Expectations - Nebula 2022 Address
Nebula (annual Freshers' celebration) was held in March 2022 for the sophomore batch this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I gave an address to them titled "Expectations" which is copied below:
Good. Evening. Everyone. Hope, you, all, are, doing, well!
Some of you might know me, a lot of you might not; I'm Amish Mittal, a senior year Computer Science student and also the Undergraduate Representative in the Students' Gymkhana. A few days back when I decided that I would speak something on this stage, I messaged Aswin Krishna - an alumni from 2020 batch, who spoke standing here as the then UGR and I was standing among you in the audience. So I messaged him and asked him for his speech to get some pointers I could speak on, but I realized it did not do me any good as you people are no longer fresh faces to the institute (someone who has just given JEE and joined IITP 10 days back) to whom I can say any random words and you would believe them. You joined IIT Patna in Dec 2020, have completed almost 4 semesters, which literally means half of your BTech, in case you have not realized by now.
Few of you would have your life sorted out regarding what you want to do next, but the majority would be as confused as me regarding their life choices. All of us - your super seniors - are graduating in the next one month, and you can trust me when I say this, we haven't figured that out ourselves yet. I see people supposedly joining one of the best companies with the highest salaries someone from outside the college can even dream of getting, but a lot of us don't know what to do with that, or in simpler words, whether that would provide us for or align with the dreams and aspirations which we had when we joined the college in 2018. I look back 4 years of our life, and we have completely changed from what we were in terms of how we handle our problems in life - whether that is failing in a course, preparing for an interview, arranging for medical support for our loved ones, or recovering from a bad breakup. The last 2 years went away in performing high frequency trades during certain days to get that number which might define our "success" in life. I guess this is what the IIT system has given us - and in exactly our seniors' words, the best thing we can pass on to you is telling you about your expectations from this system. A wise man once said, of course, if you don't like this system, you can get your degree from somewhere else (few might get the reference I am talking about). In case you are still wondering, or still have doubts about it, IIT Patna would give you a path to opportunities which are the best in the world, surely, the best. I've seen it for my seniors, I've seen it for my friends, and I've seen it for myself. The only difference which remains next is in your own personal interest and hardwork. You'll be sitting for your internship season in the next 4 months, your seniors would be sitting for their placement season - and the only difference which would work up next is in your own perseverance and will.
But that is only one side of the story, studying in college is like having a second puberty. You'll have good moments, you'll have bad moments; you'll miss your family; you'll make friends, and maybe you'll make enemies. In case you are lucky, you might even find your life partner here and be featured together in the IIT Patna Endowment Fund song to be shot years later (similar to the IIT Delhi Endowment Fund song to quote).
Borrowing two lines from Prateek Kuhad's cold/mess, I'll say that the only question you would get asked very often here is "You think this is a good idea?"; and the only answer to that would be "What do you consider a good idea?" You won't get the best food, you won't get the best drinking water, you won't get basic medical facilities; but what you'll get is a peer group whom you can trust on to be with you when you need them to listen to your heart when someone breaks it and help you plan your proposal to the next girl you want to ask out. There are good days, there are bad days, overwhelming days, tired days, but everyday you'll still want to show up.
IIT Patna has a culture which was built by our seniors long long ago in the form of departmental clubs like NJACK, ACE, E-Cell, etc or fests like Anwesha, Celesta and Infinito; or events like Reverb, Nebula etc or winning in events like Inter IIT Tech Meet, SUPRA, BAJA, GSoC, Robocon etc and we are extremely proud of what they have built and established for this college. We, i.e your 4th years are graduating now and we have done all that we could do for the college. It's now you guys (2nd years) who would define IIT Patna for the next years to come and help it build its own reputation. Whatever we have lost in the past 2 years, we hope that you guys will rebuild and make that even better. IITs are known across the world for their excellent bachelor population and we expect that you perform to that standard.
With this, thank you for your time!