Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lessons from BITS Pilani – First Impression

Hype is perilous. I almost made up my mind to hate BITS Pilani for the first impression it offered. When a starry-eyed teenager successfully clears a competitive exam and reserves a berth in one of the premier institute of the country, he does not expect a dull, almost ghostly, set of morbid concrete structures to stare back at him when he enters the campus.

However fate had it that the first day on BITS Pilani campus was destined to be the worst day of my BITSian life till date. On a sultry morning, early August, I got on to a Rajasthan Roadways bus from Jaipur, having no idea about the time it was going to take for me to reach Pilani (If I were asked how much time it would take, I would have probably said 3 hours). The journey was an ordeal. By the time we reached Pilani, I resembled a marathon runner (the ones who fail to win, not the happy ones). And this was when the authorities felt it was apt to take a photograph for the ID card which would last with me for the next four years (even beyond).

The misery had just begun. The room which we booked at CEERI guest house never got booked and my parents and brother had to stay in the hostels for the next few days. Also, there was no electricity and it was impossible to sleep, less because of heat, more because of the murder of the hype. Hype is perilous.
The first impression had been created, and it was surely not a very positive one. The serious "interactions" with the seniors didn’t help either.

 But things took a turn by the time the first music night arrived. During the music night I felt for the first time that college life had begun. After meeting different seniors and getting a hang of how things worked, there was no looking back. I was awestruck by the sheer magnitude of things undertaken by students. I realized that it is people (The ones who live and the ones who lived) who make BITS Pilani. I understood that it is an imperfect living organism and not an inanimate masterpiece of a sculpture. I fell in love with this place in spite of all its flaws.

I learnt my first lesson. Never let the first impression be the last impression. Be it with people, places or organizations, patience in judgment is a virtue.

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