A Freshman’s Declassified College Survival Guide

…In which I comment on various parts of campus and culture, being the oh-so-jaded freshman of two weeks that I am. The title is misleading. There is no guiding in this article. None.

So, you’ve finally made it here. You’re hyped and you’re excited, eager to tackle any problem that arises, because who cares about material comforts and fast internet anymore now that you’re at BITS-Pilani, The Much Closer To Home Campus? That’s right, everyone but you! Let’s begin!

#1: Moving In

The part in which you and your small army of buckets, mats, mattress and mother arrive at the steps of your hostel Bhawan, ready and prepared for your almost-too-bright future.

After an hour of cleaning, an hour of unpacking, and an hour of cannot being able to find “Cannot Place” (Editor let this one slide for the greater good of puns) and buy that essential thing you had to forget at home, you’re only halfway done. Add, to that, two hours of your mother reaffirming every life lesson you may or may not have learnt in your  16 years of life and 2 years of coaching classes, and you’re finally ready to bid farewell to your parents.

You then escort your mother out to the entrance only to find your father grilling the poor chowkidar on the security measures in place on campus and, more importantly, the number (and other general characteristics including but not limited to height, weight, and names) of boys who frequent this mess hall as opposed to the one where they should be going to. (Why all this? Because daughter.)

Once your father is satisfied that you won’t go missing on your very first day and your mother is satisfied that you will remember their existence once in a while and maybe, just maybe, call, it’s time to bid adieus and squeeze a few tears out for the general atmosphere of things.

As you walk back to your room, you realize for the first time, that you’re now an actual independent young adult.

*cue boggling of the mind*

#2: Registration

The part in which you practice being able to stand in very long lines, a very useful ability in the days to come.

The author does not wish to elaborate on this, partly due to a desire to leave at least some fun for the freshmen next year and partly due to a mild case of PTSD.

#3: Orientation

The coming-of-age ceremony where freshmen enter, eager and excited, and leave 10 hours later, half-asleep and mostly confused.

#4: First RaggiInteraction  Guidance Session.

The part in which you meet your wonderful, God-like, seniors who spout rainbows when they speak and shower glitter and happiness wherever they go.

*looks both sides before typing*

As a freshman walking at night past a group of seniors loitering on the road…

I shall leave it to a braver soul than I to elaborate.

#5: Timetable Registration:

The part in which you spend 6 hours in a classroom waiting to enter the computer lab so you can spend another 3 hours working towards the ultimate prize, a DTC.

A time for all freshmen alike to bond over frustration and temper. Best friends have been reported to have been made during this very important day in a BITSian’s life. Also a time for seniors to acquaint you with the darker side of YouTube and to show you videos that question both your and their sanity. To summarize, a key socialization event.

#6: First Day Of Classes

The part where your timetable is all made up and the classes don’t matter (All hail DTC).  (Editor Tries: Hey reader, if you are one of the chosen ones who gets the Whose Line reference, give me a call.)

The one day where you actually put thought into what you’re wearing. Also, the first and last day you see full attendance. Please arrive a half hour early to any “popular” teachers’ class for any hope of finding a seat.

P.S: Bonus points if you get lost on your way to the Workshop.

#7: Clubs Orientation

The part in which you watch presentations by people a lot cooler than you’ll ever be.

I personally recommend getting one of these if you’re anything like my batchmates.

I also recommend keeping the number of clubs you want to join less than the number of fingers on your hands. Hard, I know.

#8: Department Orientation

The part in which you bring snacks and a water bottle along because you learnt your lesson from yesterday, the Clubs Orientation.

Although, I assure you, that beneath this not-as-deep-as-you-might-think veneer of cynicism is a teenager excited and truly happy to be on this campus. With that, I’ll conclude my humble opinion of these last two weeks. After all, modesty is one of my many great virtues.

Shreya Nimma

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