This young boy of 8th standard, who seemed to be the brightest in the class, was called to the front by his teacher, to brief an Historic war.
Using the blackboard, he described the various events of the battle in interesting detail.
He was good with humour and with English too!
Impressed, the teacher said, “Brilliant Raghu, so what do you want to be when you grow up?” The boy who wanted to be an Artist though, did not answer at that time and decided to ask his father. Excited by the praise he received from his father, he narrated the event in complete detail and waited for his father to tell him, what should he be, when he grows up.
His father said, with a proud smile on his face, “Tell your teacher that you want to become an IITian”
Well, that’s the story of most of the 8th graders who have no clue what they want to be, and they are given a seed of IITian by their parents.
And that opens the doors to the heavy-duty coaching trends for the students who barely pass their secondary examination. Rajasthan’s Kota, the epicentre of the coaching tsunami that engulfed the rotten senior secondary science education system in India. That is not to say that our schools teach commerce or arts any better, but the most significant impact of coaching classes, at least initially, was felt by the science stream. Kota pioneered the trend of training class 10 pass-outs for JEE, the Joint Entrance Examination, for admission to the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology. A number of cities followed suit.
Here are 5 things you must know if you are planning to be a part of one of such coaching institutes to become an IITian:
- Become A Part of A Cram School
With a huge influx of students aspiring to be IITian the bigger and more reputed coaching classes started conducting entrance tests for themselves and believe it or not, new coaching classes (cram schools actually) opened up to prepare students for these considerably difficult tests. These institutions seem to have cracked the code of the extremely competitive and difficult JEE and act like wish-granting factories for students willing to work hard; a large majority of whom consistently put in roughly ten to 12 hours a day. They made students solve dozens of problems daily and provided them with a rich inventory of tricks and techniques that made the JEE tractable.
And thus, they produce crammers!
- The Worst Years of Your Life In The Coaching Centres
Classes 9 and 10 for National Talent Search Examination and classes 11 and 12 for the JEE.
We made an actual IIT aspirant compare these two phases and this what he has to say. “I look back today, I feel I didn’t lose much during the first two years because there was more to my life than just coaching classes. I went to school and studied English and Hindi, wrote poems, painted and participated in debates and extempore. The last two years were depressing, despite living at home with my parents. Any activity apart from attending the coaching class and self-study used to drown me in a sea of guilt. Thus, no more reading newspapers, no more watching TV for long hours, no more afternoon naps. No sports, which I loved in School.
Getting up from, and sitting down on, my study chair was the maximum amount of movement my body went through and as a result, the flab on my belly thickened manifold. At my worst, I weighed close to a quintal.”
Is that a life you want to choose? Ask yourself.
- Parents’ Myopic Viewpoint If They Are Hellbent On Making You An IITian
Most of the parents take these life-defining career decisions without giving much thought to their wards’ skills and interests. A lot of them want to send their kids to the IITs for bright future prospects that “Brand IIT” had come to symbolise. A father who had come for the admission of his son and was already worried about his son’s placement: “Bhaiya iska meta mein hua hai, suna hai ki meta mein package achha nahin milta, galti to nahin kar di?” He wasn’t sure if he had made the right decision by opting for metallurgy (meta) department because he had heard that “salary packages” are comparatively lower in meta.
Then, there were parents who believe they are sending their children to the best possible colleges in the country. Moreover, it is a pursuit of pride. “Brand IIT” that brings with itself an undeniable sense of reputation for students, their parents, their uncles, their aunties, their teachers, their neighbours, their friends: basically everyone they had ever been related to. Many students eventually pay the price for their parents’ decisions, who are just looking for a some accolades “Hamara beta to IITian hai” !!
What about your interestes and passions?
- The Trauma of Comparison and Non-accomplishment
Many IITians have an absurd habit of googling their colleagues and contemporaries whom they perceive better than themselves. The goal is to analyze their academic and professional trajectory with the hope of finding some flaw or area where they lag in order to discredit them in their own mind. This worthless exercise in self-indulgence massages their ego and provides them a momentary sense of relief, except when it backfires.
And if the failures they are looking for are not found in their contemporary’s profile, the sense of self-shame takes over and like how. If their colleagues are better accomplished than themselves, a sense of non-accomplishment engulfs them. They feel themselves as a mediocre good for nothing IITian tag holder. They see a past and a present filled with failures and enormous amount of mediocrity.
This strong bout of existential void is a characteristic to many IITians. And that is not surprising anymore.
- The Excruciating Job Interviews That You Will Have To Go Through
Once you are a certified IITian, you will apply for your dream-job in many companies. These companies can be from varied sectors like consulting, finance, FMCG, analytics and “core” electrical engineering. All of these may be prestigious companies and paid well. And that is the reason, they grill you in hours long interviews, which can be the nightmarish experiences of your life. In extreme desperation to get a job, candidates were seen pleading and literally begging too. Yet, not all secure a good job. And then they usually ask themselves the inevitable question “What is it that I want to do? What am I going to do now? ”
This sense of failure is killing when you end up asking yourself, was it all worth it?
An aspiring artist of grade 8th landed in a rut of life just because he thought or his parents thought that becoming an IITian is the most prestigious accomplishment of life and it gets you the best job!
The unparalleled network that you inherit by virtue of being an IITian becomes a reason enough to toil for JEE.
Don’t do that. Follow your heart, your passion, and excel in what you love to do.
The job and career offers will open up for you, once you choose the right path.