I know what I'm going to write is maybe a controversial post, but this one thing bugs me down. I want to tell my own story.
But before starting this post I need to make some confessions. Yes, I'm studying in a Tire 3 engineering college in India. Yes, I might be jealous of the tier 1 students. But what I'm going to tell is true and truth is often harsh. Another disclaimer, I'm a Computer Science student. So, I can't advocate for any other field of study in engineering. And a final disclaimer: this post might be rude, but this is what I wanted to tell for the past two years.
First of all let me clear some things for you. In India IIT's and NIT's are often called Tire 1 colleges. Some exceptionally renowned govt. and Private colleges are Tire 2 colleges and the rest of them are tire 3.
Now let's come to this - how students get admission in top tire computer science colleges. JEE Mains and JEE Advanced examinations. This exams test your skills in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. Now just step back 1 step and read that again - for admission in "Computer Science and Engineering" people are tested for their skills in Physics and Chemistry. I know mathematics is really useful for the core concepts of Computer Science. But Physics? Chemistry? Yeah, there might be some field specific cases, but in general, I don't think so.
Now, these experts in physics chemistry and mathematics get a chance to get to the tier 1 colleges. And they study computer science. And the kid who did not like chemistry and struggled to accumulate 1 - 2 hours a day just to learn game development (which is actually doing some programming related work) is thrown away in a tire 3 college. Yes, I appeared for JEE, both mains and advanced but Chemistry always backstabbed me. I got 72 in mathematics but in physics and chemistry I was in 30s and 20s. And in advanced I managed a score around 90 with mathematics and physics alone, in chemistry I got something near to 0(I can't remember, or maybe I never wanted to remember).
I know this is getting personal, but I want every reader reading this post, feel the discomfort, the sadness, the emotional pain I went through. Yes, after all this I was heartbroken enough to abandon game development completely. You can tell me, there is nothing to be sad about, or you can bounce back from here. But no, a kid stepping just into 18 is not adult enough to realize the "other" ways. Since my childhood I have been told one thing, "better college = better opportunities". And, yes it is totally true in India.
Remember the just adults getting admission in tire 1 colleges with computer science? Yes, in their colleges the MNCs and the best of the best companies go to find students. Yes, among those who are just interacting with computers on a deeper level for only 3 years(yes, in the 1st year you are given general Science subjects to study). Meanwhile, me and people like me who are tinkering with computers for more than 5 years often have to go to these MNCs to 'beg' for a job. And after every well trained 'robots' from IITs getting a job in these MNCs, thousands of students compete in ridiculous coding contest with more ridiculous coding challenges, just to get a job where they make a REST API calls to save form data. I can do that in 5 minutes. But the tire 1 student you are getting has to even be trained for doing that. Because, previously they knew Physics, Chemistry while coming into Computer Science, and now they know how to solve riddle like competitive coding problems in a whiteboard without an IDE and Google, which is just the opposite to solving competitive coding problems. I will talk more about competitive coding and DS Algo problems from a web dev perspective in a different post.
Sorry, I got a bit off-track. So, my point on that paragraph above was that, the students knowing physics and chemistry get better training, better opportunities and all that. While someone thriving on their passion since class 10, gets mediocre(compared to the IITs) guidance and chances, clinging on to which can be really considered as lucky.
So my question at the end is: should we follow the system or the passion? Should I study hard to get in a dream institute which may lead me to a dream job. Or, live with my true passion and climb my way there.