Narratives

Confessions of a B.Tech student – Part 2

There goes a saying in Kerala that if you walk into a street and throw a stone at the passers-by, the odds of it hitting an engineer/engineering graduate/engineering student (Oh yes, trust me, these three ARE different!) are extremely high. No surprises there! Keralites are obsessed with Engineering and Medicine! More often than not, most people take up B.Tech because that’s what’s expected of them (That, and several other reasons! I could go on about that. But that would mean deviating from the topic at hand.) It’s after they complete B.Tech (or four years, whichever comes first!) that they decide what they want to do with their lives! What I’m about to list out are a few points that every engineering student can relate to…

There’s a huge difference between ‘standard’ textbooks and the ‘capsule’ variety.
While the former is what most of our professors swear by, it goes without saying that it’s mostly all Greek to us. Not only are the names Roddy-Coolen, Sedra and Smith, Neamen, Oppenheimer, Ben G. Streetman, Milman & Taub rather a mouthful to say, their contents are also equally intimidating! But the capsule variety is a lifesaver. Capsule textbooks are our stepping-stones to the standard ones. (If and when we do read the standard ones!) There’s only so much you can learn when you’re running out of time!!!

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We could probably buy a car with all that money we spent on photocopies over the course of four years!
Because textbooks are too mainstream. Photocopied notes are “legendary” materials, handed down from seniors to juniors. This cycle goes on indefinitely.

This is where you learn how to cover three modules on the eve of University exams.
Granted, there might be a lot of “skipping” over portions, but this is no easy task.

Every six months, millions of B.Tech students take “burning the midnight oil” to the next level. The day before the exam is probably the only day when our textbooks don’t induce sleep.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      compressed-1n

There’s a huge difference between expectation and reality!

This is when you learn to acknowledge why there’s always a practical case behind every ideal case.

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GPA isn’t everything. Bookish knowledge and practical knowledge are oceans apart!
Being a 9-pointer or 8-pointer doesn’t mean you’re a master of the subject. Watch out for the 6-pointers and 7-pointers. These are the brilliant minds who are simply too lazy to study. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule!
Not every 8 or 9-pointer is clueless and not every 6 or 7-pointer is a genius!

The amount of stuff that you can cram into your brain is inversely proportional to the time remaining until the exam.
As the timer counts down, our ability to study increases. We all have that one friend who always gives a crash course session just before the exam starts!

The fact that I’m an ECE student doesn’t make people stop telling me that I “should know” all about buildings, computers, power stations, automobiles, etc.
” You’re supposed to know this! You’re an engineer ” is what they tell me. I probably won’t be able to answer your queries regarding my own branch, let alone other branches! Also, when it comes to repairing TV, AC, refrigerators or any other electrical/electronic gadget ever invented, I’m as clueless as you are. And no, that does not make me any less of an engineer.

Dear Google, Wikipedia, Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V,
We would be lost without you. You are the reason we managed to complete every assignment, seminar, project and report.

The word “viva” definitely sends a shiver down your spine.
Viva sessions are a compilation of moments when our technical, as well as creative abilities, are put to the test. Watch a hilarious video about B.Tech viva sessions here.

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The moment when you step out of the lab after a viva session is when you feel like you’re in the middle of a press conference! 

You will be surrounded by your friends the moment you step out of the lab after viva. The very same friends will first thank you for providing the answers to all the viva questions, and then beat you up for studying!

Marks secured for the University exams don’t mean squat if you are “under”
Your sessional marks can make or break you (and your career, I daresay)

We’re all tired of people who question us about our dream career or worse try to give unsolicited advice.
For more on this, read my previous post.

Our IV (Industrial Visit) is simply the best part of our college lives.
Although the name is quite misleadingIV = crazy good times. Enough said!

Exams reaffirm our faith in God.
Prayers, frequent visits to places of worship serve to further enhance our “confidence” before exams. Our devotion and faith in God are pushed to new heights when exams are around the corner.

Exams bring out the innovators in us.
One does not complete engineering without mastering how to ‘present’ the same answer in ‘n’ different ways for ‘n’ questions.

Why you should enter the class early (if at all, you are attending!)
90% – So that you don’t have to sit on the front bench.
10% – For attendance.

Only Kerala University students can relate to the next few points…

We’re used to seeing unfamiliar terms on the question paper.
It’s a wonder if the question paper is strictly within our syllabus.

We’re masters of preparing for exams at short notices. Our exam timetable doesn’t get published until two weeks before the exam. 

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It’s almost a right of passage to forward a representation letter, that raises our various complaints, to the Vice-Chancellor of Kerala University, as soon as our exams are over.

We don’t have to fear about our results being published immediately after our exams. Instead, the results of our previous semester get published just days before our next semester exams.

This is probably the only university that conducts improvement/supplementary exams before the re-evaluation results are published.

The odds of an exam being postponed are very high, even an hour before the start of the exam.

AFTERWORD

*This article is far from being complete. There’s so much that happens over the course of four years. This is merely a brief summary. After all, engineers are an awesome subset of humans, who are trained to withstand all kinds of adverse environments. I dedicate this post to all the engineers and engineering students! 🙂

© 2016 Shweta Suresh. All rights reserved.

Image courtesy: Pixabay, facebook

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37 thoughts on “Confessions of a B.Tech student – Part 2

    1. I hear what we go through is nothing when compared to medical students. Thanks for reading, Ameena! ☺ ECE is short for electronics and communication engineering. That’s one of the many branches in engineering and the one I’ve chosen for B.Tech.

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  1. My dad was an aerospace engineer in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. I inherited his math ability without his compulsion for detail, so I majored in Theatre and English Lit. lol. Thanks for finding me — I am going to enjoy reading whatever you write!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Shweta, this was a fun read. My husband is an engineer and he has shared some similar experiences with me. Keep staying who you are 🙂
    ❤ Dajena

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Here In Kerala once you pass the school days the next question people ask you is “Which are you opting for higher studies, Medicine or Engineering”…..

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      1. Yaa funny part is dat.. One of ma distant grandma.. on hearing that i opted for BA she became agitated and told me i opted for it.
        According to her being an engineer and doctor is everthing in the world

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  4. I enjoyed these confessions, the first part as well as the second part. Life doesn’t seem to have changed much for students. The system is still the same — the mad scramble for photocopied notes, the search for guides, and of course, the cramming before exams. I was hoping it would be different for my son.

    Liked by 1 person

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