Tuesday, 3 May 2011

UPSC Blues: What to do when you are feeling depressed

There are good times and then there are tough times. We have all gone through them at some point of time. Its not very unusual that some students lose confidence in the middle. There are three kinds of cases that I can summarize:
Short Term Distraction
In between an intense study plan, there are incidences where we suddenly lose track. Example, after an intense planned study over a month. Ajay, thought of taking a couple days vacation. When he came back, he felt that he is not able to connect back to his study plan. And then he thought, may be he needs a little more break. He watched cricket for a couple more days and relaxed, only to find that the situation is worse.
What should Ajay have done?
Competitive Peer Pressure
Very often, aspirants develop a feeling of competitiveness with their peers. How far have my friends studies, how much do my college-mates know, how do I stand against my coaching buddies. One bad test and the momentum to study is lost. Take the case of a bright young student Neha - a topper of her school and a brilliant student in her college. She chose to do self-study while her friends chose a coaching institute. Neha felt tremendous pressure when her friends asked questions that she did not have an answer for. Every time such a thing happened, she changed her study plan and chased a new topic - finally losing track of it.
What is Neha doing wrong?
Loss of Purpose
Competitive exams are tough and and the truth is that the selection rates are very low. The fear of failure can scare even the bravest. There are so many students who lost the track searching for alternatives or leaving the battle in the middle.
Too many ways to lose the focus !! How can one keep the battle on with a deep focus on the goal. Here are a few thoughts:
Easy Things First
·         Be a part of the study-group
·         Ajay could have simply got on to the study-group and become a part of the ongoing discussions. Its easy to keep an academic focus in a group.
·         Make sure the group members are serious and focued
·         Look at the bigger picture
·         If you are aspiring for Civil Services you are competing with aspirants from the whole of India. Competing with your friends around will make you lose them.
·         Help your friends in their preparation, they will help you too.
·         Understand different learning styles
·         Coachings have a set program. Self-study program is unique to every student.
·         If you are doing self-study and not able to answer a few questions taught at a coaching. Ask yourself, am I missing this question, or I need to relearn this topic.
·         Not knowing a few questions is ok.
The Not so Easy Things
·         I end up repeating this phrase: "Confidence is Your Best Friend"
·         Pick the RIGHT GOAL
·         What is your goal? A lot of students tell themselves: My Goal is to Become an IAS
·         Change your Goal to: I Will Give my Best
·         "Focus on the 'Karma' and not on the 'Outcome'.
·         Plan your Career
·         A lot of good career options (read exams) require the same preparation as UPSC
·         Study alternative career paths too. Just because you are looking at other options does not mean that you are not focused on Civil Services
Matters of Faith
·         Have Faith
·         Have faith in whatever you believe in. You may believe in God, Spirituality, Nature, or your Parents.
In summary, believe in yourself and give your best shot. Chase your dreams and fight it like a real champion. Results - ya they are good but the journey is the real thing.

Keep it simple: I promise myself that I will give it my best

No comments:

Post a Comment