Settling Down in College

If you have completed your 10+2 with Science, you were probably aspiring for a seat in a “professional course”. When your friends from Commerce and Arts were relaxing after the final PUC exams, you were slogging away to appear for IITJEE, AIEEE or CET exams. When the CET results came, and if your merit ranking was not very high, you went through the suspense of whether you will get a seat in a good college. The counselling process took its own sweet time, and you finally managed to get a seat allotted, either in a college of your choice, or by compromising for some other. The journey of becoming an engineer has now begun.

As soon as you start your course, you realize that things are completely different as compared to PUC or CBSE or ISC, whichever stream you came from. And you know that you now have four years to struggle before you can call yourself a qualified engineer (i.e. if you are not one of the unlucky ones who lose a year or two). Since this is a crucial phase of your life, which is going to prepare you for your future as a professional, it is essential that you need to prepare and adapt yourself suitably. Here are some practical tips


The engineering college inevitably has a different atmosphere, since the teachers, labs and the facilities are quite unique. Get yourself familiarized with the entire campus, explore every nook and corner, visit the other departments, introduce yourself to each teaching and non-teaching staff member. Get acquainted with not only the rules and regulations, but also the unwritten rules and norms that are expected to be followed.

Find out also about the extra-curricular activities and see where you fit in. It is essential that you give yourself an all-round development. Make yourself self-reliant in terms of all the day to day needs, and start using the library. The faster you make yourself familiar with each aspect of the campus, the smoother your stay for the next four years is going to be.


If you are living in a hostel or a PG accommodation away from home, particularly if you have left your family for the first time, be prepared for facing some amount of loneliness and depression. Try and get comfortable with the food, find out alternative foods available so that once in a while you can have a change. Try to make a habit of managing your clothes, inculcate the discipline needed to get through the morning routine, and find ways and means of developing friends so that you don’t feel homesick.


Make friends with as many as possible, not just from your own class or section. Do not make the mistake of getting identified with one “gang” in the initial stages. However interesting they may seem, keep away from the frivolous ones who believe in enjoying life at the cost of academics. Don’t feel bad if you cannot maintain the life standard of some of the richer ones, particularly those who flaunt mobile phones or motorbikes. These are very minor aspects of life, and you will soon get over the craze.


After your tenth standard, you had no board exam for two years, and you have probably got tuned to studying only for the “final” exam. In a professional course, every semester has an exam whose weightage is equal to all other semesters. Your final grade will be an average of all the semesters. Hence get into the habit of studying for each semester without delay. Be aware of the subjects you are finding difficult, and seek help in them if necessary.

Talk to seniors and teachers and find out about the subjects you will be studying in the subsequent semesters, so that you feel connected to the course you have taken up. Start looking up data about the industry you will be joining. The more you know about your future, the more interesting your studies will appear to you. Identify teachers who are not only knowledgeable but also interested in students, and you will find that you can learn a lot from them outside the classroom.


If for any reason you are confused or doubting whether you have landed up in the wrong place, do a quick analysis without getting too sentimental about it. Try to pinpoint what exactly is causing you the distress. If it is homesickness, remind yourself that it will not last long. If it is fear of some new subjects, you can always put in some extra effort and get familiarized with them. If it is a major doubt like whether you have done the right thing in taking up engineering at all, then do introspect, discuss with your parents and if possible with a career counsellor, and find out whether you would like to continue. In this aspect keep in mind the fact that engineering sharpens your abilities and opens doors for you in a wide variety of fields – so you can always switch over after completing your B.E.

By Ali Khwaja

Career Guidance

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