Thursday, December 12, 2013

Life at IITM

The purpose of this post is two-fold.


Shameless celebration. My grandma's home and can perform powerful warding-off-evil-eye with the "drishti-suthifying" salt. Hence, I'm allowed to indulge myself in this act.

(from Red I guess, it goes very well with the colour theme of my blog!)
I made it to IIT - Madras :) :) :) PhD Scholar, Computer Science.


To try and make sense of what's been happening the past six months. Trying to find out if what I experienced was anything like what I wished for on my sweet sixteen. (Honestly :P I remember I rushed to IIT class in my birthday dress!)

So, I'm sure countless people want to know what it's like to be at IIT-M. I can only speak from the perspective of a member of the steadily growing research community, though Insti is famous as an undergraduate institution.

1. IIT Madras is beautiful

The first impression I had was, I am going to be in an institution that was built within a forest. Every single day, seeing the deer and the banyan trees and the glorious sunsets was a constant source of wonder. Even yesterday, I was able to spot a beautiful rainbow against a backdrop of trees. However upset you are, a walk in the 600-odd acre campus is the best therapy you can get in searing hot Chennai.

2) Everything has a lot of procedures!

From admissions to solemn written oaths to be ecologically responsible, you will wish you had a better signature than spelling out your name on all those documents! Not to mention the dreaded medical tests, my face was so downcast when I saw the number of medical tests I had to pass and as my close friends know, I'd rather write another entrance exam! All went well and nothing was amiss and I was finally, finally a part of IIT-M after I received my ID card.

3) I became a lot more independent.

Being in hostel for the first time was something I always wanted to experience; to be able to care for oneself to the extent possible. It took some time for an early bird like me to put up with the fact breakfast won't be ready till seven when you have an eight o' clock class, the inability to bicycle will lead you to eventually plan to be ready by 7:30 in case you miss the 7:30 shuttle, you'll catch the 7:45 one. What will take most time, is to drag your feet on a day when you have no class to simply put attendance. After some rounds of locking doors, leaving doors wide open, getting stuck in lift experiences, missing food in mess, I gradually fell into a rhythm of attending classes, working in lab, calling for the late night shuttle if needed, eating midnight snacks and studying in groups during quiz week, gearing up for a few disappointments, watching movies with friends and having fun!

4) New friends, new experiences

From room mates to batch mates to lab mates, I have a plethora of people to depend upon and share my time happily. Most of them are older than me, yet it is with ease that I'm able to talk to them and have made some best friends. Plus, my 22nd birthday was a riot at hostel!

5) I worked

I won't say I worked academically like never before. I definitely put more effort in high school. But I worked very very hard. It took me a lot of time to get adjusted to the system of continuous evaluation with programming assignments and lab talks and things I hardly even remember. Here, classes are course based, so you make another set of friends for practically each subject. I didn't celebrate most of the festivals this season , except thankfully Deepavali, and then went on to get a C in the subject I sacrificed these aforementioned festivals! Of which feat I am still very proud no matter ;) My grades were good, and as every student says, I will do better next semester, start research and study well :D

6) I got interested in research, big time!

Apart from savouring freedom in the social front, the anticipation of one of the most unrestrained academic journeys with the highest degree has swelled like a bubble within me, thanks to the countless orientations. I hope I can make a significant contribution to the field of computer science.

7) The bee syndrome

Apart from the total stillness of sound on some nights, there is always a perpetual buzz here. Be it talks with friends, or activities, or clubs, or magazine editing, or nature walks, or cricket (that's another story!), there is always so very much to participate in. Eagerly looking forward to my first mega fest experience!

I think it is definitely better than anything I dreamed it would be like.



  1. Interesting to read on IIT life.....I used to hang out there in my ug days because my best friend was studying there....everyone used to assume I belonged and no one ever checked me like you was a riot

  2. Nice to hear Sowmya!
    Put pics of 22nd birthday no?