Everyone talks about the success stories of an IIM. People do talk about the rigour, the parties, the fun, the learnings, and the placements.

But is it all about the MBA?
Is there no dark side to it?
No other side of the coin exists in this case?

It does. I wonder why people don’t talk about it.

If there are learnings, there are failures as well. Someday you will be on cloud nine, and some other day, you will find yourself depressed and down in the dumps.

Life is very happening there, but not always. Some days, you may find yourself feeling homesick and miserable.
It’s not that it just happened to me. I have seen people breaking down there.

I was exasperated. The MBA rigour had taken a toll on my emotional well-being. It had been three months since I joined IIM Trichy, and all that I had witnessed was a never-ending rat race. Endless days and sleepless nights day after day had sapped my energy completely. Just to stay afloat, I kept pushing myself, forgetting the point that my primary motive was skill up-gradation, not the competition. This gradually left me with an inner turmoil. I asked myself, “Is this all worth it?”

I had no answer to my question. I was struggling to find time for myself and my family. There were times when I was missing my place like hell. The frequency of phone calls decreased as I had no time to think about my family and friends. I felt I forgot them amidst the chaos, and I was leaving them behind. On some days, I was gutted with guilt. It was not a very good feeling.

“Far away from family and friends, all this was not making much sense to me.”

By the end of the gruelling first term and placements, I was completely exhausted. I had been through all – the best and the worst. I had no idea what I was doing. I wanted to run away to my home, but a mere four-day term break exacerbated my frustration.

Eventually, a short visit came to the rescue. It was around 1:45 AM. I was sitting on the shore of Rock Beach in Pondicherry, constantly looking at the mighty tides hitting the boulders on the shore. And out of nowhere, I had a moment of epiphany.

“The high tides were ferocious, coming with insurmountable force. But after some time, they gradually withered and subdued. In life, we come across problems that seem insurmountable. In such moments, all that is needed is to stand tall like a boulder and confront those problems. With time, they will be subdued. There is no point in getting intimidated by the force and giving up. It’s all about hanging in there.”

The idea was appealing. The first term was that high tide, which I managed to stand tall against. More power to me.


This article was originally written after the first term of my MBA at IIM Trichy.
Now that my MBA is over, when I look back I feel it was all worth it. Read my experience of IIMT journey here.

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