When you enter an unfamiliar college campus and know that you are going to settle there for the next 3-4 years. You try to get acquainted with it. On the first day itself, you meet your batch-mates, find out where the cafeteria is, and most importantly look out for your hostel. Also, an orientation is organised by senior students, where an introduction about the college is given and a campus tour.
There are several expectations when student enter a much anticipated college life. And to begin with, they look forward to the Fresher’s party. This party provides them an opportunity to loosen up and interact informally with their seniors.
However, at IIT Patna (IITP) senior students break the ice by conducting an introduction session. But before this session, first year students are asked to fill in a form prepared by their seniors. The questionnaire is general, it includes questions like life goals, hobbies, and interests etc. “On the basis of the questionnaire, we invite first year students on stage to talk about their interests and passions. It helps them in getting acquainted with the rest of the batch. It also gives us a chance to know who will carry our legacy forward,” said Akhil Shukla, Vice-President of Student Gymkhana at IITP.
Students get out of their comfort zone to perform in front of an unknown crowd. And the introduction session doesn’t end there. Those students are later called by the second year students to perform at the Freshers’ party, Nebula. It is a ritual at IITP, where first year students performs, second year students organise, third year students supervise.
Shubhendu Yadav, a first year mechanical engineering student, said, “On the first day, I saw a groups of students, belonging from all parts of the country. Every student had a different view, and a different approach to things but what linked us was Nebula. This chance to perform in front of the IITP community in the first semester itself, increased my confidence.”
Presumptions and pre-conceived notions about Patna and Bihar are a little negative. To make things more relaxed, first year students are asked to bond with the second years as soon as they enter college. Freshers are segregated for fashion show, dancing, acting, and singing. Varun Garg, a first year Computer Science at IITP, “I liked the idea of performing at my own freshers party. I acted in a play. Today, my batch-mates and seniors recognize me. Even, Prof Pushpak Bhattacharyya, the director saw my performance.”
Shukla also added, “We organise Nebula this way, so that the freshers can let go of their fears and insecurities.” Nebula also aides the seniors in getting to know who is an extrovert, or an introvert, and who will be a part of which club later on.