Autumn 2009 - Sophomor-ing

Abdul Jabbar Siddiqui's shares his experiences of his first term as a 2nd year uni student.

I was in a serene valley, amidst the green mountains, strolling along the riverside, dived into deep thoughts whilst the birds were chirping and the gentle cold breeze swerved my hair into a tangled mess…when suddenly a thumping sound opens my eyes into reality, to my same old room and the same old alarm.

"Oh no! Its 7:50 am…and my class begins at 8!!"

I get off my bed, and hastily get ready for the first day of sophomore. What a start! What else would you expect after a sweet long vacation? Well, luckily for me, my clock was 10 minutes ahead of the actual time. (It helps me quite often, to set the clock running a bit!)

Memories of the first year

The first year of university has passed away, slipping me into sophomore now. Thinking back, the first year was a pretty nice journey. It was a rollercoaster ride really - with ups, downs and ugly bumps here and there as well. 

The best part was that I made a huge circle of friends and acquaintances from amongst which emerged one of my greatest friends ever. I met and socialised with a lot of people hailing from different parts of the world and varying engineering disciplines. On the other hand though, shifting from the much comfortable school life to the much more uncomfortable and more responsible university life had its share of lessons to teach me. I had to, and maybe still need to, learn to become more independent.

Honestly speaking, I have had to face quite a few problems at the initial stages of my uni life. Mistakes teach you a lot.

Problems I had to overcome

Having classes continuously from morning to evening, in different corners of the campus and spiced up with weekly quizzes and assignment submissions etc will be tough if you do not take the right steps from the very beginning. Trust me, because I didn't follow that advice, and learnt the hard way.

Managing yourself most significantly means managing your time. This, I believe, is the most important lesson we get to learn from our uni life. Procrastination has become one my most serious problems now, which in turn has lead to many other serious problems as well.


I don't think there's a shortcut to rooting out procrastination. "Responsibility teaches you a lot", says one of my professors, advising on how to battle the disease of procrastinating and laziness. It is but natural that we (the youngsters) get swayed by distractions easily, but when we really get into doing something, nothing can stop our enthusiasm, energy and vigor! 

One of my professors says that the more useful/productive responsibilities we take up, the more dedicated we become into managing our time efficiently. Because, when you take up a responsibility, (apart from acquiring skills, experience, etc) you not only have to meet a deadline, but your reputation is also at stake.

Thankfully for me, becoming an active part of the IET YMS in organising and managing various activities, events, etc. taught me a great deal of time management lessons, practically. With the exponentially surmounting academic pressure coupled with such non-academic responsibilities and commitments (of IET YMS, etc.), there isn't any room left for distractions or procrastinations. Eventually, I hope, it will becomes a habit - to set priorities and dedicate my time accordingly.

But still, I haven't figured out a permanent way to get rid off my procrastination, it shows up again every now and then! But hopefully, by the time I write the next IET blog post, I shall have it discovered and shared. 'Till then, take care!