As a 2021 engineering graduate, I have some advice for Indian engineering undergraduates who are looking to succeed in their careers. These ideas are based on my personal experiences and observations, and I hope they can be helpful to you in some way.
- Grades don’t matter. While it’s important to do your best, don't let the pressure of grades affect you mentally or physically. There are loopholes in the system, and you should exploit them if needed. More importantly, don’t let college take a toll on your mental health. Consult a mental health professional as and when needed, because your mental health is just as important as your academic performance.
- Build leverage. Your degree is not your leverage, everyone has that. Instead, focus on building a strong portfolio in the field you want to succeed in. Whether you're a coder, marketer, investor, or project manager, focus on creating a strong point of leverage. Don't worry too much about the future, especially if your family can afford it and isn't too toxic. Pursue what you want to pursue, and have a steady source of income to free yourself from financial stress.
- Move out. Don't go home in the summers. Instead, try to go to a different, preferably big city. Don't stay in your uncle's house or a PG your friend’s mom rents out; think about living independently. Own your own kitchen for a bit, make your own food, and clean up your own mess. There’s something poetic about a pile of dishes needing to be cleaned that teaches you about life. You may even want to try drinking or smoking at least once, but don't make it a habit. Get your driver's license and invest in something, anything. Don't pirate stuff - except Academic papers and books whose authors are dead; either use open source or pay for it.
- Fix immediate problems in life. If you're struggling with your health, cut out a carb-heavy food right now and do some basic exercises like squats, pushups, and jumping jacks. If you're struggling with your studies, figure out your pain points and ask for help. If you can't find a job, start a project today. And if you have bad habits, try to break them as soon as possible. Stop complaining all the time and take care of yourself.
- Work like a blue collar. No one works harder than them. Our economy relies on them, so if they lack, we as a species lack. Show up to work every day and make it a habit. Use techniques like deep work to focus on important tasks.
- Take yourself lightly and the world seriously, and have a set of morals that you never stray from. Don't compromise on your values, whether it's in investing, working, or studying.
In conclusion, these are just some ideas that have worked for me, and I hope they can be helpful to you too. Remember, your life is your own, so take control of it and make the most of it.