“ We never know how strong we are until being strong is the only choice” – Bob Marley
Exam time can be really difficult. Not only because it demands a lot of time for covering up all the classes you did not go to, to solve all the tutorials questions you missed, to (finally) read all the slides/course material or to binge watch NPTEL videos and complete everything else you have been pushing to the end. Never really thought the entire all of this would come down to just a week or two, right? But it has.
In such a stressful time, we must be motivated beyond measure to even think about wasting time anymore, but then statements like,” Do grades really matter?”, “Life isn’t about marks, they won’t matter after 5 years”, “ I want to pursue X, so how is my performance in Y going to matter?”, “ I want to just be done with my B. Tech degree, damn marks” etc. start to come up. But think about it again, there is a tiny voice in your head which you try to ignore while she tells you that yes, your marks are going to matter. Well, let’s go through a journey that will make you start studying right after you finish reading this article.
Mind Makeup: Gear up buddy
It is certain that you will HAVE to give the majors and you will get some score in those and for that you will HAVE to study, either now or tomorrow. So, studying is inevitable. Now, moving to intensity and duration. Majors start on the 18th, that gives you and me just 9 days to contain the entire semester of every course in our minds (feels like too much? come on! You’ve done more).
But yes, we don’t have a lot of time. Can you recall those 3 crucial hours before any exam? We’re flipping through anything and everything we can find and solve previous year papers and if someone says anything about a topic that we left due to time crunch, we literally skip a beat. Well, I think we must realize that those 3 hrs and the next 3 hrs right now are no different, in terms of how much we can memorize, in terms of how we should use them. Rather, those 3 hours could be way less stressful leading to a better exam if you spend the next 3 hrs like those. The mapping of time in our minds needs to change. If you work hard today, as if your exam is tomorrow then honestly you could be done with 80% of your course. You did it in minors, you’ve done it before. That simply means you can really study way more than you plan to study by simply changing the perspective with which you look at time. Attach more weight to the time right now than the time at the last, because the latter will bound to become important naturally.
Talking about intensity, we often study for an hour and reward ourselves for 2 hours. Because there is no one stopping us from doing that here. I would suggest, surround yourself with an ambiance that pushes you to study and makes you conscious of wasting time.
Library for instance; every time I spend more than 2 minutes looking in my phone there, I feel pressured by all the people in my vicinity, who further push me to study again. Move away from places you are comfortable in, because those places will lure you to comfort away from working hard. You can’t read on your bed without actively fighting your sleep.
So, take your books and laptop to a place without friends and study. You’ll feel like a winner if you come back and find any of them having dozed off while studying, you’ll feel happy for having made the tough yet right choice.
Realizing: Momentum not a problem, only inertia is.
Do you recall your JEE/12th Board days when you were so confidently smart? You literally had the entire syllabus in the mind, and you didn’t sit in the exam hall expecting something to not come. Your brain had exercised extensively for two long years and it was capable of doing anything! And the best part about studying is that you’re very good at it. That’s exactly how you’re here.You still have that badass brain sitting in your skull making sense of this, you only gotta get this amazing engine started, because once it will, it’ll fly to victory.
So essentially, the problem boils down to only get this started. Now, why do we start anything at all? Because of some incentive involved in it, the sooner we get it, the stronger it drives us. Let us now discover some short term incentives and get going.
- A lit vacation
- We all have heard the phrase: “Work hard, play hard”. Well this sums it up just right. We have an entire December to enjoy and you can live them with either of these two feelings-
- I wish I would have studied a bit more/ I’ll do better in the next sem/ I should prepare now for the next sem
- I nailed the majors, I’m so proud of myself. Imma have all the fun I deserve now.
- You don’t and needn’t make your vacation pay for the laze hanging on you right now. Earn the free feeling and start studying already.
- Getting the higher grade of the border
- You never know that the next 1 hour might be the perfect time to earn that 0.7 extra mark which will change your 8 into a 9! That’s all it takes, yes.
- Majors are really the majors
- Majors usually contribute to around 30-50% of the course total and can be a game changer, leaving aside how you have done the entire semester. If you have performed well till now, then giddy up, you’re almost there! If you haven’t done well till now then it’s the right time to get serious and end with a bam!
- They’re adding to your CGPA, and CGPA can take you places you don’t even know yet
- Maintaining a good CGPA is always something handy. You don’t even know how many doors it controls, not only in your life at IIT but outside here too. So, keep think about not messing up with it too much and respect your hard work which has maintained it so well till now.
I really hope, reading this wasn’t an exercise in floccinaucinihilipilification and has been able to motivate you even a little bit for starting your extensive prep for majors. We must all keep in mind that these reasons were all very shallow, revolving around marks and other things. We have a long life to live and we can only control the future, through our present. We made a decision for our future in our past, about coming to IIT or any other college we are in. Now, we must respect that decision and be the best version of ourselves while doing that. The real motivation should be this ‘will to excel’, not by stepping on others but by uplifting ourselves.
More important than marks in the learning that all of us should aim for, but we have our semester for that, not a week before majors. We have amazing people around us, and mind blowing possibilities. We all saw a small instance recently of how innovation in Textile Engineering saved us from smog. It all started here, by someone like you or me, just a bit more determined and brave.
Summing up, I urge all of us to try and be the best engineers, economists, artists or doctors, because simply being the best version of ourselves is a way of life, and if we bring that into our character, by constantly pushing for it, then no matter where we are, what we do, we will be great.