Wednesday, November 13, 2013

[STUDENT ESSAY] "Learning to balance my life" by Amit Luthra

By Amit Luthra

The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) is one of the foremost institutes of importance in higher technological education in India. For two years of high school, I devoted my time to prepare for the IITs entrance examination by spending more than one-third of my day with books and rarely interacting with friends.

After becoming an IIT Roorkee, I was delighted but realized that I needed to focus on getting an all-round development and improve my soft skills while maintaining good academic performance. Identifying student activities at IIT Roorkee as a medium to achieve my goal, I got involved in a large number of student groups without carefully analyzing and selecting the groups which were in-line with my interests and the skills I needed to develop. Following my peers, I started working for diverse student bodies like Watch Out (students news magazine), Entrepreneurship Cell, Intellectual Property Rights Cell, etc., each of which required some time commitment.

Many a times these activities stretched me to the limits and I could not devote required time for my daily studies. The lack of self-discipline and directional approach to achieve my goal not only led to a low academic score in my second semester but also resulted in lower self-confidence and an increased level of stress for the subsequent semesters. Although, I was able to score well in other semesters and increase my GPA, I was not allowed to appear in the placement process of some of my dream companies as I could not fulfill the criteria of the minimum 7.5 GPA in one of the semesters.

After an unsatisfactory performance, I realized that I should have devoted an appropriate amount of time for my daily studies and should have managed the rest of my time for selective activities. Since my attention was divided among multiple things, some of which were insignificant for my long term objective, it had prevented me from allocating the time and attention that were necessary during my first year.

This realization along with a high spirit to succeed brought me back to life. During my third and fourth years, I was able to hold on to most positions of responsibility and concurrently, improved my class ranking and academic scores. I wish I had prioritized and selectively participated in extracurricular activities during my first year as I did in subsequent years at IIT Roorkee.

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