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The courses and books that are followed in IITs are the same as any other engineering college, even though what is expected of a student is vastly different. For a complete and fulfilling period in IIT, one must be ready to manage time from day 1. What other colleges cannot and do not offer, but IITs do, is the opportunity to participate in a lot of things in a short 4-5 years time. A well rounded life is one which involves sports, academics, cultural activities and a social life. For this, one must be ready to calculate and provide self feedback everyday to see if they are utilizing their full potential.

If Uncle Ben had to say something about life at IITs, he’d say, “With a lot of freedom comes a lot of distraction.” Getting into IITs is the easy part. The tough part is coming out of it with a few talents and not just a wash up. IITs are famous for their fast internet and large peer sharing network. This is a black hole of time. Anyone who seeks to be entertained will find it easily in the IITs but one can lose control when one is being entertained. Rather, it is safer to avoid soaps, movies and games until the second or third year. It is important to keep these things as what they are – passtime. When these become full-time, one has lost track.

It is said, hyperbolically, that your fate is sealed in the first month of entering the college. This has some truth in it. Once, a social group sets in and a routine begins, it becomes difficult to move away from it. It is, therefore, very important to network as much as possible in the first month of college. Talk to everyone and anyone you see. Be genuinely interested. Don’t just hit on the women. Exchange information, form a bond. One never knows when a particular person’s help is needed. Lives have changed by the people has one known.

The easiest way to survive classes is to be in them. The most effective way to study is to concentrate in classes. The fastest way to be ready for exams is to take notes in class. There is a reason why most extraordinary people seem to have nothing more than a proper routine and a discipline to follow it. It is easier to develop the discipline to go to the class everyday than to study one night before. Of course, there might be geniuses who do score high and are intelligent just by studying one night before the exams. But why go to all that trouble, when it is so much easier to manage time?

One might notice that the common thread in this post is about managing time. This is because there is nothing else more important in a college. Be mad about time. Be stingy about it. If you must party, fix a time for it. If you must go crazy, fix a time for it. There is no reason to be a goody two shoes in college, but there is every reason to be in control even when you go crazy. Because in the end of college, control is what it’s all about. What you can control is more often your time and how you spend it, but that is more than enough to succeed.

And finally… hit the gym. Or play a sport everyday. Make sure there is a place where you can go and unwind on the tough days. On the bad days. And there will be a lot of bad days. And one has to be blessed to have a place to go and unwind. It could be the gym. Get on the bar and do some dips. Watch yourself get calmer. Or it could be football. Dribble away. Take your mind off the projects, GPA, placements and the breakup. Unless you have a place like this to go to, it is more likely you’ll end up with vices that you can’t control. And control is all there is to concentrate on in IIT.

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