Last updated: October 18, 2021.

I have a 22-page case on automobiles that is due for reading. I do not feel like reading it, but I feel like writing something. So, dear Reader, please bear with me.

It’s been a heck of a term. Sleepless nights, lots of arguments, a lot of growth, well, the list is endless. I’ve decided to write this Term review for a couple of reasons:

  • It helps me put events into place and connect the dots to see the bigger picture.
  • A lot of things happen at IIMA every day. This article is my way of keeping up with my goals and, in general, life.
  • Someone who would bother to read to the end would (theoretically) advise me on doing things better.
  • I’m bored. I should be doing something else, but writing helps me clear my mind and relax.

If I were to summarize the past term in 6 words, it would be:

Kiya smile, pighla dil, gaya Term 1.

Without further ado, here is what I have been doing for the past term at IIMA:

Handling emotions as a 22-year-old

Frankly, that hasn’t been going great. Although, I would argue that I have gotten better at it. I have less frequent “sedboi hours” 1, and I would say I’m going through one of the happiest phases of life to date. Sure, there were moments where I felt overwhelmed, but my study group friends helped me deal with those.

Term 1 was also when I realized that it really helps to have people around you who are more mature. I wonder if it is only me or every early twenty-something year old who goes through it, but at times the mood swings get frequent, so it helps to have people who can talk you out of it.

Hurdling over academics

A friend said, “You can’t possibly study everything, so try to get funda from PGP2s and make effort accordingly.” That is sensible advice. For some reason, it seems like IIMA professors assume that students have more than 24 hours in a day. Even if that were true, it would be hard to get through every suggested and required reading. A better strategy would be to optimize on a variable, say grades and forget about perfecting every aspect of a course. That means:

  • I paid more attention to the classes that interested me - Microeconomics (Thanks Tarun) and Statistics and tried to get the most out of them.
  • I realized that some professors are just plain boring, so I made alternate arrangements to score decently in those courses. That is not the most popular approach, as Michelle Obama would tell you.
    In her words - “You don’t have to like your teacher,” she told me one day after I came home spewing complaints. “But that woman’s got the kind of math in her head that you need in yours. Focus on that and ignore the rest.”
  • I began considering the idea of focussing on what I do best (“globe” courses) to compensate for screwing up in “non-globe” courses.

PS. I’m not questioning the value of IIMA education. I’m incredibly grateful to be here. In addition to being a costly value-signal, this place actually has a lot of intelligent students and teachers.

Badminton

I started playing badminton after coming to campus. I love playing it. I won’t deny it one bit. I don’t particularly excel at it, but it is incredible to drop some sweat after the day’s frustrations. It is my second best way of coping with whatever is going on in life. The best way is to sleep, obviously. Playing badminton also introduced me to amazing people I could wave at when I’m walking around campus. It’s a win-win situation.

You also run into professors, whom you could wave at, hoping desperately that you get called for CP (class participation) just because you’ve met them in the sports complex.2

That Goa Trip

I’m assuming my parents and close relatives don’t read my articles because I would have a lot of explaining if they did. Either way, I would probably remember the trip for the rest of my existence on this small planet (for a minuscule period).3 Frankly, I like that almost everyone treated me as a kid because I get to be my natural self that way.

One of the most memorable parts of the trip was when an IIMA alum said, “You guys (my friend and I) would be incredibly successful in life.” That is the kind of affirmation one needs after a gruelling term. I have a suggestion for IIMA - instead of inviting speakers and alumni to motivate students on campus, just send the students to an all-expenses-paid trip to Goa and observe the motivation flowing in them.

The IIMA brand is so strong that even the random uncle playing cards in the casino go, “I’m honored to be playing with you guys.” (paraphrasing, courtesy of a professor who loves it when students paraphrase)

Surviving

I had an excruciating first month because of the summer heat. Although, the Students’ Activities Office eventually considered my request and that eased my life a little. I was incredibly naive to think that summer was the biggest problem of my life, because the mosquitoes were just waiting there like, “Aa ja, aa ja, deta dengue.” I was hospitalized for dengue fever and I missed Freshers’ Night. Although, friends tell me it wasn’t that great (or at least that’s what I tell myself).

A few weeks after that episode, I got a dog bite. I don’t even want to rant about that anymore. You can read about it here.

Nothing has happened after that. I hope it stays that way.

Writing

I had not written a lot of things, to be honest. I would be making excuses if I said I did not have the time. There was just a lot going on, and I did not make a conscious effort to write more. I wish to change that for the upcoming term. In fact, this article is the start of that. Writing helps me clear my mind. It is therapeutic in that sense.

Next Steps

  • Make more friends. I do not know many people outside of my section. I’d love to reach out to more people and be friends with them. A few more random trips would be nice.
  • Do better academically. The grades for most courses are not yet announced, but I could do better nonetheless. It would only help me with my dream of going to New Zealand on exchange.
  • Have an incredibly exciting Term 2. I’m excited both academically and otherwise about what is to come. I still need to optimize the grades, but I’m confident my friends would help me through this term as well. :v:
  • Writing. Write a lot more during term 2 and keep writing.

Footnotes

  1. To that one friend: If you’re reading this - Sorry. You’ll get used to it, I hope. It’s not as funny. Come on! 

  2. Just between you and I. I’d say this works. So, please come to play badminton. And say hi. 

  3. I’m dramatic like that. 

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