My JEE Advanced was over by 5:00 PM on 27th of May, 2019. When I stepped out of the exam hall, relieved that the two years of intense hard work were over, I never realized what was to come later.
Overall, the all my entrance exams had gone well, but just a shade lower than my personal expectations. I had an AIR of 3121 in JEE Mains, and AIR of 3405 in JEE Advanced. Besides this, I had also given BiTSaT (370/450) and UGEE (94/120 in written test + interview = rank 188). Pretty good performance on the face of it.
On basis of that, I was getting BTech+MTech Dual Degree in Engineering Design at IIT Madras, BTech in Computer Science + MS by research in Exact Humanities at IIIT Hyderabad, and BTech Computer Science and Engineering at BITS Pilani Goa campus and Hyderabad campus. All the options before me were quite good, but not exactly what I wanted.
It was a tiring process of elimination, weighing the pros and the cons, everything from “placements” and “ECell” to vague things like “exposure” and “IIT tag”. For a major part of the decision process, I was firmly stuck to IIIT Hyderabad. The reason was that I wanted to learn CS and coding. But I was getting an MS in Humanities as well. That, I didn’t appreciate much. BITS was out of the question, as IIIT Hyderabad offered a MUCH better CS curriculum.
The decision of taking Engineering Design at IIT Madras was taken very suddenly. We were reading about IIIT Hyderabad dual degrees, and we came across a few students and websites saying that it was a restrictive program. They discouraged internships, seemingly, and thought that the dual degree guys were meant for only research. NOTE: this is my personal opinion after reading articles and interacting with students, both from IIIT and IIT. Your opinion may be different. I am in no way demeaning IIIT.
With this assumption, the choice of IIT Madras seemed the safest bet. And so, it was finalised. So what happened when I reached IIT? Read on!