Being more productive: Transcendental Meditation

I’ve never been a religious nor a spiritual person. This is why I was always sceptical towards things like meditation which is perceived to have a spiritual origin. For somindfulnessme people, meditation leads to inner peace and happiness while others might think of it as a placebo.

When I went to New York City during the Fall semester in 2017 to pursue a business certificate in finance, I took an additional course in organisational behaviour where we learned about the effects of meditation within an organisation. Research shows that it can increase productivity and reduce the risk of burnout. Then, a professional instructor went through a full meditation with us. The technique that was used was different from the one I want to recommend to you, but I still felt peaceful and relaxed in that moment. As any sceptic, I thought it might be a placebo effect since we heard about the research shortly before the meditation. Continue reading

My essay roadbook

So, 3 years into this degree and the thing that still drives me nuts is essay writing. It takes me months to start writing answers that I am halfway happy with. Anyway, I hope this resonates with you all. If it does, keep reading ‘my roadmap to essay writing’, the steps I usually go through to write a Politics/International Relations Essay.

Step number 1: Getting my head around the material.

Before I can even think about an essay, I have to study the material. Usually thiStudys involves going through the Study guide and the Essential Reading. Whether I write the essays as I go along or wait till I finish the syllabus, it depends on the module and how well I understand it. Continue reading

Up next: The Upside Down

There are 24 hours in a day. 25 of which I have spend staring at my books.desk and notebook

In my city, Mumbai, India, summer vacations for most have already started. College students as well as kids frolic around in the blazing sun while attempting to catch the last drop of their ice creams. While some are catching flights into relaxed oblivion, I am here wiping my sweat with my notes.

UOLIA EXAMINATIONS 2018: Countdown begins. Continue reading

Parenting while on examinations

Oh, the joys of parenting. If you are new parents, I bet you are all fed up of Anna's little onehearing the just-you-waits: “Just you wait till you have to wake up every night for a year”; “Just you wait until pumpkin puree is all splattered on your living room wall”. And so on. While everyone is very keen on warning you about all the things you will be missing out on, no one really tells you how the sweet side is. The cuddly nights. The first smile. The glorious moment when you go to pick them up at daycare and they come running at you with the biggest of smiles on their faces, so glad to see you and so ready for kisses and hugs.

But then examinations come. And, unavoidably, we tend to forget about those sweet, sweet times because we are stressed out and that screeching little monster is just a hindrance to our much-needed quiet time. Continue reading

Time management during examinations

Wall clockHello readers!

I hope your studies are proceeding well and as expected. As we head toward exams, I’d like to share a few ideas with you.

In a previous post, we briefly discussed a plan of action to start our academic year.

However, that post looked at planning from a long-term perspective and focused on how to begin the study phase; that is, a phase of accumulation and selective storage of information or, borrowing from that very same post, the base of the pyramid.
But, you might ask, are those considerations valid if we had to plan the next two or three hours in a matter of minutes? In other words, can we apply the same logic to the ultimate phase of our annual project, to the top of the pyramid?

If so, how can we plan our time during an examination to make the most of it?

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How I Get a Head Start

About two weeks ago, the results were released. Champagnes were popped, for those who were happy with what they achieved. Hairs were yanked from heads, for those who did not do well and wished they had put in more effort.

I am straddling the two. My feeling for my results, is something I still could not fathom at this moment. I would say that I did well enough to secure good passes, but not well enough to score distinctions. It gave a strange feeling that is worse than the lousy feeling I would feel, if I had failed the exams. I am aware that this daze, this inability to feel neither jubilant nor disappointed, could be potentially dangerous. Because gradually, from a state of daze I would soon be transformed into a languid mood. Needless to say, this would lead to my study plans for the new school term, being utterly jeopardised.

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Nobody Likes A Cheat

cat-playing-the-waiting-gameAnd now, we wait. The waiting game has never been easy. We all know that our fate is irrevocably sealed the minute the invigilator asked us to stop writing. And what follows is no longer in our control. There is nothing else to do except to wait.

As I stepped out of the exam hall, what I felt was an odd concoction of uncertainty and relief. I could possibly have been in a state of shock too for that split second. Is that it? I asked myself. After months of preparation, nights of burrowing deep into the books, it is finally over. The final verdict now rests on the innocuous looking little white booklets.

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First year exam results

Fortunately for me, I managed to pass all my year 1 subjects for the BSc Economics and Management. Honestly, I am just relieved that I don’t have to repeat year 1.

I was very worried that I had to repeat year 1 because I knew I made some severe mistakes in my exams. The thought of repeating year 1 really wrecked me. Thus, when I found out that I passed, I was definitely very happy.

Some of my university mates are unhappy with their average results. However, even though my results were very average, I am not unhappy or discouraged.

If anything, I feel motivated and pumped up for year 2.

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Boldly going where I’ve never gone before – the Research Project in Public Health

LSHTM logoExams are but a distant memory for most of us by now, especially if you’re like me and tend to block out slightly traumatic events :). OK, they weren’t all that traumatic, though I get the feeling I didn’t do as well as I’d hoped due to a combination of factors, but one module was a serious stressor! I found the exam questions rather vague and wide reaching in scope, and 2.5 hours both seemed like too much and too little. However, I’ve given this feedback when reviewing the course, so hopefully future students won’t feel the same as me.

But onward ho! As soon as exams finished I started concentrating on recruiting participants for my research project. Then two weeks into recruitment/interviewing I realised I only had about three weeks left to hand in a full draft of the the project – including results and analysis. Enter exam-like-mode v2.0…

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Exam Method and Madness

lshtm_logo_blackSo I made it through what I call ‘Assignment Month’..phew! By the end there I was just going on autopilot, and not necessarily giving my best work, but hey, que sera sera…

After that I took a little break to travel for a few days and catch the inimitable singer/songwriter Mika on two stops of his North American tour. I was cognizant that exams are peering at me around the corner so I carried my text book, fully prepared to do some studying in any spare moments. The plane ride passed with no studying. That was OK. The next day was brilliant weather-wise in New York City and as I went to queue for the concert quite early, I felt sure I’d get some studying done. Twelve hours later and the only time I touched the book was when I considered having Mika sign it for me as I met him backstage. I guess what I’m saying is that studying on a vacation is hard :)

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