I recently read Chetan Bhagat's Revolution 2020 and was instantly reminded of my 11th-12th days. I had opted for non-medical(engineering) in 11th standard. Like most of my classmates, I joined a coaching institute to prepare for engineering entrance exams. Since academically I was an above-average student, my teachers had high expectations from me. Though I wanted to get into a good engineering college, I never had any strong desire to be an IITian. However, my teachers were quite confident that I would crack IIT-JEE. In the coaching tests, my scores used to fluctuate. At times I would see my name at the top of the list, at times in the middle, and sometimes even near the bottom(never at the last though). Those two years of preparation had too many ups and downs. Balancing the performance in school as well as coaching institute, completing endless assignments, innumerable tests at school and institute, appreciation as well as humiliation, the burden of living up to teachers' expectations, hope to rise and fear to fall, it had all.
It was 8th April 2007. JEE was the first of our entrance exams and that day I was scared like hell. After two years of tremendous hard work, I didn't want to screw it. For me, living up to my teachers' expectations was far more important than getting into IIT and therefore I wanted to crack JEE. Alas!!! I screwed up the physics section and disappointed my physics teacher. I scored well in maths and chemistry. However, since the overall score was less, getting a good rank was completely out of question. That day I realized what fear can do. Well, frankly speaking I always knew that IIT was not my cup of tea and therefore I shouldn't have felt so bad about screwing up JEE. Despite that the physics section haunted me for days. After JEE, I had AIEEE, IP University and DCE entrance exams. During these three exams, I was absolutely fearless. My parents were pretty cool. They never really pressurized me to get into a top engineering college. My teachers had less expectations from me, which kind of relieved my burden. I somehow developed a "Bring it on" kind of an attitude after screwing up JEE. Since I had screwed up the most important of all exams, I wasn't scared about screwing up others and strangely, I did pretty well in rest of them!! I got good ranks in AIEEE, IPU and DCE and even managed a rank in JEE, not so good though. At last I managed to get into a reputed engineering college, making my parents and teachers proud.
When I look back, I see just one reason for my fear - the burden of expectations. We cannot and we do not have to live up to people's expectations all the time. The more we try to do so, the more we fear, and the less we achieve...
Before starting, I would like to wish all my readers a very happy new year!! Hope the coming year brings with it lots of happiness and joy.
For me, 2013 began on a wonderful note. Meeting again so many friends, lots of smiles, lots of laughs, lots of hugs, lots of chats, lots of clicks, lots of pics and lots of fun... 11th January 2013, Convocation at college was truly a memorable day!! On one hand I feel extremely happy that I could be a part of such lovely memories and on the other, I feel as if now the umbilical cord that so far kept us bonded to our college has been cut. Ever since we passed out from DCE in 2011, we always had a reason to go back, be it our mark sheets, provisional degree, data validation, consolidated marksheet, security refund, degree etc etc. It seems as if the amazing and memorable journey of being an engineer is finally over now.
Our Convocation was one-and-a-half day process. According to the notice, we had to reach college by 2:30 PM on 10th January for mandatory dress rehearsal(that never took place :P). We reached college well in time. The best part was meeting again so many batchmates, some of whom I was meeting for the first time since we had passed out. We had to register for the convocation by signing some sheets that already had our names and after that we had to fill a form to collect our convocation robes and caps. Believe me, it was a total chaos!! There weren't any proper queues and everything was absolutely unorganized. We managed to sign the sheets somehow, however collecting the robe seemed to be an onerous task!! Initially me and two of my friends struggled to make way through the crowd and failed miserably. Ultimately we handed over our forms and robe-rent to another friend of ours who bravely got into the crowd and nearly after half an hour emerged out with four robes and four caps!! We actually felt as if a big mission had been accomplished!!
Next day i.e. 11th January, we reached college around 11 AM only to find out that toppers would be called on stage and rest of the people would be given degrees near the area outside the auditorium. We were slightly disappointed, however given the fact that nearly five B.Tech batches and some M.Tech and MBA batches were called, calling all the people on the stage was highly unlikely. Nevertheless, we didn't lose heart. Excitedly we wore our robes and caps and then began a series of photo sessions!! It was a cheerful and lively atmosphere. Thankfully it was a bright, sunny day. Cameras were clicking all around. People were tossing their caps in groups to capture that very "Convocation moment"!! Lunch was organised by the college administration. For sometime we forgot our sophisticated corporate-life mannerisms and relived those good old student-days when we would excitedly gorge on "free food", not to forget desserts!! :D We also met our vice-chancellor and some of our faculty members. On the whole, it was a great day and we had a gala time!! It's difficult so say when so many of us will gather at the same place again. For the time being, we have beautiful memories to cherish for life. Proud to be an engineer and even more proud to be a DCEite!! Miss you DCE!! :-)