Reaching the summit of the mountainous CAT gives that feeling of irrevocable and irreplaceable joy, especially after long hours of grasping concepts, preparations, mock tests, and the ultimate stressful pressure of the numerous college interviews. A short break after the b-schools announce their results, and thereafter that dreamt life awaits our arrival in the reality.
But wait! Your reality will defy and define its meaning once you are there. The b-school is going to get you off your ground with its magnanimous plethora of activities, opportunities and actions. It does not matter whether you are fresher or hold a considerable work experience, the school takes its toll on everyone, piece by piece. But, it shapes that individual out of you – the one you always wanted to be. You may never appreciate it, but that sense and feeling of acceptance matters.
Amid the new outposts of dreamt reality and hectic schedules, the focus point should be to stick to the individualism. There will be innumerable factors to push you off that precipice, but maintaining stability is important. An instance of success at the cost of a mental breakdown is futile, if it is a success at all. Division and allocation of time are essential, but probing deep down the schedule stands equally viable.
Following instances might turn up in the initial course of time at a b-school –
- Lack of Time – There are three rules in the Game of Time in an MBA. The first being, ‘efficient time management implies efficacious goal achievement.’ The rest two simply do not exist. Time is a demand whose supply equilibrium will never be reached. Again, accept and adapt rather than fretting.
- A bye-bye to Hobbies – I have some astonishing individuals in my class, who are undoubtedly highly intelligent, and equally ace in sports, photography, trading, gaming, writing etc. Name an activity and I will give you an individual from my batch who has a commendable finesse or immense interest in that activity. Do not miss on to your interests when you land at a b-school. Remember, your hobbies stood as significant criteria for your selection at an IIM. Stick to them and do what you love.
- Sleep Deprivation and Bad Health – Agreeably at most points of time, you will have to choose between your sweet sleep and the confluence of assignments, projects, quizzes, etc. In the initial months, when the whole world will run for Summer Placements, the gravity of the situation will push you towards opting out of a few things, namely proper food and that needed nap. Competitiveness is necessary, and so is the achievement, but not on an empty stomach and a messy mind. Embrace your pillow and preparations simultaneously.
- Detachment – Each day at an IIM will shoot you with maximum objectives. The motive is to accept things as they come and sail being unsinkable. Indulgence into priorities is absolutely necessary, but not at the risk of detachment and giving onto relationships. The goal of developing a strong nexus at IIM does not imply that you miss out on friends and family who have supported you all along. Talk to them, acknowledge their support and share. Do not exchange the impregnable support system that you have had for a new one.
- Breakdowns – You cannot be at the top always. Someone will still be there to pull you down. On the contrary, you just cannot hold the bottom place every time. Being engulfed by the failure will only push the adrenaline levels lower. View setbacks as opportunities for comebacks. Perfection is a destination never to be reached, nor is imperfection a crown always to be cherished. Go out, party, enjoy, create imbalances in your chemical levels, and rise up the next day. No one is ever too broken to find his/her way back. Challenge yourself and prosper.
The words of Henry Thoreau, “Things do not change; we change.”, clearly, gives the representation of the lives at an IIM. My idea of change is not to give yourself away in the crowd. Instead, you should capitalise on the opportunities that come ahead without being lost. The red bricks have consistently shaped great individuals throwing the same stones at them. It is the individual who chooses to either dodge those stones, or accept and rise from the bruises. Make a choice; expand, extend and emerge rather than adopting to exclude and exchange.