Every BITSian’s day, I follow a ritual. I open up my bits mail drive and deep dive into nostalgia pleasure. I plug in my 2 TB hard drive fill it up to the brim with content from DC and see the immaculate organisation of media that I might never watch. And lastly, I watch the video that made me fall in love with BITS at least 5 times. This video convinced me and answered my parents’ queries during the dreaded days of JEE counselling.
In Quoraesque tone: “Is DUAL@Pilani is better than Applied Geophysics at XYZ“
I’ll link the video below so you can watch it on your own sweet schedule. The motive of this blog however is not to reminisce the past once again but to try to put into words a couple of things that keep striking me every year, dialogues from the video, which keep me motivated all year long.
24 seconds into the video Anu Hasan says her told her “I sent you there (to BITS) to learn about life”
At 19, I was very naive. I thought there would be a point-by-point bullet to make me learn about life I BITS. Life is set. It wasn’t so. My biggest complaint with life till that point was that I didn’t have enough choices. At 19, a lot of things are already decided. What to do (peers), what you study (grades) and who you spend your time with (lottery wing allotments). It would feel like I boarded a train and now couldn’t jump off of it. I would just keep travelling without a say, which was my biggest fear. One life. No choice. ☠️
BITS changed this.
💡 BITS 101: It is all about illusion of choice and how well you live your tiny choices.
The importance of choice is well understood now. We can definitely debate the amount of free will we have on this planet and in our lifetimes. But maybe, what we can agree upon, is that in microcosms, there is a fair bit of control we have. Small choices affect significant outcomes. Outcomes that are within our control, not beyond. (For the beyond, we can always blame the creator)
It gave me the illusion of choice.
Why illusion? Because at scale, that’s what you can give. Choosing without boundaries would create chaos, so BITS invented Priority numbers to give you the illusion of choosing your instructors, courses, timetable, activities, etc. This illusion is all I needed to feel in control. This illusion helped me figure out how to put a framework of power in the random set-in-stone path of the world you are born in. This illusion makes you want to do things you decide, however inconsequential they might be in the grand scheme of things, in the best way possible.
Lean sideways to avoid head-on collisions, Life is best lived when you have an eye for illusion.– Siddharth 2016
I became aware that a lot of things I do, I will have to do because of the circumstances of my being, but I can always create small optionalities for myself, and when I do so, I should live them to the best of my potential, to 100% of the GPA inside of me.
It helped me plunge myself into the optionalities I created, even if it led to a dead end. Even if it didn’t change the destination, I did it. The trick is to keep creating these optionalities, by yourself, for yourself and keep on exploring them to the deepest ends. This sets apart a life without control from a life with control. You cannot fight macrocosm, but you can create your microcosm.
💡 BITS 102: Achieve the GPA inside you
54 seconds in the video, Mr. Vivek Paul, says
“The key is to achieve the GPA inside you”
At 19, I was naive again 😛 What my pilani mind extracted from this statement was, hey, push your GPA higher and higher. That is the key. At 25, the meaning is more clear to me.
The key is to leave nothing on the table in whatever I am required to do. There is a measurement for everything these days. And by some scales, I am bound to not be the best. There will be people better than me. That doesn’t mean there is nothing for me to do. I don’t need to drag myself on, aimlessly through a life-time of feeling dejected.
The key is to dig deep and reach the best position I can on my scale, whether that is number 1 or 100. Not be stagnant. Not be satisfied until I still have something to give.
This has really been helpful for me both in a personal and professional capacity. Day in, day out, I do many things I am not good at. Being aware of that is the first step, and constantly improving is the next. I have found that I severely under-rate myself in things where I don’t put any effort. As soon as I start making an effort, I find that the ceiling I had set in my mind was never there. The levels I could reach are much higher. There are a lot of times I have surprised myself. This gives me energy, happiness and confidence. The competition is not outside but within. Cheesy but true…
“I always thought post 9 PM walks from the main gate were not for me. I rated myself badly, always thought I would get caught. I always admired folks who could walk straight from Sunshine to c’not, then ANC, then hostel. I once, dug deep and walked firm right through the door. My life was never the same again 😛. People who I rated highly got caught, not me. That’s magic”
That’s it. These are 2 things that I remind myself of every time I watch this video. There is much more to talk about, but that’s for another day. I will save you some time so that you can watch the video and share some of your favourite rituals/life hacks from BITS below.
Happy BITSians Day 2022.
A graduate from BITS Pilani, class of 2019, I am currently working as a Product Manager at Flipkart. I like to write about things that get stuck in my head. By writing I make sure everyone knows what absurd thoughts I have :P Thanks for visiting.