Once upon a time, there lived a king who wanted to show his supremacy in his kingdom. To do so, one day he declared that from now on the day would be considered as night and night would be considered as day. People were supposed to work at night and sleep all day.

It seems like a funny story to hear but comes close to reality when you are doing MBA from an IIM. This place never sleeps. On the campus of an IIM, you will never find a time when there is silence all over. Be it the classroom or the hostel, library or the sports ground, people seem to be enthusiastic everywhere at any hour of the day. In one place or the other, students are seen to be lively and passionate about the life they are living.

When I first came to campus, I heard this as being the norm here. But I could not relate to it as much. Being a person who keeps her sleep on the top of the priority list, I could never imagine facing this in reality. A girl habitual of sleeping for a minimum of 8 hours a day could not get comfortable with even the thought of surviving on 3-4 hours of sleep. But isn’t this how life unfolds itself?

Keeping up with the classes, projects, committee work, case competitions and numerous other responsibilities, I gradually started to blend into this culture. The deadlines were said to be sacrosanct and the limited number of hours could never fulfill that. Submitting the projects by the end of the day and getting to Nescafe after that for the coffee became a ritual which we followed every night. I believe as I was walking further in this journey, MBA started to grow on me and I became more and more suited to the ways here.

If in any case I had a day off from the requisites, and I slept for more than 5 hours, it seemed like I missed out on so many important things. We called it having FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and wanted not to miss out on anything from this ‘once in a lifetime experience’ which we are having doing MBA. Everyone has their eyes on the goal of living and enjoying each moment and learning the best from this process.

In this course of management, the first thing I learned was to manage my own life and prioritize what to do and when. The process itself requires us to be proactive at all times of the day. I learnt not only to manage my sleeping schedule but also how to manage my emotions regarding this lifestyle.

There were times when I struggled to keep up with this kind of positive approach towards everything. And I could not fulfill my obligations and was disappointed with myself. But as the course of MBA is, it does not give the time to cry, and things move very quickly here. Day by day, bit by bit I became accustomed, and things flew seamlessly.

This journey not only taught me to be at my maximum potential but to give my best to everything. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and inspired me to become better with each passing day. Not sleeping did not seem a big deal when I got the satisfaction of getting a good job done. It traveled me to that salvation when these basic things did not matter much. In an IIM, the famous lines of poet Robert Frost become more evident,

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep,

 and miles to go before I sleep, miles to go before I sleep.

About the Author

Aarti Singhal

Aarti is a first-year MBA student at IIM Kashipur from Batch 2021-2023. She is a B.Sc. Hons in Mathematics from the Delhi University. She is an active member of the Media and Public Relations Committee of the institute. She has keen interest in dancing as well as reading and content writing. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.

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