Life at BITS Pilani

Ever wanted a sneak peek into what life is like inside the gates of BITS Pilani? Come, our tutor, Bhavik takes you you on a journey inside those hallowed gates to show you what life is like at BITS Pilani.

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Before I begin, a warning is in order: Life at BITS grows on you at an alarming rate and soon enough, you will find yourself wishing that these glorious days never end. I still remember my first day here, the unavoidable nervousness and anxiety during registration, the curiosity of exploring the campus, the awkward introductions to roommates and wingies, and the elation at making new friends. Two years seem to have just flown by.

Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani is a tad different from your regular college. It doesn’t just provide you with a degree (or in some cases, two), but also with the opportunities and freedom to shape your careers and lives, as you deem fit. It recognizes the fact that you’re amongst the best that the country has to offer, and that, in turn, entitles you to be able to make your own decisions.

The institute has a policy of allowing students to make their own timetables. You can choose your teacher and even the lecture timings. And of course, zero percent attendance. Beware of surprise quizzes in tutorials, though. The concept of Electives may not be as popular yet, but they are equally important as they give you a chance to pursue interests other than your field. In addition to the Dual degree system, minors are also offered here in finance and humanities. A single degree student may opt for a reverse dual too, if his interest is aroused in a particular MSc branch, providing that his CGPA allows him to.

I must admit that the idea of spending four to five years in a town with no malls or gaming zones does not seem appealing at first. But apart from the occasional pining for McDonalds, you will be too occupied to miss them. There are departments to organize the fests, clubs to pursue your hobbies and associations to connect with people of similar backgrounds and/or interests. These will not only lead you on a delightful exploration of your strengths and limitations but also reveal talents that you had no clue you possessed. You gradually learn to multitask, how to confidently have a conversation with random strangers, make friends, form groups and bond with and learn from seniors, as well.

How can we discuss these topics and not the fests themselves! First comes BOSM, the sports fest. Four days of back to back matches and terrifically contested competitions. It is followed by Oasis, the cultural fest. Eagerly awaited by participants and attendees alike, it is an exhilarating 96 hour ride with more than a hundred events and competitions going round the clock. Sunburn, concerts, Street dance, Desert Duel, Rocktaves and Treasure Hunt certainly make it worth the wait. The second semester brings APOGEE, the tech-fest. Mind blogging quiz events, amazing exhibitions, robots and car competitions and of course talks by revered personalities from all over the world, are just some of the many things on offer.

An unbidden, albeit small, regret finds its way into your thinking about not being able to attain the ‘IIT’ tag. But with its unrivalled academic flexibilities, world class faculty and the emphasis on all round development, BITS shall soon win you over completely. Furthermore, the no reservation or donation policy ensures that merit is the only factor in play, ensuring healthy and even competition in classes. The Practice School programme is a wonderful opportunity for you to gain practical exposure apart from the classroom learning. You get to intern at world renowned companies and learn from the best. Sabeer Bhatia, Prithviraj Chavan and Phanindra Sama are just a few names from the long list of exalted luminaries that BITS has given to the world.

You will laugh, cry, fly, fall, win, lose and yet, you won’t want it to stop. Your wingies will not just be people you live with but your family, your partners in crime. (Yes, you get to choose your wingies in second year.) The seniors, contrary to popular opinion are always ready to guide and help you, in any way that they can. Soon enough you’ll have the opportunity to see and experience these things for yourself. I look forward to meeting you on campus.

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