Houston, we have a problem. It’s the juniors!

Pointers, tips and everything that will make your life easy.

The fact stands through time and testimony: New kids don’t know a thing about campus culture. So if you, junior, expect to strut in and sail by, that’s not actually happening. This is where a useful tool comes by, mark my words, it’s called research. And we’ve got the research all laid out for you. This, and some soft treading, can get you through unscathed while churning the best out of your college experience. Here are a few pointers that can, potentially, make your life easy, and not aggravate the seniors (cough!). Take note, carefully. Very carefully.

  1. Don’t stay in your room all day long. Don’t be a shut in. College is a new life. The infinite freedom might be overwhelming at times, especially if you’ve never been in a hostel before. You might lose yourself gaming, watching shows and movies (of all kinds! *nudge, nudge*) Fight it. Get to know your wingies. Go out for walks. Interact with seniors. Spend as much time outside as you can. Conversely, don’t be swept away. Have some private time. After all, college is also about discovering yourself.
  1. Don’t talk about your IIT rank, or how you narrowly missed Pilani. No one cares. It’s over, buddy. You’re in BPHC now, for better or worse. Wishing you were somewhere else just alienates you from hordes of students who are proud and fiercely protective of our college.
  1. Don’t be too – to use a term we hate using – “career oriented”. There are few things more annoying than first year students asking about placements and workshop certificates. Do things you’re interested in. Experiment. Expand. Explore. Participate in the workshops that actually teach you something. [We know a guy who can teach graphic design with MS Paint. Don’t go and ask him for a certificate.] These are your best years – don’t waste them trying to sell yourself for as much as you can.
  1. Do not try to be cool. Playing a guitar out in the open, wearing shades, strolling in shorts and adopting a “What-I-think-American-sounds-like” accent will definitely get you plenty of attention, but not the sort you’re looking for. Humility and the ability to laugh at yourself go a long way with people. Willingly making us dislike you instead, is never ever going to work in your favour.
  1. Don’t reply with “surfing the internet” or “looking at Facebook” to “What are your hobbies?”. And on the other end of the spectrum, “contributing to projects on GitHub.” Yes, we know “tell me something interesting about you” is a hard question to answer. We’ve been on Quora too.
  1. Don’t ask Quora questions about our campus. Trust us on this one: a year in, you’ll understand how absolutely despicable this is. Seniors are there to satisfy your curiosity, albeit in a thoroughly non-anonymous manner. Ask them. For the love of god, don’t shame us on a public forum with a few of the world’s smartest people in it.
  1. Don’t ignore academics. No, just don’t. No exceptions whatsoever. Nothing is worth ignoring academics. That first semester CGPA hurts if it is below 6, and as much as you may think one of the subjects you study may be unimportant to your field, suck it up and get a B-; it’s not really that hard to do. Being a 5 pointer means you’re really unlucky, or – face it – you’ve been slacking way too much.
  1. Don’t stay within your language/high school group. Go out there, socialize. What’s supposed to be some of the smartest people in the country, are around you. Being stuck with the same old group isn’t going to get you anywhere. Go out of your comfort zone, and you’ll grow as a person. Herd mentality is an unfortunate reality, and a real downer. On a related note, don’t willingly go and get your ass kicked by:
    1. Being misogynistic.
    2. Calling someone a Gult or a TDC.
    3. Conforming to region-based stereotypes, such as “of course you’re a 9 pointer, you’re from Chennai.”
  1. Don’t make “confession” pages or contribute to their popularity. Trust us, you are not going to get girlfriends or boyfriends, break up existing relationships, destroy reputations or create new ones. Your best shot at getting a girlfriend or a boyfriend is by picking up the courage to ask someone out and hope they say yes, LIKE THE REST OF THE WORLD. Accept it.
  1. YOU SHALL NOT PASS up the opportunity to talk to seniors. We hereby promise not to harass you, physically or mentally. Interactions might be scary at first, but a little humiliation is a small price to pay for a wealth of knowledge. In this confusing place, seniors are your cheat codes. Everything you were going to learn the hard way, they’ll hand on a platter, and knowing them is the most fun you’ll have. On the other end of this spectrum, do not go around with the sole aim of trying to make seniors like you. Your batch will hate you for it.
  1. BONUS: Politics. Campus politics have been always a bit of a joke that went the wrong way. So, on that topic, DO NOT believe someone if they say some club, society or technical association is “not that good”. Go and figure it out for yourself. DO NOT be in a hurry to involve yourself in politics, either. Unverifiable (not necessarily false) claims are the forte of most politicians in the country, and this is sadly mirrored in the campus. And trust us, nobody likes people who parrot “You should vote for <insert name of guy you met only last week>”.

Arvind Badri
Kartik Reddy.


6 thoughts on “Houston, we have a problem. It’s the juniors!

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