The Life And Lies Of A B-School Student

It starts with the light going on your phone. (Let’s call it the b-school version of the Deathly Hallows, in reverse order) It’s something that b-school students will supposedly end up getting used to in a while. It could be the wake-up alarm that’s been snoozed thrice already. Let’s face it; your planning skills will get honed to the extent that you can predict in quantifiable terms how much you will procrastinate. The Invisibility Cloak will come off, and it is time to be visible to the world in both body and mind.

The second time the bugger lights up, it’s because of the barrage of notifications – those wretched WhatsApp groups for assignments or class groups (there are always those set of people in every class who can be the reason of violent thoughts entering your head).  Hence the need for the second Hallow – the Resurrection Stone. But when you really sit to think about why different people behave differently, you’ll find an interwoven mesh of insecurities, with your own thread starkly visible in the looking glass.

Finally, just after you’ve been caffeinated, (or not- you’ll soon realise that some of the most fundamental guilty pleasures of your life might be snatched out from under your feet for a while) by which time you must give up dreaming of more sleep, the blasted screen lit up again, this time because of the daily missiles in the form of emails. The fancy official email id that becomes the boon and bane of existence often requires the use of the Elder Wand. Elder, because it needs a magical system of sorting through the opportunities and threats, that one can learn over time using this simple, yet useful spell.

*Red sparks* The Priority Matrix:  One of the greatest gifts one can receive as a part of the “How to survive Term One” kit, this goes a long way in ensuring that your mind is clear and your ultimate goal a little more visible.

Step 1:  You “swish and flick” your pen on a sheet of paper so you have four quadrants.

Step 2: Say the incantation – Label your quadrants as “Urgent, Not Urgent” and “Important, Not Important”

Step 3: Magic! Once you allocate every single task you have on your mind into these four categories, you’ll see how brilliant this tool is, because humans have this uncanny tendency to burden themselves with things they don’t need to do at present and waste a lot of energy in the process.

It is, however important to note that you put everything on your mind to paper. This means, all the subsets of tasks like socializing, academic workload and daily chores must feature. Then, the only thing left to do is to select things that are urgent and important – and our favourite part, dumping all that’s neither urgent nor important. However, it must be remembered that the wand is only as good as the wizard.

While not completely fool proof, it is alright to feel lost or take things slow in the beginning or try and make sense of this crazy world of possibilities – everyone does it, albeit secretly sometimes. Speaking of possibilities, the past month would count as a reality check of potential in both extremes. You might often feel like Ron Weasley – a sense of mediocrity about yourself sets in, and it doesn’t always feel great to be surrounded by Hermione Grangers and Harry Potters. Or, on those magnificent occasions, you could surprise yourself and realise that you did something amazing all by yourself (without Felix Felicies). And suddenly, the world seems right and b-school is a great place to be. The point is, this could be something as trivial (to some) as finding your voice to participate in class, or make small talk with strangers or get a tricky question in an (N-1) quiz right. None of this is going to matter in the Grand Design of things, but the truth is, these small victories could, in fact, lead you to learn from failures and give you the courage to live a little more today for tomorrow’s dream. For, “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live”.

Because when the euphoria of landing up where you did fades off, past the days when you ask yourself what it is that you really signed up for, there is life – a life that hundreds spend their every waking hour dreaming of. There is a family you’ll find among strangers, a sense of freedom in a remote campus, a capacity amidst a sea of eccentricity.

Then you’ll know that the saying was true – You only B-School once. 

Riddhi Kalra

Tends to be obstinate about pondering on the other side of things- the "what ifs", that have the potential to change the end of a story. Likes to appreciate the brilliance in mediocrity and the beauty in humility. Enjoys reading novels and is an amateur guitar player. Currently studying in the first year of the Post Graduate Programme in IIM Trichy.

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