With the season of decisions with regards to admits from the US Universities just around the corner, I often see my students suffering from panic/stress attacks ranging from a very mild degree to the severest degree. While it goes without saying that the whole process of application is daunting and demanding on account of being characterized by numerous formalities at every level, the degree of stress that I see some of my students suffering from saddens me indeed. I am minded of the fact that you all are doing a tight rope walk at this stage and constantly fear your dreams falling apart like a pack of cards. As a counselor, I am not only duty bound to guide you well with respect to making correct choices in accordance with your profile but I feel emotionally and morally obligated to help you sail through the whole process without going through a nervous break-down. The reason why I am motivated to write this piece of advice is because I sincerely desire to drive down some simple truths home which hopefully would help you all even when you take the next leap in your career after completing your education in US. We have been speaking about this through many of our meetings. This time I thought, I would pen it down.
“Sir, Reject aa gaya… Ab kya karu???”
The most important and indispensable piece of advice that I can give you at this stage is that YOU HAVE TO LEARN TO CUT DOWN YOUR STRESS. Be indifferent to several things around is the key. Please be aware of the fact that you do not have a choice in this aspect. One reject is not the end of the world. It is not a yardstick of your worthiness. A reject from any university is not a death knell of your life and career. It is not the beginning of the end of your dreams and career destination. Don’t let any negative feedback blow your fuse off. Nothing is more precious that your mental stability and peace of mind. Treat your rejects as an opportunity of narrowing down your choices. Think of it as making choices by elimination. Review your rejects objectively. When you get stressed because things do not happen as per your plan; you end up digging the grave of sanity and objectivity. You tend to lose your focus as you the demons of stress attack you all the time and block visibility to common sense reasoning.
Cut down Comparison:
“Sir, Mere dost ko admit aaya… Similar profile tha… Mujhe kab aaega???”
“Sir, Mere dost ne ye Safe University sochke apply kiya… Main kyu nahi kar sakta???”
While most of you are naturally inclined to compare your application/admit status with your peers, in my view, it would be a futile exercise if it has the effect of adding on to your stress. Stop comparing if you find yourself being sucked into the downward spiral of anxiety and stress. The only reason why I might possible permit you to compare is if it helps you pull up your socks in case you have the habit of procrastinating. Aside to this, I do not see any reason why you should compare your progress with your peers. You are already sailing through the ocean of uncertainty and it doesn’t really help your cause if you are desperately searching whether any other ship has landed on the shore especially when you find yourself in the midst of storm. Simply focus on your journey and use all your energy to steer your way out of the storm. Do not forget that I am sailing with you and will help you steer your way out of the storm…
“Sir, Best admit aa gaya… Ab toh kahi aur ka dekhna hi nahi… Ab toh seedha America…”
I often see many students climbing the ladder of arrogance the minute they secure good admits. I am afraid this attitude will certainly backfire in the long run. It is indeed very important to have your head over your shoulders. You have a long journey ahead. Do not give life the chance to teach you lessons in humility.
Zindagi abhi lambi baaki hain mere dost…
“Sir, Mere recommender ne Reco Deadline ke baad upload kiya… Usi wajahse reject aaya hain mujhe…”
“Sir, GRE ke time pe bohot thand thi room me… Theek se focus nahi kar paaya aur 2-3 marks kho diye… Issi 2-3 marks se mera admit gaya…”
One of the worst traits that I notice in some of my student is the attitude of not owning up their mistakes and pointing fingers at all and sundry but themselves as soon as things go haywire. I have seen the difference in the lives and career graphs of those who humbly accept their mistakes and those who are forever ready to pin blames at other. It goes without saying that the students who belong to the former category perform well in the long run as they have the strength of character and objective mind-set that serves as the strongest weapons in the battle of life. This is also for the simple reason that once you move to the US and are compelled to take many decisions independently and do not find nobody but yourself to rely on, the inbuilt habit of affixing blame serves no purpose as you have nobody to blame but yourself. Hence, it is essential to retain your objectivity rather than getting drawn into the vicious cycle of blame games.
Cherish small success:
“Sir, Pehla admit aa gaya… Safe University tha, but kya mast lag raha hain…”
It is important to value and cherish every small battle that you win in this arduous journey. Even if you get an admit from a particular university that you do not intend to go, you should value that admit for the simple reason that it establishes your credentials and reaffirms the correctness of your efforts. When you learn to appreciate completion of every single step, for example (a) Completion of SOP; (b) Completion of RECOS; (c) Successful completion of application process; (d) Arrangement of all the finances etc., it has a cascading effect on your positivity and peace of mind. It helps you see as the glass half full and not only makes the whole process only bearable but positively enjoyable.
Hope you guys find my advice helpful. Last, but not the least, remember that I am always there for you! LOAD MAT LO… SAB HO JAYEGA…TENSION MAT LO… 😉