Mr. Engineer, I’m talking to you!
Cautionary Note: The views expressed in this post are my own and relate to the life in engineering colleges in small towns. Resemblance to any person living or dead is purely accidental.
The idea of this blog post struck me when I was reminiscing my college days. I felt it would be encouraging if I write how life in college is, based on my experiences.
I come from a small town, located roughly one hours drive away from the city of Nizams. There are a number of colleges from where I come and the passage of rite for every school passing student is to join one of these engineering colleges. Inclination or the passion for the subject has the least to do it with it. It is the de facto norm in the community. The result is the feeling of disappointment when the initial feeling of euphoria on joining the college passes. Here is the kicker, few of those students keep cribbing all through the four years while others get up to do something to make a difference.
I’m from a computer science background and my passion all follow accordingly. My decision of taking up engineering was with the herd. Being unsure of my passions and interests meant that I went with the flow of the decisions taken by other students around me.
Life in college
After a lot of struggle one gets into an engineering college. The freedom after years of shackles of the school life makes one appreciate life even more. The first year went by figuring out things, adjusting to the new learning environment. But as time passed I figured college wasn’t merely a period to prepare for my future job but a period to make mistakes and experiment.
You can’t dislike something unless you have tried it out for yourself. And this is what I did, tried out and dabbled in various things not to do what I liked. Rather to figure out the things I liked less so that I could make better decisions. Coming to the academia, one takes an average of seven subjects a semester. Things changed and I fell in love with the programming; the organizational beauty in the chaos of the code.
I read a thread on Quora, on advice for a 20 something guy from people who have already gone through this stage. The top answers which seem so obvious in hindsight turned out to be to travel and read as much as possible and be grateful for what you have. Ever since I have been living with the advice as my guiding mantra. Question every moment of life and struggle hard to make it better but once in a while take a moment to enjoy life just as it comes about.
Life Post College
Unlike my batch mates, the charm of working in a large organization never appealed to me. The idea of working only to jump one step at a time in the corporate ladder turned me down. I loved to tinker and mess around to build stuff only to see to come it alive in front of me. The obvious step? Joining a startup in the capital city of New Delhi.
Was it worth really worth travelling 1,910 km to be exact to work in a startup? The pros really outweigh the cons for me. A learning environment where “Ship Fast” policy prevails and failing early and often over just playing it safe.
Bottom line: Always write genuine resumes. Just kidding!
Always do what you are most passionate about even if others don’t see it. This might not be the most obvious thing in the world, but when you would look back you might just be able to connect the dots. For me it was the herd mentality of joining an engineering college which lead me to discovering my real passion of hacking around stuff.
One of my favourite lines which just sums up the essence of what I feel “What you wanted to be back then doesn’t coherently exist with what you want to do now. So why regret?”