Life At An IIM – 7 Contrasting Observations From A DUFF (Delhi University Fresher Female)

I remember walking into this expansive campus and wondering how different this place was from DU, the place I’d called home for 3 years. Even before it started, each person and thing made me realise how different it was going to be, after all, I wasn’t even officially a graduate the day I sat in my first class at IIM Lucknow.

1. Now, as the first year draws to a close, this DUFF has some interesting observations to share! No matter how much you try to underdress, unless you’re looking absolutely shabby, wearing mismatched clothes or footwear, repeating the same clothes for multiple days or actually stepping out in your night suit, you’ll always find someone who’ll ask you – “Are you going out somewhere?”

So unless you’re willing to face constant questions, you’d rather choose to ditch that DU wardrobe and style before you get here, or else you’ll get there after multiple times of being asked this question anyway.

P.S.: Shorts, skirts, 3/4th, dresses, etc. are not considered as proper clothing for the classroom.

2.  80% attendance is taken seriously. Gone will be the days of mocking at St. Stephens or LSR for mandating 67% attendance while you could get away with just a sign for sloppy attendance. While attendance requirements and penalties differ across B-schools, less than the requisite amount (80% here) will most definitely lead to loss of grades.

3.  Be prepared for people to believe that you’re from Delhi even if you’re not all thanks to the DU tag. Now you may wonder why I’m making it sound like a bad thing. You’ll have to visit an engineer heavy campus that stereotypes all Delhi/DU girls and believes that we all struggle to communicate in Hindi without an accent. Zakir Khan – thank you for helping us establish this new found identity.

4. Remember the days when you’d be calling those 19-year-olds in the third year as kids. At a b-school, even at 21, you’re treated as a child who is ahead of her years. After all, if most people around you near the age of 25 consider that as a norm, need I say more?

5. Studying from 10 years will be a thing of the past. With this new found devil known as relative grading that utilises normal distribution and bell curve, you’ll never in your sane state, be able to make any sense of how relative grading works.

6. Pre-reads, assignments, evaluations will actually be taken seriously. While that one test close to the date of exams that we called internals would seem like a real pain back in DU. At a b-school, there is continuous evaluation inside and outside of the class that keeps you on your toes throughout.

7.  While the engineers will be grinning at the idea of way too many females in the campus, you’ll never stop wondering how close to 30% of the college strength of 900 is too many girls even though you may not have been in an all girls’ college.

Though the difference between the two is stark, sooner or later this life will grow on you and you’ll feel at home. As this year draws to a close, I’m already saddened by how quickly time flew by but till the time you don’t get there, there’s always scope to make numerous interesting observations out of all the differences that there are.