Ahh! The start of university life, a brand new chapter in the books of aspiring, talented youngsters brimming with hope, anticipation and confidence. I welcome you all to the prestigious College of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, NUST.
Just two years ago, I was exactly like you guys; a little confused, but more excited and hopeful at the prospect of what lay ahead. Did time really fly? No actually it didn’t! In fact each and every second of the “sweet and sour” life at EME is deeply imprinted on my mind just like an unfading scar! So, I am writing this piece to give you guys a little heads up on what lies ahead, and help you to settle down in to the life at EME.
Discipline: I know there are fabulous rumors about how strict EME is with regard to discipline. Sorry to break it to you guys, but sadly it’s all true! One thing you guys must be wary of is to NEVER breach the code of conduct and the discipline in the college. They can overlook and forgo almost anything, but when it comes to discipline; these people can be a perennial inspiration for ruthless dictators all around the world! From cheating in exams to inappropriate behavior with your colleagues, faculty, and staff etc.; keep one thing in your mind that you will never be spared by any means if found violating the rules and regulations of the college.
But Degree 36, you guys should consider yourselves very lucky, as you won’t have to deal with “THE HOUNDS OF JUSTICE” aka “STAFFAAS”. Until last year, we had to get a daily dose of “Saab, why are your socks of different colours?” or “Saab, why have you changed your hairstyle or grown facial hair?” or even “Saab, why are you smiling now when you were frowning in your RFID card picture?” etc. every damned morning before entering the college. But now they have finally decided to go easy on the civilian students, and this indeed is no less than a revolution. So you guys don’t need to worry about the “inappropriate” size of your belt buckle or a slightly loosened tie, but my advice to you is that please don’t abuse this liberty! You should chillax but try to follow the protocol of the college as much as you can. But if you want to turn EME into LUMS, well dudes dream on!
Study matters: Coming to the important stuff now, settling in here with aspect to your studies might take a little while. Narrating my own experience, I was very unsettled throughout the first year of my degree. I was distraught, disgruntled and dismayed by some of the faculty members and their “methods of grooming and teaching”. Letting you guys in on a secret, I even applied for migration to SMME, NUST twice in the first year. But I believe that when Allah puts you under some punishment, only He decides when to relieve you of it! 😉
Jokes apart, you guys might not have the “friendliest” and “most co-operative” faculty in the first year. At least I can say that for the mechanical bunch. But I can assure you that as the years go on, the faculty gets better. Today, I count my blessings that my application for migration was rejected, as I have had the privilege of being taught by the most talented teachers, who are exceedingly better human beings. So my advice, buckle up for a rough ride at first, but I think it’s worth it!
About the work load, there is no second opinion that you will have to really put your heads down once the semester starts. Work load is only going to increase as the semester progresses, and you will need to raise the bar in order to be competitive. You need to get organized and be consistent. But I guess in the end smart work rather than hard work pays off more. So just try to follow what your instructor wants from you, try to understand his psyche and his methodology, and work towards strengthening your concepts. Always try to be punctual in the class and respect your teacher under all circumstances! I am sure you guys will do great! It really needs to be emphasized that unlike the annual examination system, now you are shifting to semester system. So you need to work hard every day of the semester. Try to ace all the quizzes, and score maximum in the projects, presentations and assignments etc. Add two good sessional exams to that and you will have a decent grade by the end of semester for sure. One important thing, there are no breaks in either the sessional or final exams. The papers are on consecutive days, so you guys will really have to adjust and be resilient!
Extra-Curricular: Despite the first impression the college gives, this is not just a place for the book worms and the nerds. There are loads of fun and recreational activities you can participate in, most of them involving sports. From lush green outfields (only during the monsoon season by the way :p) for cricket, volleyball and football; to a well-furnished basketball court also including table tennis and badminton facilities. From gymnasium for the fitness freaks to very elite facilities like a swimming pool, a golf course and a horse riding club. You name it, EME has got it!
Then to polish your talents and bring out the amazing person hidden inside you, EME has scores of well-established societies. I am not going to give introductions of the societies here, as you will get enough of that once you join the university. But I would recommend you guys to really give them a go. Honestly; I feel that some of these are really dormant and lack any real incentive, but others are flourishing magnificently and are actually doing tremendous work. So it will be a hit and trial kind of thing for you guys, but rest assured, you will find every type of person here. From nerdy, to show off! From religious to downright obscene! And from inspiring to perspiring! So unless you have just landed from Mars, you will surely find your type of ‘possy’! 😉
Then the annual events like EME Olympiad, EME inertia etc. really changes the mood and outlook of the college. During these events, EME actually feels kind of nice! (I can’t believe I just said that :p) And the technical events of immense importance like COMPPEC, NERC etc. will help you exploit your true potential. Also one more perk of coming to EME is that you are not just a student of CEME, you are a NUSTIAN as well (only those who came here via the entry test). So you can enjoy every facility and attend every event in any branch of NUST!
Food: How can I forget this part? For a foodie like me, EME is a heaven on earth! You can get almost anything you want to eat from three different outlets. First “Kiosk”; located just behind the Mechanical Dept., is very renowned for its Samosaas and Chai. Then adjacent to ASG (a.k.a devil’s headquarters); “FRESH” is also awesome. The real star in “FRESH” is Shah Jee’s shop. His crispy burgers and zingers are truly a lip-smacking feast. And another eating spot is EME Café a.k.a “Incantre”. I swear that at one point last year the heavenly mango milk shake and the spicy biryani was the only motivation for me to come to EME. One more eating spot is a little far off, just behind the Jamiya Masjid. It is a dhaaba made for people like me who spend too damn much in the first ten days and then have to settle for “daal roti” for the rest of the month. :p Lastly one more desi dhaaba is just outside EME College, behind the Daewoo Terminal. It’s dirty setting and even more unhygienic food – finger lickin’ good! 😀
So, I hope this will be of a teeny tiny help to you guys. You can always come to me or any other senior for any sort of help or guidance. You will not be disappointed, I can assure you! Further if you guys are scared of ragging and hazing at the start, don’t be! My advice to you is to have fun and enjoy the fooling as far as it remains in the parameters of decency. But once you start feeling agitated and uncomfortable, just say NO and walk off! No one can do a damn thing to make you suffer. As it is said in Urdu “ JO BHONKTAY HAIN WO KAATATAY NAHIN ”. If you want a little heads up on the ragging thing, read my article “BONDING GESTUES – MY FIRST DAYS AT CEME”.
Enjoy your stay at EME! (If possible! ;)) You should feel very proud and fortunate to be a part of this prestigious set up. Just don’t lose sight of your main aim, and always remember that you are now answerable to Allah for this splendid opportunity and blessing He has bestowed upon you, vis-à-vis thousands of other candidates. So don’t waste this chance, and lets work together to make our college and ultimately our country the best in the World! Cheers! 🙂
P.S. Special thanks to aks.eme for the lovely photographs 🙂