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The universe is already cluttered with a number of rankings and opinions about how the colleges fare against each other. However there are a few things which these rankings often miss which can be vital for a particular individuals overall development. These often lie beneath the sheets and I plan to uncover them here...
Never forget: You can do any degree after an Engineering but your core would always be what you made yourself in your engineering day..Remember it is a question of 4 years of your formative life.
One of my friends who had joined a lesser known engineering college in chennai, compared to me joining Birla Institute of Technology, went ahead to represent the country in swimming, despite me being better than him in a few strokes...and I didn’t go anywhere...why? Because my college didn’t have a swimming pool and his had one..
So this article is essentially a checklist which can help you decide between two or more colleges of near equal ranking..
Healthy Mind resides in a Healthy Body ...well clichés apart, I am generally a sucker for sports and would never like to be in a zero sport college. Moreover this is the area where you compete and benchmark. You may not improve everyday in the classroom but you surely learn something new in a sports field every day.
Do find out about the sports facilities. 4 years is a very long time. Even if you have never played anything in your life, this is the best time to pick it up. If you think that you are a disaster in sports, well jogging is always there.
2. Hostel Level Facility:
What are the things that are there with each hostel? Is there a Table Tennis table, a half Basket Ball court, small football field? A TV Room, store room, late night canteen. Take it from a guy who has spent his life in hostels, if you have a great hostel then you will have great memories.
Continuing with the above two mentioned points, people going to Private universities do verify if the facilities, particularly for sports, are they dedicated to your engineering college or is it a shared facility with other colleges.
I studied at Birla Institute of Technology, which was a single college deemed university so every facility was just for us.
If a university claims that it has 3 badminton courts but that is a central facility to be shared with 10 colleges then obviously you don’t get much chance.
3. Formal Clubs :
IEE, IEEE, Rotract etc have always dominated the club scene at most colleges. You need to ask that to what level do they take the activity in the club. For e.g. Unnayan was a biennial international event at BIT organized by IEEE.
So it was THEE technical club to be in. Excellent exposure, you develop great contacts and sharpen your acumen as well.
Do ask what is the biggest event organized by them. What is the scale? What is the participating college? International events or only desi participation.
4. Informal Clubs :
These are the fun clubs, like the Music Club, Dance Club, Fine Arts Society. Generally every college has a namesake club. To know if there is some substance there get hold of some students and ask questions like who is the best singer, best guitarist, best dancer. If they have answers to that then don’t stop. Ask more. Do we have a band? What's the name?
Which college have they participated in. Did they win anything or are they a champoo band.
If your college is in the eastern part of the country then IIT-KGP has a rocking spring fest. Good college teams generally participate there. Yours truly was in the Quizzing team of BIT...(more about that later)
5. Laundry Facility:
I always like my stuff clean and organized. For me my laundry (hygiene rather)is very important. Find out if the college has washing machine in every wing or floor like IIT-D has or it has a Dhobi system. Once you are assured that there is a perfect system for having neat clothes always then life is a lot more organized? BIT has a dhobi system ..just BTW :)
6. Bus Service to town :
The college may claim that it is x kms from the city but hey we do need to go to the city right!!!
What is the bus service from college to the city? Is it just a staff bus or a student bus. Till what time.At BIT Mesra I had memorized the bus timings. It helped me sneak to Ranchi for even a pastry. And yes you would be surprised but the pastries in Ranchi are as good as they get.
7. Star of the Batch :
Now this is for the guys who want to excel at something. I was a decent quizzer in my UG days. That was because I was able to get in touch with a star Quizzer who had even participated in BBC Mastermind. So if you have any specific area of interest and the star happens to be from that area then you are all set. If they say that there is no star in the college then you becoming one there is equally doubtful. The more the stars in the college the better are your chances of becoming a star yourself.
8. Residential Faculty:
Though it is an additional check but it helps. No "lafda" of classes getting rescheduled, teachers getting late due to traffic. I had joined BIT in 2K1 the year jharkhand was formed. Riots were regular in Ranchi around that time, but the session went smoothly because of this fact.
9. Guest House (for Parents):
This is a feel good kind of a facility. If you have a b.f/g.f in a junior batch and you wish to visit them after you pass, then I am sure this is something which can be of a great help, particularly if the rules are a bit strict regarding leaving campus etc. On a serious note, it makes one less thing your parents have to worry about if they visit you.
10. Annual Festival :
Last but not the least. I believe that the hallmark of a good college is the annual festival. Go to IITs you will find that Annual Festival is a bonanza. Do ask about the scale of the fest. I learned most of the tricks I know through these fests. Organizing, participating, cheering, and jeering the more you have the better it is. If the annual fest is not rocking in the college then probably the college is not a great shake either.
I hope that this piece has helped you make a better judgment for your college. I am very sure that there are enough pointers in this article which would make your college days more worthwhile. Hope this Helps.