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The Myths about Manipal – Quashed by Girish Kumar

‘The Mecca of junkies” – a reputation Manipal has seamlessly acquired over the years.  The irrational myth passes on to every incoming batch that Manipal is a drug haven, drunken boulevard, tobacco chimney and simply put – ‘a party college’. Before joining Manipal, even I approached my seniors there with a barrage of questions regarding these moral speculations.

The perception remains immortal with every new batch raising worries and concerns about these rumours – especially the parents. Some parents have been so naïve that they didn’t even take the application form because of these notions. That merely reflects their lack of confidence in their child’s moral strength and they are blinded by false allegations.

As yet another new batch enters the hallowed halls of this institution; I shall make an attempt to throw some light on these misconceptions. The most important thing to note is that college authorities are on high moral ground over these activities within the premises and enforce strict measures.

Manipal is a student-town, with a very vibrant college lifestyle. There are pubs where the bartenders have their hands full and ale flows like a river. Cigarettes are available everywhere. Hookah parlours are aplenty.

The discos are characterised by the pelvic thrusts to LMFAO’s ‘Sexy and I know it’ doled out by the DJ, as the young revellers flock to croon the night away. Yes, there is Western influence and sleaze in Manipal. No denying that.

At the same time, the Manipal library houses a gargantuan and up-to-date collection of IEEE technical journals, reference books and paper publications, as well as a comprehensive database of audio-visual tutorials. An innovation centre that promotes students’ ideas, high tech labs for research, fests, clubs, sports and Asia’s largest gym all offer a colossal scope for holistic development. ‘Where there is light, there will be dark. ‘Where there is dawn, there is dusk’ – a famous saying that symbolizes Ying-Yang concept of contrasts in nature.

Where there is good, there is bad. These ‘things’ exist in every part of the world, and even in the temples of science – the IIT and NITs. In fact, juniors are made to smuggle in drinks for seniors in some government institutions. Manipal on the other hand has a zero ragging policy. Therefore, Manipal being singled out for these vices is completely baseless. It’s all a myth.

In Manipal, no one will force you to fall into these pits. There is no obligation to succumb to the temptations, distractions and peer pressure. The decisions are all yours to make and you are mature and old enough to know the right and wrong; the ill effects of smoking, drugs and alcohol. You are entitled to the freedom of remaining true to your morals and beliefs. This is college, not school where people are doting on you.

Don’t be a wannabe, and don’t do things just to make yourself look ‘cool’ to society. Do these ‘things’ only if you want to. Choose your peers carefully and focus on your ambitions. Think about your parents’ blood and sweat shed to pay close to 15 Lakhs as fees.  Plan your recreation accordingly such that your studies and extra-curricular interests aren’t affected.

Manipal doesn’t influence you. It grooms you into what you want to be. I know lots of people who remain simple and committed to their duties. I also know many toppers who don’t mind a casual drink or party. If you are within your limits and know the repercussions, feel free to freak out. A little common sense and self control goes a long way.

I know people who seem to believe that indulgence is more important than an entire academic year. They remain blissfully unaware of the final impact on their resume.

Manipal is a plush and a vast field of opportunities, with a few landmines here and there. Entering the field is not easy. After entering, if you choose to step on the landmine, why blame the field where others are reaping the harvest?

Its Manipal. You won’t get it unless you get in.

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