First Semester in BITS-Pilani, Pilani

Though i have composed posts on my first week, first month in this college, i will be focusing this post on overall experiences i have shared with my friends here during these four and half months. Right from registration procedures, to saying “Hey” for the first time, to attending crazy late night parties in All Night Canteen, to demanding meaningless treats for no reason! This post will be focused on entire semester spend at this wonderful magical place!! So without any further delay, lets dive into the world of magic:

1. The Campus:

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Well this picture explains the beauty of campus! When I first entered the campus through this big main gate with a board greeting welcome, it was like entering into an entirely different world, from Pilani i have witnessed while reaching at my destination. Right from the main gate to even most remote area in campus is covered by dense green trees on both sides of roads. Campus has well-connected network of roads and it is never very difficult for new comers to find their way around the campus because of direction boards placed on almost every turn.

Campus is divided in several sections. Academic building are divided in Faculty Divisions, for example Lecture Theatre Complex is termed as FD-5, Workshop is termed as FD-4, etc. During first few days finding rooms in different building was like finding hidden treasures, (P.S. every room no. has a specific meaning here!) and was a unique way of making new friends each time we were lost in a particular building. There are 13 hostels spread around  New Academic Block(FD-6), with only one girl’s hostel (Meera Bhawan) being farthest from the academic block. Central Auditorium sits comfortably below clock tower (as seen in photo) with Rotunda in front. Sky Lawns, Birla Museum, Aditya Birla & G.D. Birla Memorials, Student Activities Centre, Food King, The Saraswati Temple, Akshay Supermart,  Shiv Ganga, Connaught (market place inside campus), Med-C Grounds, Staff Quarters, Gym-Ground, VFast Hostel, Placement Office all making a pleasant chain of ecstatic structures which will compel you to put a dp on Facebook in front of each one of them.

Labs are well equipped and are being renovated slowly under special project, with latest inclusion of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Equipment in Chemistry Department’s arsenal. Classrooms are well-lit and are same as they were back in 1960s, with a little change. Again renovation of entire campus is going on under an extensive and well planned project. The Telepresence Room for guest lectures, cross campus talks, alumni lectures etc. is well equipped to accommodate over 120 students at a time. Campus has synthetic courts for basketball, tennis, cricket field, indoor badminton, chess, Table Tennis, Gym, pool table in Student Activities Centre. First week here was like exploring Hogwarts with friends and finding new secret corridors or places every now and then!

2. The BITSians:

Any new place is as good as people habituating in it. Same goes for BITS-Pilani. You can meet any kind of personality you want. We have students ranging  from nerds to intelligent one, most sophisticated to most barbarians, most hygienic to care free ones, from aloof ones to highly social ones, addicts to fanatics etc. Moreover one can always observe himself in someone else and that can be a lot helping in self-evaluation and development. One can learn from excellent leaders, planners, executives, lobbyists, and every possible combination in world! While you meet great people, one things always has to be kept in mind “sab ka baap hota hai” i.e. you might be confident that no one can trump you in a particular field, but the first person you meet here might be way ahead than you! This is what motivates us BITSians to strive for improvement at every stage!

So far as senior-junior relations are related, BITS-Pilani has the best environment. We can contact seniors for help any time of day and they are always willing to help us. Be it academics, extracurriculars, tips to get a girl friend or anything, they are always there to help us! There is just one rule in BITS-Pilani, respect for your seniors is more important than anything else. If one can follow this simple rule then BITS-Pilani is certainly the most beautiful place on earth with variety of knowledge to waiting to be introduced to you.

Here sometimes you get inspiration from fellow students, sometimes you get fascinated by there achievements, sometimes you feel a lot more better about yourself after seeing others, sometimes you develop best buddies even though you have no common areas of interest. Such is the aura of this place. Magic is in air waiting to be felt.

3. The Academics (ACADS):

Academic structure in BITS-Pilani is similar to that in some of the best colleges in world like Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and even top institutes from India are adopting this academic curriculum of BITS-Pilani. The flexibility provided to us is simply awesome. One can opt for dual degrees and can pass out with MSc and BE degree, or can perform well in first year to get his original branch changed. This always compels students to take acads seriously and inspire them to work hard.

One thing worthwhile mentioning here is the system of ZERO ATTENDANCE. This means that even though we skip every lecture or tutorial, we are still eligible for appearing in evaluation components, quite opposite to what is practiced in other colleges in India. But does that means that students are more inclined towards missing those lectures as they don’t fear shortage of attendance? NO! This allows us to follow our interest as while we can study from lectures presentations uploaded by Professors anytime and get our queries cleared during their free time, we can use the time from skipping a lecture for preparing for some scheduled test, pursuing some other interest, doing some research on internet or other creative things. This gives us FREEDOM WITH RESPONSIBILITY.

Also it is designed to make us Independent and Responsible for ourselves. Right from preparing our own timetables, to choosing subjects to study, to be able to drop a course if you don’t have no further interest in it. It certainly provides an exceptional degree of freedom, comfort and above all an excellent of level of skills and knowledge. Library is well-equipped to satisfy any query arising in student mind and also start from scratch in entirely new field. eBooks are downloadable from your room port. So for geeks BITS-Pilani is equivalent to Wonderland for Alice or Chocolate Factory for Charlie, and sometimes it can be like:

4. Departments/Clubs/Fests:

Working in clubs or departments is a great way to meet great people both in same year as you and seniors too. One get to learn so much in conducting events or working for club/dept that it performs a mojor role in shaping your future works unknowingly. You get to meet people with same field of interest, learn a lot from seniors, make new friends, get to work in team, and most of all get that sense of responsibility after completing some work assigned to you. Experiencing fest in first year-first semester was amazing. BITS Open Sports Meet, the infamous BOSM fest gave us a flavour of OASIS. Oasis, O Oasis! What should i say. It was everything in itself. Photos, videos, sharing food which was meant to be shared, sharing food which was not meant to be shared, attending events, even late at night not wanting to sleep so that no events are missed, all this is just a glimpse of what really happened in Oasis!

5. ANC/REDI:
These are lifeline of BITS-Pilani after ofcourse the infamous DC++ network. Card payment can be done in All Night Canteen (ANC), thus you can spend as much you want, worrying only at the end of month when a staggering mess bill is at your disposal waiting to be paid and at that time all you can think about is not spending so much next month. But if you have birthday next month or series of tests for which you have to pull out all nighter, ANC can be a brilliant way to refresh and distract you enough to get yourself back to
study after a long a tiring session. REDIS are there for every hostel and for ANC too. Hostel Redis work till mess timings and major source of evening snacks and chai or shikanji or other beverages there are for offer. They provide the national food for engineers: MAGGI chat and everything which moms strictly forbid us from eating. ANC redis provide a great variety of food and at a low price too. After a tough exam in the evening even the scent of fried or plain maggi is enough to attract you to your nearest redi!

6. DC++:
It is the major life line for students of BITS-Pilani. Since there are no malls or other cool place to hangout outside of campus or good movie theatres to watch a weekend movie of favourite genre, everyone eventually bow down to DC++, which has been keeping students sane enough to function in this social desert and not produce maniacs. And rightfully said: “it is the one thing that can make or break you career”. With release of latest movies, T.V. series, books, novels etc. one can easily fall in love with it. It has plethora of stuff which could be downloaded anytime via lan at an average speed of 8-9mbps! Fast indeed! Certainly with restricted internet access to some most viewed sites(you know what i mean!) and ever dying speed of internet, it all come down to DC++ to provide us source of entertainment. That said, there are also tutorials for everything- be it app development, learning a new language(both computer and lingual), new musical instrument from scratch, there are ebooks downloaded free of cost which would have cost a lot of money and space. If one thing you will miss at all from BITS-Pilani during holidays it would definitely be DC++ and its amazing collection of stuff and mind-blasting download speed!

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