By Karan Bhasin:
As admissions in Delhi University begin, we come back to the eternal question – does the course matter more than the college? If you happen to be someone seeking admission in DU and that even remains a question in your mind, then you have fundamentally misunderstood India. The college you go to matters folks. The brand name you display on your C.V. is everything. Had I not had the name of my college so proudly plastered across my C.V., I doubt I would have got the job I managed to get today.
India has, and always will be a land of Chaapas, one is judged not by the strength of one’s character or intelligence, but by the tick boxes that need to be checked in their C.V.
Delhi University is about to begin its annual tradition of slotting students in colleges based on a numerical percentage that often times is not a direct reflection of that student’s abilities, aptitude, or intelligence – the dreaded cut-off list. Isn’t it crazy that one arbitrary decision by a college has the potential to change the destinies of thousands of students?
You will meet many a temptress, seducing you to join their college because it has “a great crowd” or “throws the best parties in all of DU“. Don’t be fooled, for the snake oil you will end up buying will seem like sent from heaven at first, but when the realities of the real world catch up, both the salesman as well as his snake oil will be of no use to you. If you have the marks for a top DU college, don’t even think twice about the course, because ultimately after 3 years, the name of your college on your final DU mark sheet will be everything.
It is only with some distance that I have realized the value of my degree. The awe in people’s eyes when they hear that I graduated from SRCC, though not at all justified, does exist. We Indian’s can’t help it, we love our ‘chaapas‘. Let me talk for a moment about my course, B. Com (Hons) or what I like to call “a 3 year tease of what to expect if you decide to pursue Chartered Accountancy.” It taught me very little, the majority of it has absolutely no application in my day to day work life. So while full attendance in class does carry with it the reward of 5 extra marks in the semester, be aware that just outside the classroom, there exists a vast myriad of opportunities just ripe for exploration. The learning and wisdom one gets from participating in extracurricular activities is priceless, no classroom can give you that type of knowledge.
The true value of your college really comes to the fore only after you start applying for work. I am under no illusion that my winning personality or my charming communications skills had anything to do with me securing a good job. But maybe you have more high minded goals? Research perhaps? Maybe a stint studying abroad? Hate to say it, but society decided a long time ago that your college name was a sufficient discriminant for even that.
Now, if after all my pessimism you are still absolutely set on the subject you would like to study and are willing to make the extra effort, then I’m not too worried about you, because you know what you’re doing. You will succeed not matter what, because you’re making an informed choice, not a convenient one.