One advantage of being older than the hills is that it's a difficult achievement for anyone else to top. Everyone knows you, advertisement is unnecessary, and the sheer size of your enterprise makes it impossible for others to match the kind of all-round gyaan you can offer your unresisting students. Sometimes being on top is just about getting there first and staying there longest.
The OU campus is everything that a student who's been slogging his/her behind off for two years, expects carefree college life to be. It's not just motorists who slow down when they reach OU - everybody seems to do just that. You'll find students lolling about everywhere - on the lawns, the benches, the huge corridors and the stairs - and over everything hangs an air of unhurried peace. And somewhere behind the walls of those grand old heritage buildings, there are classes going on and notes being industriously scribbled. Don't let all that sunny charm fool you, this is one of the best academic institutes in the state.
Each department of the Engineering College is housed in a block by itself, and each block is self-sufficient with its own labs, halls and well-stocked libraries. Students from different disciplines hardly meet each other except during their giddily popular college fest Allgorhythms, or at the unofficial OU hang-out, Friend's Bakery. The annual mag, You, and the inter-college sports events (especially cricket and athletics) also bring students from the various faculties together.
Academically, OU has a lot to offer. Its libraries are excellent, the labs are furnished with the latest, most expensive and best kept technical equipment, professors here know their subjects inside-out and backwards, and seminars and workshops are held regularly by industry leaders. Technical fests like Infinity and Sanjeevani are held often, with inputs from the illustrious alumni, and the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) chapter here is also quite active.
One stark difference between the mode of instruction here and at other places, is that at OU you're pretty much on your own. The college has fantastic resources and the faculty is helpful, but unlike at other places, they don't spoon-feed students or get on their backs to nose the grindstone. And most students are happy with this philosophy of non-interference. The Mechanical department is the most proactive of the lot, and representatives of this group find their way into every college event.
Speaking of events, OU's Allgorhythms is undoubtedly the city's hottest college fest. Organized in large part by the hostellers but with the eager participation of all students, this fest lasts three days, and the most popular event remains the dance-a-thon, Jukebox, which takes place on the stairs of the main building.
OU's main attraction is also perhaps what works against it. The place is so vast and people so diverse that the campus tends to get fragmented, making that binding college spirit an elusive thing to find. But in this sea of faces, everyone gets an education. And not just in the classroom.