There are 24 hours in a day. 25 of which I spend staring at my books.
In my city, Mumbai, India, summer vacations for most have already started. College students as well as kids frolic around in the blazing sun while attempting to catch the last drop of their ice creams. While some are catching flights into relaxed oblivion, I am here wiping my sweat with my notes.
UOLIA EXAMINATIONS 2018: Countdown begins.
Honestly, everything else seems enticing at this point. Every guide, textbook and notes compilation is slowly turning into a psychedelic blur; and not just for me. Somehow, I am losing the motivation to study and we are inching closer and closer to D-day. Even the subject I love: Economics, a long love affair, is turning toxic and every day I find myself becoming more and more like the 2007 Britney*.
It’s almost like I am shying away from studying and I am finding reasons to avoid the last few moments I would ever have to spend revising this year. Suddenly, I want to read every novel on my bookshelf, watch every movie or show on my list and every cat/dog/dragon video on the internet. The ground is splitting and my academic foothold is disappearing into wonderland. I am the shy Alice**.
However, COMRADES! WE CAN DO THIS!
It’s the last leg of an academic year, the last piece of the puzzle to the world of infinite opportunities. In fact, that is exactly what motivates me! We will finally visit what I like to call the “Upside Down” (yes Stranger Things junkie here). It is not a dark, morbid place where it continuously snows but a dimension of endless fun, opportunities and further planning of your academic or professional career that is refreshingly exciting!
Here are some things to look forward to in the upside down.
Passport and postcards
This doesn’t need any further explanation. TRAVEL the one greatest hobby each one of us harbors in some shape or form. As individuals currently learning and open to new lessons everyday, travel enhances our knowledge of culture, cuisine and social structure.
Often, you might have epiphanies that might connect your academic teachings to the social or economic skeleton. If you are planning to write a thesis you might get insights into your area of interest. You could partner with organisations in the city or town where you could volunteer to help or get help for your exploration of an academic topic. It is a great way for people who need a vacation but also need to be proactive at all times.
From books to board rooms
As a student it is sometimes difficult to deal with the distortion we face when thinking about the use of theoretical concepts in the practical sense. The best way to get over it is to get an internship. I know this isn’t a new idea to us students, but we often forget how important relevant experience is.
An internship relevant to your chosen field or area of interest in terms of further education or work can give motivation to finish this degree and learn further than any other motivational tactic there is out there. It connects your interest with your learning, guiding you to a game of elimination and discovery as you further discover your interests. It is exciting to realise that you can make a difference and that the knowledge you have is relevant and buildable.
Entering the market also teaches you what you lack in skills. For me, I m looking forward to discover the field of UX Research to understand what I should look for in my Master’s education so that I can plan for the course and job I have to target. I am excited to meet professionals and new people from whom I can learn.
If you are studying at a Teaching Institution, you can approach it’s placement department for help with application and resume writing. In India, you can look for internships through Internshala, Lets Intern among the many websites out there. Personally, I find the best thing to do is approach employers directly. Most might reject you but with persistence you can get a very good internship.
As a second year student, this year I finish most of my applications for a master’s. If you too are planning to pursue further higher education as soon as your degree ends, it’s time to put on your game face again.
Continue researching your choice of universities and degrees to clearly understand the prerequisites of the universities and degree in terms of language proficiency exams, entrance tests, the GRE’s and GMAT’s and also the subjects you need to be eligible for that degree.
It’s very important to make a timeline for studying, any reattempts and applications for universities as each of them has different deadlines. Most importantly, this planning will help you choose your third year subjects and discuss it with those around you.
I realized I need more quantitative subjects than I planned for and thus will need to alter my subject choices next year accordingly. You don’t want to realize this when it’s too late.
A lot of us might also prepare for other professional exams which need a whole other seat on the table of preparation and learning. This time is the good time to look them up and start preparing. Some might choose to attend a summer school to learn subjects that might not be offered in their institution and just soak in the experience of being on a different campus. All in all it’s a great experience too.
It’s time for fun!
Many students, including me, have a full-time commitment to this degree. Some might pursue other things alongside it, like holding a job. But once exams are over, a lot of free time does open up. It’s the best time to finally take up those guitar classes or dance classes. Now a good chunk of time can be given to put on the teaching hat and all in all develop yourself to be a well-balanced individual.
I must admit, second year for me wasn’t as well balanced as I had hoped for it to be. Being a student all my life it’s almost poetic how terrible I am at planning out my study and other activities in harmony. And for all of us out there, this is a good time to take up all those projects.
It’s also an opportunity to build a good resume by as mentioned before, not only taking up work but also learning new skills and hobbies that you will stick to. Every good university and company for that matter looks for a well-balanced candidate because it reflects their abilities to multitask and a more forward looking outlook of the world.
Just a few more weeks and exams would be done and dusted! Let’s keep our head in the game and stay motivated as we have a lot of exciting opportunities to look forward to. Stay focused!
If you are reading this after the exams are over, then YOU MADE IT to the upside down! The doors to the next level have unlocked for you!
Stay positive. All the best comrades!
*Dramatization **Extreme Dramatization
Nikita is studying Economics in India.