A Fresher At IIM Lucknow

No one told me that being a fresher at one of the best b-schools in India would be so rewarding (for all the Sheldons out there, SARCASM alert).

You put in all that effort into getting a good score and then cracking the interview. After reaching here, it’s an entirely different world. The time commitment, the work load, the CV proofing; these all sound difficult and very demanding. Truth be told, it’s not an exaggeration. Especially for someone like me who is a commerce fresher with no prior experience of having lived in a hostel.

An added burden for those of you out there, who are like me (inexperienced that is) is to remain smiling whenever a batch mate is shocked after getting to know that you are just a fresher and the age difference between the two of you could be treated as a generation gap almost.

In actuality, it is very easy to get into the rhythm of such a life. One month into a b-school and a mail informing you of a quiz to be held after a couple of hours no longer surprises you.

The first few days you feel like quitting. The pressure really does get to you, and the thought of going back home comes to each and every one, not even the experienced are spared of this thought. But getting through those days is an achievement in itself. It prepares you for the coming onslaught.

And then the CV frenzy begins. You see intimidating CVs all around you, someone is a national level sportsman, someone else has a crazy work experience. You are amongst the best of the best, so it is nothing but natural that all of you have strong CVs. As a fresher, you might feel that your CV is not that content heavy, there are moments when you can sense inferiority complex setting in. Seniors will step in at this moment. And to your astonishment, they’ll restructure your CV in such a manner that you will be shocked to know that you indeed have actually done things in life.

What makes this transition much smoother for you, is the people who become friends in those initial days. It most definitely is difficult, coming to a new place where you do not anyone, and the schedule gets demanding from the first day itself. In those initial days, you might find like-minded people with whom you gel with very quickly, or you might not. It is a matter of luck. For a change, I turned out to be lucky and the people with whom camaraderie developed, were people with whom I could identify to a certain extent. Hanging out together and cribbing about the situation became natural. But it was those moments where we spoke about ourselves, of broken hearts, shared our embarrassing memories, playing ‘Never have I ever’ which strengthened the bond. 2 years is a very short time, and you do not have any spare time to build friendships slowly. Without people around you, the entire duration is one very long crash and burn.

These 2 years of our lives are the last two years of education for most of us. And the most cherished memories for all. Whatever be the case, whatever be the issue, there is always someone who faced similar issues previously. And if they managed to get through it, you most certainly can. The fresher tag might be a chip on your shoulder. You might be unnerved at times. But your inexperience is the most badass arsenal at your disposal.

Pranshu Sonthalia

A member of Forty Two, the literary and public speaking club of IIM Lucknow, Pranshu is a commerce graduate from St. Xavier's College, Kolkata and is currently in the 2nd year of his b-school education, specialising in Marketing & Operations.



Rohan Jindal

Hi Pranshu…I’m Rohan. I’m studying in DU and I’m in my 2nd year.I hv started my coachings for CAT but I’m not sure if I can get to IIMS inspite working hard.Plzz help me with my dilemma and fear.I want to know what it takes for a fresher to get into IIMs.


Hey Rohan!
If you do work hard, you’ll manage to get through it. The fear will always be there.
There is absolutely nothing which is additionally required of a fresher.
Keep calm and you’ll sail through!

Manas Bhageria

Hi pranshu. Can you tell me is it possible for an average student ( with no IIT tag ) to survive in IIM and manage to perform well.