“Our problems unite us but it is our decision to solve it that makes us stand out.”
There are three solutions to every issue – accept it, change it or leave it and Kabir (name changed) believes in the first two. As an engineer who is now pursuing MBA at IIM Bangalore, Kabir calls himself an ordinary guy but his willingness to rise above his problems and seek right support is what makes him extraordinary.
“Like everyone else, I was overwhelmed by 1st term at IIM. I was having a very hard time concentrating in class and was stressing out way too much. I felt that I needed to talk to someone and figured that professional help would be the best way to go about it.”
As rewarding as an IIM course can be in shaping one’s career, life at any IIM is definitely not a cakewalk. It comes with it’s own set of challenges and just like most, Kabit was trying his best to keep up.
When the 1st term at IIM was reduced by 3 weeks, it added to the course workload leaving us with no time to catch up with it. The whole environment became very overwhelming.
At times, everyone feels overwhelmed by expectations, responsibilities and lack of ability to perform but dwelling on that feeling isn’t ideal. With the pandemic in action, Kabir found it difficult to keep it all together.
During lockdown, it was tough to keep in touch with regular friends. The academic stress was real and I was not able to figure out how I should deal with it. This made me feel helpless, and even caused anxiety attacks at night.
What further amplified Kabir’s stress was the project submission which didn’t go as per his expectations.
“I had a pretty bad experience with my project team. We had people who were either hostile or unwilling to put in their part of effort. This was very disappointing and made it quite hard to manage our work. All of this got me even more stressed and I started to panic about things.”
Finding the perfect balance between getting good grades, having a social life, and staying healthy can be challenging and Kabir was already caught up in the strands of an amalgamated routine.
“Things were very hectic. At times, I’d be so occupied with project presentation that I wouldn’t even know when I’d be going to bed.”
At first, just like most of us, Kabir waited out the storm of his problems, thinking that it may stop or change but when he eventually realised that he could no more manage his feelings on his own, he sought out for help.
2020 was a bad year that I found difficult to overcome on my own. It’s satisfying today to see that I actually connected with a professional as my sessions were very helpful.
Kabir believes in honesty and facing the facts. He doesn’t deny that applying his counselor’s suggestions to his daily routine was easy.
“The kind of course I’m in, it can get difficult at times to stick to some of the suggestions. It’s either that or something comes along which upsets you even more and just pushes you back to where you started – Stage 1.”
During his counseling sessions with Madhura Saha, Kabir came across a technique that he was aware of but hadn’t really been able to involve himself in.
“The stress and lack of concentration used to make it hard for me to sit and study for long hours. For this, Ms. Madhura suggested Pomodoro Technique.”
With his counselors help, Kabir got the right motivation and direction to understand the technique and tailor it on a personal level.
As someone with a short attention span, for a regular 20 min of work which ideally requires 5 min of break, mine used to get extended to 15 minutes of break. So slowly, I inculcated the techniques as per my concentration span and I’m off to a good start.
To help Kabir relax himself in panicky situations, the expert suggested him to follow grounding and breathing exercises
“The relaxation techniques that I follow are good. Of course, situations can sometimes make you so overwhelmed that you may not remember to do these immediately but I’m now aware of the steps to practise them and I do try to follow.”
Personal comfort is what Kabir treats most important and for those who are apprehensive of seeking professional guidance, he says self-exploration is the key.
“Counseling is an option for your benefit. Just go for it. It’s either going to work or not going to work. If it works, that’d be good for you and you won’t have anything to lose. In case it doesn’t work, things may not change but you’ll surely be taking something with you – a different perspective.”
With Madhura’s help, Kabir has been truly able to pin down his issues and learn some tips to deal with them.
I’m really thankful to Madhura. Here I go again – thank you but I know that if she hears this, she’d tell me there’s nothing to thank her about just how she says it every time I thank her.
Today, Kabir finds himself in a better place. He lets his problems flow in, doesn’t shut them down but also tries to work on them. Recently, he also landed himself a job in his choice of sector during placements and we are happy for him.
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