academics and extra-curriculars are NOT mutually exclusive.
Myth 2 – It’s really, really hard to do well in college.
Here’s something I was told that I remember cheered me up a whole lot – you will never,
EVER, EVER AGAIN have to study as long and as hard as you had to in the last two years (three, if you’re really unlucky). Again, work smart, not hard – everything your parents told you was a lie (assuming they told you that only hard work pays). There’s no single formula to doing
well, but there are enough people in college for you to talk to and figure out what works for
you. If you really care about doing well – it’s not that hard to keep your CGPA ‘healthy’.
Bottom line – if academics are important to you, you will definitely find a way to do well.
Myth 3 – “Arre, Goa mein kaun padhta hai? Goa toh party spot hai!”
HAHAHAHAHAHA no. We are run by BITS Pilani. Even the administration knows that booze
is cheap and that beaches are nearby. There are rules, and strict ones at that. There’s a proper Disciplinary Committee. Now, if you want to be bad, you can be bad anywhere – Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Ranchi, Rourkela (just ask your seniors who’ve come back from PS). The campus is strict enough that you’ll have to go far out of your way to be that naughty.
Secondly, if the alumni are anything to go by, the Goa Campus is rapidly making a name for itself. It surpasses most Indian colleges in the competitive coding scene (Google Summer of Code and so on). Placements are improving every year. Prospects for further education look good. The legendary BITS freedom ensures that you can pursue your interests and actually make a career outside engineering. Come, talk to your seniors for great and inspiring stories.
What we’re saying is: (“Son is studying in Goa” implies that “He’s a raging alcoholic.”) = FALSE
Bottom line –If you want to shine, be our guest, you crazy diamond.
Myth 4 – “Labs? Take lite dude, one unit only.”
Learn early on that nothing is truly ‘lite’. One would think lab courses are the easiest to
score in, but the truth is that they aren’t – these courses also have a bottom grade. Of
course, regular attendance alone guarantees that you won’t get an NC(Not Cleared) or a D. But in order to do well you’d still have to study (maybe an hour or two) every week before the lab.
Let’s be real, this is the proportionate amount for these courses. They do count for only one
Bottom line – learn to judge what can and cannot be ‘taken lite’. Seniors are here to help
you with this.
Myth 5 – “Go to college, beta, you’ll understand how bad food can be.”
Sorry, mom, but that lesson will have to wait. The mess food is not inedible. In fact, it’s
actually quite good. The breakfast is actually one of the best you’ll find in a mess anywhere –
bread, butter, jam, coffee, tea, bournvita, corn flakes, eggs and an Indian dish. What more
could you ask for? The campus eateries are good too, with an interesting variety of
unhealthy substitutes. Of course, it all gets boring at times, and you will miss home. But that
universal groan from any hostel-dweller when you ask him “How’s the food?” – you won’t
be groaning along.
Bottom line – the food is not at all as bad as you would expect.
Myth 6 – “It’s better to buy a laptop next year, I should settle down first.”
A laptop is helpful – even in first year, it can make your life a lot easier. For academic
purposes, the Computer Centre (CC) certainly fulfils all your needs (lecture slides, AutoCAD for Engineering Graphics, and Computer Programming). But when you’re struggling to revise slides a few hours before your exam, or when you REALLY need to Google something that isn’t in your textbook, or when you need to run your code in C to understand what that pesky printf function is really doing, you might just wish you had a laptop. The CC does not run as per your convenience. Sometimes, it is shut the during exams to prepare the systems for lab examinations. Our advice – get a laptop early on, and learn to self-regulate. There’s a whole lot more you can accomplish with a laptop, and you know you’re going to at some point.
Side-note to parents – getting a nice laptop with some gaming capacity does not mean your
kid will lock himself up in his room shooting virtual terrorists all day. There are plenty of
people who are avid gamers and have healthy social and academic lives as well.
Bottom line – get a laptop. Use it well.
Myth 7 – “Mess food will make me lose weight, junk food will make me gain weight, end
result, SAME WEIGHT!”
You deluded child. Yes, we get that you’re thrilled that mom isn’t around to glare at you
while you choke down that karela. But suddenly, you’re in the scary position of being
responsible for your own health choices. Think about it – the eating and exercising habits
you develop now are likely to be with you for the rest of your life. Stay healthy. Play a sport.
Run around campus (it’s beautiful). Go trekking. Stay active. Eat everything.
But make sure that you’re healthy. If you feel unwell, tell people. Friends, family, someone.
Bottom line – you’re in charge of your health. That can be both a good and a bad thing, but
make sure it’s only good for you.
Myth 8 – “Ah! College! Wait, it’s been six months, why hasn’t my soulmate come running
to me yet?”
Get rid of your sense of entitlement. People are complex, and college is your training space
to get to understand them better. If you find someone you like being with, great for you. If
you don’t, it isn’t the end of the world. To quote an example – “What did I expect from college? I expected it to rain heavily and for me to be the only guy with a huge umbrella and for a pretty girl to be standing under it with me.” Yeah, unlikely. Sex ratio is 10:1.
Don’t worry, lots of dudes will come share your umbrella if it does start pouring.
For more romantic advice, come to your trusty seniors.
Bottom line – Self-love is the best kind of love, focus on yourself. If you find someone to
share that with, well and good.
Myth 9 – “I was really popular/unpopular in school. Making friends is going to be easy as
1-2-3/insanely difficult as multivariable calculus.”
For starters, you have our sympathy. Multivariable calculus is indeed very, very hard. Now,
in the BITSian spirit of duals everywhere, we address this two-part myth.
Though people may have told you that college friendships are the best, building them is a
complex process. Doesn’t matter what a stud you were in school – you’re a new kid in town
out here, and you start the same as everyone. Forging bonds takes time and patience. Your
first friends may not be the ones you spend your college life with. They take their time.
Don’t be let down that the first people you meet aren’t as close as you expected. You’ll find
the right ones sooner or later.
Now, for you loners from school. Welcome to Fresh Start 1.0. In case you were too busy
wallowing in misery to read that paragraph above – you’re a new kid in town out here, and
you start the same as everyone. Assert yourself and seek out the people you like. Don’t be
afraid to meet people, and you’ll find them enjoying your company just as much as you
Bottom line – Expect your life to change. You’re not in school any longer. Take charge, and
steer in the direction you want, with the people you like.
Myth 10 – “Listen to your seniors – they are older and wiser and know better.”
What a joke. Your seniors know nothing. They’re just like you, bumbling through life, trying
to find their way. Their experiences are but a subset of the infinitude of what you will
experience and learn and understand. Take everything they say with a huge helping of salt.
Hah, seniors. They think they know so much. They think they’re always so right…
As a matter of fact, we don’t even know why we wrote this article…
Article will be completed when the authors know what they’re doing with their lives.