A Silver Lining In The End? – Life At A B-School

As per the general lingo, adapted for a B-School environment, “Everything that shines isn’t a B-School”. Is that true?

I am pretty sure that many of us can relate to what I am going to discuss next, as I walk through the hallowed galleries of a B-school, mostly awestruck by the sheer vibrancy and the academic ambience of the environment. But do not be deceived, treat this as a word of caution, which is applicable to all those troubled souls taking CAT this season. With preparations going on in full swing, the question which crops up from the recesses of the mind is whether you have actually prepared yourself to embrace the life of the business school and have stepped out of your comfort zone? Well, let me leave that to you to ponder upon.

Once as you enter the b-school, the happiness of getting in it fades away as the classes progress in the first week and the selection for various clubs and committees wrecks your nerves. You tend to think highly of yourself post cracking the demanding exam and grilling interview process, and there is no harm in thinking that way either. But soon the bubble of your “superiority” bursts when you realize that almost everyone in the batch is much better than you in some way or the other. Wrapping yourself in self-loathing, having an existential crisis and self-doubting are quite common phenomena to observe. Well, believe me when I say it is very normal and most of us go through the same, if not all.

Then what is the solution? 

It lies not in what you have done till now, but about what can you do with your abilities, achievements and knowledge from now on.

A good way to seek the solution is by coming out of the cocoon of your paradise world and accepting the ground reality would solve most of your problems and help shape you into a beautiful creature in itself. All of us get through this phase even if it takes time. It is then when you dust yourself up and march in the face of adversity (mostly those surprise quizzes which will be actually very surprising) saying “ki farak painda hai” (it hardly matters)

In a rapidly changing and dynamic business environment of the present times, where you need to keep yourself updated on almost every topic under the sun (especially the MBA grads can relate better to this), pretty much exhausts your entire time and you barely get time to breathe. With so much hyperactivity going around, how can one grow personally or have time for himself or herself? If one doesn’t have time for himself/herself it could lead to accumulation of a huge amount of distress in the individual, which can, in turn, take a toll on one’s health. And if someone doesn’t take time to enhance his/her skills for his/her personal growth, then he loses out professionally too, despite showing hyper-efficiency amidst hyperactivity. Maintaining a healthy balance between studies and personal life in today’s world is becoming a myth.

The risks of many ending up as a loosely wired circuit are huge and landing at the doorstep of a counsellor becomes inevitable. Accumulation of such enormous distress can cause a mental breakdown for many, and we all know the gravity of such a situation in the affected person’s life.

I personally think that going to the doctor or psychiatrist once or twice in a year is a healthy way of administering oneself but many of still refrain from doing so due to the social stigma attached to it. Students should understand that there is a reason why we have them on our campus.

I also believe that though the psychiatrist visit is a temporary fix and can help fetch immediate results, it is still not a permanent one. The root cause of such a stress build up and existential crisis needs to be eliminated. Induction programmes should not be a one-way monologue, but should rather be more of a bonding exercise where people get formally introduced to each other and appreciate their as well as other people’s strengths. Club committee selections should not be carried out on the basis of issuing an imaginary “threat” to placements, but should have the underlying value propositions of “learning” and “interest” for the prospective applicants. And finally, the classes should be designed to act as an open forum of discussion of ideas and enrichment in learning, and not a fish market where students resort to DCPs (Desperate Class Participation) instead of a meaningful discussion. “Fear” of grades or placements should not be made a driving force, but “Openness” to ideas should be the driving force instead.

As rightly mentioned by Mr. Anthony D Angelo, “Mind is like a parachute, they only work when you open them”, sums up the crux of the story.

Preparing yourself mentally to sustain in b-school would only ease your survival.

Having said that, let’s buckle up and get set go?

[Image Credits: CNBC, VectorStock, Google Search]

Sudha Rani Halshet

Intrinsically I am a fun loving jovial person, who has set course to explore the roller coaster ride called MBA on the hallowed grounds of IIM Tiruchirappalli (MBA 2018-2020 batch). I have 23 months of corporate experience in Schneider Electric post completing my engineering (B.Tech in ECE) from NIT Calicut in 2016.