I recollect those days when I had just passed out of class 12 to join a university. One of the easy choice for me to pursue higher studies was at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham. I believe that it was more of my destiny than the impact from my cousin sister that favoured my choice. Now when I look back, I see the perfect path that had laid out for me, making me who I am now. My life was an incomplete jigsaw back then. I was able to find more pieces to put together with so much of help.
One of the fancy sentence that a freshman hears on reaching campus is that “you have lots of opportunities”. Over time, I realized this was not just a fancy sentence. The university presented me with a variety of opportunities and possibilities. But I see most people not using/ realizing the opportunities that are right in front of them. I feel I am one of the fortunate ones to realize and use some of these opportunities
I joined FOSS@Amrita, one of the most active technical community in the campus, in my first semester. I got guidance from mentors and seniors of the club who encouraged me to aim for excellence and learn more. I wasn’t too nerdy, but commitment, regularity, and hard work helped me to start slow, explore more areas and learn new things.
Technically, I got a very good exposure with help of FOSS@Amrita. I got an internship to work with Wikimedia Foundation sponsored by Google. I flew to Cambodia, to speak at a developer conference. I flew again to Israel for a summer school to learn Machine Learning. I also became part of various events to take workshops and classes for school & college students.
Apart from the technical and academic activities, I also explored other areas as well. I got involved in most of the activities of Ayudh club. The club hosts some of the very cool activities like cleanups, rallies, celebrations etc to spread awareness and involves students to help them understand their social responsibilities. The student social responsibility project helps us to spend our vacation in a fruitful way. We, as a group, visit villages and help them in whichever way we could. Opportunities like these, to visit old age home, do social service, spread awareness etc gave some of good very experiences that would stay throughout the life.
When we had to shift our hostel to the college side, after the first year, but I opted to stay in the ashram. Ashram is a place where people live disciplined, striving towards a particular goal and follow teachings of Guru. Ashram atmosphere provides the feeling of oneness, and more often I enjoy attending bhajans. The people in ashram are kind, loving and free to talk anytime which seems more pleasing than spacious hostel rooms near the college. I go for seva, whenever I am free. I consider it as one of the smallest ways to create an impact in society. I met so many wonderful people, came to know their life stories and learned many good values. I came to know about Amma and grasped many valuable lessons from her life. Although I miss out hostel life with batch mates, pros of staying in ashram are many.
I did try many things that I haven’t thought about doing. Before joining the college, I had no idea how my future would be, but now I know what all to pursue and achieve. I was asking myself on what more can I expect out of a college?