• By Taneea S Agrawaal

Ten years down the line, if somebody asks me, “What has been your best experience?” I’m positive I will reply with, “My college time has been my most valuable experience.”

It might not be surprising to you if I tell you that as a kid, all I wanted was to grow up. Living on my own, being responsible for myself and experiencing the freedom of adulthood plagued my thoughts since pupilage. Needless to say, coming to college was my ticket to experiencing the world of grownups.

And it was the first step. But not just to being old and mature. IIITD provided me with a plethora of values, experiences and skills that I know I will cherish for as long as I live. Continuing along the lines of me looking forward to the college experience, I was not a scared rat in a desert. Rather, I was the opposite.

I remember the first time I visited the campus, it was not what I had expected. It was spotless, clinical almost, as I had termed it then. But the cleanliness got the hygiene checked off of my mother’s checklist, which contained several checkboxes but was broadly categorized under – Hygiene, Education, and Students.

One down, two more to go.

It didn’t take long for the other two to be ticked off.

If you didn’t know already, the faculty at IIITD consists of highly qualified doctorates from esteemed universities, with extensive research and teaching experience. Meeting a couple of them on the day of the admission convinced my parents and me that I was going to be the next Einstein. The knowledge and methodology that the teaching staff seemed to possess was flabbergasting. In awe and with slight anxiety on my part, we moved on to the third and the final item – Students.

The IIITD community (or the IIITD family, as we like to call ourselves) are an exciting bunch. The enthusiasm and dedication for our goal leave many speechless (left me speechless at the time), and our ability to add an element of fun to the most mundane things is unparalleled. As I came to know, the cultural aspect of the Institute was also on par with some of the most culturally developed colleges, with the efficient organization of cultural events and fests (both technical and artistic). All this was reflected prominently in the few student volunteers that I spoke to, on the same day as my admission. (Yes, we also help out on critical days!)

The checklist was complete. My parents went home happy, I was a little apprehensive but excited all the same.

That was a year and a half ago. And not one day since then, has been the same.

Some may argue that the deadlines and the strenuous workload are the constants in our life; the back-to-back lectures are exhausting, and that our feet are more acquainted with the floor tiles of the library than the concrete of the basketball court. But not entirely. There is always something new to learn with each assignment, something that pushes us to strive harder and reach our goal. Even with numerous deadlines, you can always hear the strumming of the guitar, coming from the music room, be it day or night, or students strolling leisurely alone or in a group, chatting and laughing throughout the campus.

Having completed three (grueling, back-breaking but exhilarating) semesters, I can familiarize myself with different software in about two days (I should know, I’m familiar with about 7). Working closely with the faculty in pursuit of some research aspects, I can also say that coffee proves a much better friend than any other when you have to stay up all night reading. Oh! I also redesigned the institute’s IT Portal and am currently developing a website.

At the same time, I can now head the literary society of my institute, be an active member of the editorial board, write for the college newsletter, and be an active part of an initiative that aims at teaching students from underprivileged backgrounds about fundamental problem solving and communication skills.

And I’m still alive.

My time at IIITD has taught me to participate and explore. To have a strong work ethic and to make an impact wherever I go. To pay attention to the little things. IIITD will teach you how to be a grown-up and how to act like one. But it will also teach you never to let go of the child in you.

Taneea S Agrawaal
B.Tech 2014