How To Survive The Initial Period Of Degree After Diploma In Engineering!

by Tejas Nair

Lots of people had to say lots of things about a previous article I had written on the same topic. Ayush Pandey, a friend of mine has just completed three years of his life-changing four-year diploma course and he is kinda in a kettle of fish. This guide is for people like him.

You have just passed out of diploma and you aspire to join degree in some extremely fashion-centered college. SIES (Nerul), for instance. Mind you, every single college is different in its own style but when it comes to education, things look, and unfortunately are similar. I say this not because I have studied in different colleges, but because I have honest friends who all write or talk memoirs. So, here goes, in a particular order!

  • Quota or No Quota: The online admission process sucks. You need to choose which University you will opt for the next three years of your life. Some options are the politically controlled Mumbai University, unmindful Pune University or some other state University like the popular Manipal University. After you get out of the University selection universe, think about your origins. If your cast certificate (get one immediately if you don’t have it; Domicile Certificate is equally important; Aadhaar UID Card is still not operational in the education system; it is high time Nandan Nilekani stops welcoming his co-founder friend to Infosys and concentrate on his governmental affairs) says SC/ST/NT/OBC or any other casts except ‘Open,’ you need not worry at all. Colleges will come to your doorstep. If you are one of that ‘Open’ caste-wala, then we are friends. I don’t care if your parents work in Navy or if your Mother is a local politician, but if you are handicapped, then the education system should be praised. Worry not, colleges like SIES & K J Somaiya have minority quota for the poor ‘Open’ guys (if you compare the salary graphs of your father and your SC/ST/NT/OBC friend’s father’s, then you will know how many millions your family falls short of to win the race) which means if you are a South-Indian or Gujarati, procuring a seat will be simpler. Try hatching all the choices you have. Do not consult your relatives.
  • The Scholarship: Your fees will range from thousands to few lacs depending upon the admission criteria i.e. donation or no donation, SC/ST/NT/OBC complete their engineering with an amount you monthly pay your maid. And ironically, the people who have maids to do their household chores are SC/ST/NT/OBC. Once you start attending the lectures, make sure you check for the websites of trusts which give scholarships. For Gujaratis, there are hundreds of trusts. But we are interested in the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust Scholarship, which will give you your full fees back. Trust me, 90% people get the cash. I had received a hefty amount of INR 90600. And the best part is, you can apply every year, the worst part being you should score above 80% aggregate.
  • Extra Lectures: Most colleges who want their students to do well academically will conduct extra classes. Sit for these lectures and you won’t complain.
  • Tuitions/Classes/Mentors: I won’t suggest any of ’em. I have friends (who were toppers during diploma) that flunk in subjects even after spending thousands to those professors who have the most bumptious nicknames like “Don,” “Raja,” “RR,” “Mangal,” “Hero” & “Saviour.” They will eat your wallet and time. Many people who join these classes boast about how their professors had set the last year’s paper. They are either lying or have been fooled by their tutors. People suggest you go for the subject Maths, but I will recommend you to get your basics clear by buying some reference books of first year engineering degree. They work. Also, do not rely on Techmax publications which spoon feed you the concepts. Get hold of authors’ books and things will be different. I have read Bhargava’s Basic Electronic System two times and now after five years into engineering, I know how a BJT works. Simple.
  • Efforts: Do a little (1%) more than what you did during your diploma times. That one percent amounts to about forty percent in degree, which is the minimum passing mark.
  • Teachers’ Pet: This doesn’t work in degree. Teachers already have their pets and diploma students are considered aliens. The best bet is to eye a new-comer professor. He will support you like you will support him. And if he talks your Mother’s tongue, bingo!
  • The Students’ Council*: Try and join it. People will know you and soon, things will be nice and easy. This is by far the best thing to do in order to survive the initial period of degree after diploma in engineering.

I won’t stretch this because I don;t have the mojo to turn an introvert into an extrovert. Golden rule: Do not keep your mouth shut and whenever a conversation inkling shows up, snatch it like you are a tiger. But, don’t be a windbag. All the best!

All I can say is, everyone can pull this off if they really want to excel in this field. Concentration is the key. If something doesn’t seem right, talk about it with your family. Or girlfriend. Or boyfriend.

*As suggested by a close friend Sushanth Nair, it will take more than Students’ Council to become popular. You will have to be lively and social. You should know people and over that, how to interact with them. You also need not join a council to be famous. Just skip the lectures, and hang out around the canteen patting cats or dogs. If people notice you, bingo! Otherwise, you possibly are hideous or don’t have a swag. Mind you!

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