Semester Break in a B-School!

My friends in b-schools (before I joined one) used to tell me that life there was very ‘busy.’ I always wondered the ‘newness’ about being busy because most people are busy.

It was only after I joined one myself that I came to realise what ‘busy’ meant! I got an entirely new perspective to this word! Five months of craziness descended upon me as I tried to figure out what was happening around me. And then came the month long semester break. Yes, IIT Bombay has a semester break even for its management students.

I have seen people doubting the usefulness of such a break for b-school students. After all, we are the managers of tomorrow who would work day in and day out. We would become part of a system which moves at a frenetic pace. We should, therefore not be spoiling ourselves with a month long break. ‘Rest’ is a sin. Life at a b-school is supposed to teach us to become, well, ‘busy’!

This is where I have a difference of opinion. No matter how prepared you come for your life at a b-school, you are going to get surprised sooner or later. The fact that your summer placements stare you in your eyes while you adjust to the lifestyle of a b-school is a challenge in itself. At the same time, you are expected to be part of club work, committee work, sports activities, new social life, and maintain good grades too. The least I can say is that the situation becomes ‘demanding.’ And you have no option but to run. ‘Rat race’, a fancy term we hear often, ends up becoming a reality.

This is where the semester break comes in handy. Agreed that a halt in the race breaks the momentum, but it also allows you to look around and assess what you are running for and why you are running. This is the best time to stop, look back, and introspect. This is the best time to realise that the best race you can run is the race with yourself. Instead of running blindly, this is the time to realign your paths and focus. This is also the time to pursue activities that interest you (winter internships in areas of interest, NGO work, study tours etc.), activities which you are really hard pressed to give time for during your academic calendar.

Above all, it is time to spend some quality time with your family. Your families long for you when you are away from them. This is the time when you repay them by your mere presence. It is also the best time to service yourself and remove all the clutter from your mind. Every machine needs servicing. A B-School student’s mind, probably the most complex of all machines, needs this servicing more than anything.