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Memoir: Excelsior!

June 15, 2019
- Yash Trivedi

Let me begin by saying - Thank you IITR, for giving me the best four years of my life. From first year to now, Roorkee has shaped my personality in unimaginable ways - and I doubt I would have got the same exposure anywhere else. Roorkee has taught me things I never knew I needed to learn.

With no engineers in my immediate family, preparing for JEE was never an “obvious” choice. So, when I came to Roorkee, I did not have any sort of expectations whatsoever. I was simply excited to know what lies in store. Our hostels, mess food, the people, the oppressing heat - I had never been exposed to this kind of atmosphere before and instead of being put off by it, I was actually looking forward to the next four years. In the first month itself, Roorkee surprised me in many ways. I had never imagined there could exist a dedicated group for film making on campus or, a group that makes ATVs, or a club that goes on regular Himalayan expeditions.

My first year in campus was all about exploring what our campus had to offer - I sat for almost every campus group recruitment and tried everything - from sports to coding to electronics to film making to automobiles and even took a project in the Physics department after the end of my first year. Of course, I didn’t continue most of these activities but this phase of “exploration” served two important purposes -

  1. It helped me figure out things I didn’t want to do again. At least, I can say I tried but didn’t enjoy it.
  2. I got acquainted with some exceptionally talented people in each of these fields whom I can ask for help anytime i.e. networking.

Such has been most of my life at IITR - I always had my plate full, which I believe is what everyone should be doing. You will never have so much freedom and independence to try out things and not worry about the consequences. And Roorkee has more than enough things to keep you busy. Believe me, you will get a platform to try anything you want to.

Your “IIT” tag matters more than what most of you might think - it helped me get a research intern in Paris - and it has many other less noticeable, but more potent advantages as well. So, just make the most of it! Also, academics is definitely not the way to judge a person here - I went from being a regular tutorial solver to studying a night before the exams, and still managed to get a decent grade everytime. But how you spend your time otherwise is important. While in college, there is never a time when you can’t do something productive. Another thing I realized was - there is sooo much to learn from people around you - in the form of inspirational seniors, loving juniors and an extremely talented peer group. Almost always, you will find someone more “machau” than you at what you are doing. But then this is what makes you want to work harder, and this is how it should be.

Film making, building ATVs and tennis - these are the three things that have been constant across my four years. Cinesec has influenced me so much that I can not thank it enough. I met such amazingly talented, creative and like-minded people that were almost like a family on campus. Staying awake for 50 hours at a stretch, brainstorming over a script, the 12 hour long editing sessions just two days before end terms, refreshing our YouTube page every 30 seconds to see the increase in views - it really pains me to think that I will never be able to do these things again. My balcony friends - a group of misfits glued together in the most perfect combination ever - almost goes synonymous with a B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering.

Those who know me, would know how bad I am with decisions. I tend to over think even the most simplest and inconsequential of decisions. There was a time when I was studying for JEE as well as NEET and even gave both entrance exams. At times, I think - should I have followed my father’s footsteps and become a doctor? But almost instantly, my mind answers - I would not have met the exact same people had I chosen to pursue medicine instead. I would not have been the same person that I am today. I would reiterate what others before me have mentioned - the friends you make here and the experiences you share with them is the best gift you can take away with you. I like to believe that which ever activities I have been involved in - including campus politics and countless evenings in divine - will come of use some day, in some way or the other. Like me, most of you will find yourselves in this situation regularly: (Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken)

And both (ref. roads) that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

In retrospect, could I have done something differently? - Yes.

But do I want to go back in time and do it differently? - No

Hope you get the point. I am fortunate to have met some brilliant people in this journey whom I respect a lot. I still don’t know what I really want to do, where will I end up and which decisions would take me there - but let’s keep something for destiny as well, no? Until then, I’ll just go with the flow. But Roorkee, thank you, for being jussst perfect!