“Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.”
– John C Maxwell

Coming into college, I had absolutely no expectations. It was probably due to how overwhelming the previous two years had been with school, coaching classes, the whole entrances phase and the thought of whether I will get into a good college or not. So, this way, I took it all in one day at a time – exploring the campus, making new friends, being adventurous, trying my hand at new things and you know the rest. College as a whole changed me completely, not just mentally but physically and emotionally.

Basketball has easily been one of the most significant factors in this change. The NITK Basketball team, I’m sorry, family, has not only given me memories that I will cherish forever – uncountable nights just spent dancing, talking and passing out, the tournaments, the traditions and obviously, the game. But it also taught me life lessons that have helped me grow. The passion and commitment that goes into this team day-in and day-out speak volumes about our love for the game and camaraderie. After a tiring practice when you have to eat mess food only to realize that you have a 20 page assignment, a quiz and lab stuff all to finish for the next day is when you realize the importance of time management.

Time management is a crucial aspect of life and college gives you the best opportunities to learn it. I was always known as a “busy guy” among my friends, rarely found in my room as I was either working or partying. I did party regularly, go out with the team or my friends but I didn’t let this affect me academically. I have had many people come to me asking how I manage it all, my answer is always the same – “There is a right time for everything, know when to do what and it’ll all be peaaace!”.

The next big thing I guess that impacted my life was undoubtedly the most challenging thing I have ever done. Cycling the Himalayas is not just a fancy way of putting this, I covered 500+ Kms from Manali to Leh in just 6 days and yes I rode my cycle all the way. This really unlocked a new me, a calmer and more easy-going me. Introspection feels like a small word after those six days. When you are cycling, it’s just you and your thoughts and OH MY did the serene picturesque backdrop help! I always loved cycling because of the thrill it gave me, but this experience gave it a new outlook. Now, I cycle when I am anxious, I cycle when I am excited, I cycle when I am angry, basically, I cycle to explore myself.

The change that Robocon, IE and Technites brought about in me greatly affected my scholastic life. Sleepless nights spent brainstorming and working to complete projects only because we were passionate about it. I already had a lot on my plate when I joined Robocon but this did not stop me, the teamwork that went into building great bots was inspiring. This made it clear that electronics was actually my cup of tea after all.

College is a unique phase in your life where you have numerous opportunities to try out things and find yourself. Balancing co-curricular activities while maintaining a good CGPA might sound cliché, but it’s nevertheless true. “Do not regret anything”, is a really hard statement to live by, but it does help – be it speaking your mind out or doing stupid things, in the end, you should never look back and think “I wish I could have…

Curated by Neha Saji Jacob