Here’s the complete recipe for a mental breakdown, refined by me over the semester and having culminated into a masterpiece at the end of three and a half months.
1. Projects which you’ll never complete. : At least 4 nos
2. OpenGL assignments which you hate for obvious reasons: 1 nos
3. OS assignments that you like, but don’t have time for: 1 nos
4. Miscellaneous assignments, presentations etc. : 2 nos
5. Sun Campus Ambassador job in a place like MNIT : 1 nos
6. College System Administrator job: 1 nos
7. Burden of applying for the Google Summer of Code: 1 nos
8. Examinations per month: 6 nos
9. Attendance shortage in subjects: 3 nos
10. A social life which involves a lot of maggots : Extra, for taste
How to prepare your killer Mental Breakdown Delight:
Begin the semester with a clear mindset of what you’re going to do, what projects you’ll take up and what activities you’d like to involve yourself in. Now make sure you have too many areas of interests, otherwise, it’s a little hard to get the flavour just right. Now pick one project each for every area of interest that you’ve got, and make sure that none of them have overlapping fields. One such combination that gives you good results is parallel computing, HA Clustering, electronic design automation and game development. Keep it to boil in a normal sized dish and stir until your mental gravy starts to bubble.
Make sure you have a job like the Sun campus ambassador job wherein you have to conduct workshops on FOSS during your institute’s technical fests that are organized by very capable beings. Note that the gravy won’t thicken if you have a very good FOSS culture in your institute and there are a lot of dedicated students all set to make it a grand success. There should only be a selected few students running after everything. The lesser the count (apart from you), the better.
Now in between your projects and your workshops, make sure you try and explore other worlds as well. You could try taking a one week vacation off to attend a conference like Sun Tech Days, have a lot of fun and return only to be shocked at how many classes you missed. Now begins the attendance shortage component of our recipe. Make sure you’ve missed enough classes so that you don’t feel like attending any more. For best results, bunk those classes wherein tests are conducted frequently, so that you avoid attending them as long as you don’t know anything.
The mid terms will be around just to test how spicy your dish is. If you’re well prepared with your subjects, the mid terms won’t add any extra zing to your mental breakdown dish.
After this point, you can set the flame to a slightly higher level if the bubbles aren’t forming fast enough. Add two weeks of the Google Summer of Code application period wherein you have to make a proposal and submit a patch for the project’s code as part of the application process. In order to give the gravy that burning feeling, make sure you have to attend to system administrators from NRCFOSS during this application process and work with them on hardening some of the institute servers. It’s recommended that they prefer to work with a distribution of Linux that you’re not comfortable with, like Deepofix. Chances are, you’ll suck at balancing your time here and hence, it’ll improve the dish in every possible way.
In the meantime, chop a few more pending assignments on a separate plate and keep adding to it while you’re preparing the rest of the meal in parallel. This is done, so that by the end of the semester, you’ll have way to many assignments left to do and that upon adding the contents of this place to the gravy, your dish will explode in a super nova of burnt out brain cells.
For those who’re extra ambitious as far as tinkering with their own sanity is concerned, you might want to try having a social life wherein everyone (at least most people) around you are complete maggots. You can have them range across all levels from class 1 to class 4, and for best results, you might even want to know a couple of super maggots who’re so sly, that you’ll be in the dark until the throw phase of the use and throw routine that maggots are known to follow.
By the end of the semester, your mental breakdown delight should be more than complete. Serve and enjoy!