“May Day. May Day. Crash landing imminent. Brace yourselves for impact. “
That’s the kind of message getting broadcasted in our minds right now. It’s been 2 weeks into the PGPX regime, and we are way past the ‘dreamy-eyed-so-excited-to-be-here’ phase. Reality has hit us, and hit us hard. From campus hopping selfie taking new recruits, we have become sleep deprived assignment burdened PGPX participants. Welcome back to school!
I have been told by the alums though, that it is not as crazy, once we get used to the grind. Which would take anything between weeks to months, depending on your adaptabilities. I was pertinent enough to ask for survival tips from an alum, and was met with a curt response, “Never. You need to figure this out yourself”. Well, so much for niceties.
But then, all of us have different coping mechanisms. Some have taken to studying-whenever-I-see-them, rather “don’t see them” routine, some have hit the gym or the squash court in hopes of getting some endorphins released to make them feel good. And some like me have taken recourse to venting our overwhelming emotions on the online media.
Classes start at 845 am sharp, and we are expected to be there at least five minutes before, else we end up being too early for the next class.
Tips to be punctual in class- wake up an hour before, skim through the pre read material (that’s usually about 30-40 pages), skip the breakfast and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.
Fifteen minutes breaks between classes have been reduced to five- and we need to decide whether splashing water on our faces, or gulping that steaming cup of tea- which would have a better effect on our clogged minds. The professors love to surprise us, and we are often called for case presentations and various group activities in class. We also love to surprise them with our pleasing performances.
Surprise quizzes have started rolling out, which means we have to drastically cut down on our lunch time chatter, in the hopes of going through some of the material we were supposed to cover. It mostly serves to reduce the guilt in our minds of not being through the course material, than any other purpose.
A typical day at campus would be followed by preparing for next assignments, market visits, coffee breaks at the on campus cafes, more assignments and case discussions. Most of it is done in the respective syndicate rooms- we have been divided into small batches with a study room assigned to each that goes by that name. It’s the place to brainstorm on strategies for cases, discuss what went wrong in that test, complain about there never being adequate time…. and build life long bonds!
For the courageous souls, there are a lot of other options too. The squash and tennis courts, the state-of-the-art gym seem alluring, but only few of us manage the time and bravado to pay a visit to one of these. It’s no doubt one of the cafes on campus has been named “Tanstafl” – acronym for “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”.
Sometimes I do feel like SRK in Kal Ho Naa Ho, ready to stretch my arms and blurt out loud, “Bas waqt hi to nahi hain mere paas” !
And at 4 am we return to our rooms, in the hopes of reading one of those three chapters we are supposed to read. All that we can do though is crash.
If somebody had narrated this routine to me before venturing out here, I may have said, this wasn’t humanely possible. But that’s the beauty of the place and of the people out here. Despite all the hurdles, we somehow find the drive to wade through it all, sometimes with a smile too, for that is what IIMA is about- challenging your own limits and setting new goals each day. It’s a place where you redefine yourself as a person. And there’s not a moment to lose.
(A clarification for my syndi mates- this article was not written at the cost of bunking that group assignment, rather by compromising on my sleep time 😃 )
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Archya, is a doctor-turned-healthcare administrator, who is in his idle time, likes to ruminate on his journeys through this material world, that has brought him everything but fame and money. May be Blongshong is his second chance !
Archya is presently pursuing a MBA (PGPX) from IIM, Ahmedabad.
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(The pictures have been taken by the author, and sole copyrights are with blongshong.com)