Everyone needs advice. Right advice at right time can save you a lot of hard work and a lot of time.
Teenagers need advice all the more. Because wrong decisions can cause them much of harm. Thus at ARJUNA Home we provide a unique facility of Mentoring by ex-IIT-ians. IIT alumni’s mentor you one-on-one.
A selfless mentor can make all the difference. One who understands you, one who supports you, who guides you without judgment, who cares for you, who puts principles before pleasure, who is committed to you and most importantly one who is an ideal role model; ARJUNA Mentors exemplify these qualities. Students are given mentored to deal with stress, peer pressure, inferiority complex, inconsistent performance, relationship issues, old habits, lack of motivation, unhealthy attitudes etc
We request you to read through the answers to some common questions and difficulties students face.
If you still have a question, Ask us a question
How to maintain enthusiasm in studies? Admin
Many a times students tend to overdo or under do certain activities. They may spend too much time studying often letting their study hours invade their sleep or other regular activities or on the other hand spend too little time on studies postponing them for later. Such a habit is quite not only underproductive but also counterproductive. What it means is that unless one is regulated in his habits of eating, sleeping, work and recreation one will not be able to maintain his enthusiasm in his life.(BG 6.17) As the famous saying goes – all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, and all play and no work makes him a mere toy. If one overdoes one’s studies most often than not one will lose his interest in studies. So it is vital that students maintain regulation in what they do. What will happen to a bike if you change gears haphazardly 1,4,2,3,4,1,3, etc? The bike will soon break down. Similarly, the body is a machine, if our daily routine is haphazard then our body and mind will soon break down leaving us with little or no enthusiasm for studies. Also if we our lifestyle is haphazard our peak concentration hours become unpredictable and consequently we may start feeling sleepy in class when we are supposed to be awake and we may feel hungry when it time for taking rest. Imagine if this happen on the D-day of competitive exams!! So it is important to regulate our lives so that we can be predictable in our performance and not lose interest in our studies..
How much time to study? How to study for IIT JEE? Admin
Students often feel that one has to spend a lot time to study for competitive exams. This is actually a misconception. Let us take the particular case of JEE Adv. The IIT system has long been critical of the student quality which has been entering the IITs. The main reason for such a grumble is the dissatisfaction with coaching industry which is depleting the students of their creative potential and making them dullards, selfish with no desire to serve nation and God. To counter this system JEE Committee has been trying various means of fighting the coaching business and over the years the exams have increasingly become oriented towards conceptual understanding rather than calculation or rote based learning. Understanding this an intelligent student would better spend his time in comprehending and internalizing the concepts rather than just spend long hours memorizing formulae or merely do more problems in a brute force manner. This is not to say that one should neglect solving problems or memorizing formulae, but they should not be prioritized at the cost of grasping the essence of the subject.
Also instead of being result oriented a student would do better if he/she studied being duty oriented towards God.(BG 2.47) As the famous saying goes – Don’t run behind success, run behind excellence and success will chase you!
When is the best time to study? I tend to go late nights, should I continue that practice? Admin
This habit is counterproductive for two reasons. Firstly, according to modern psychology – the brain works the best early in the mornings after one has rested for 6-7 hours. This is same fact has been stressed in the Vedas. The early morning hours – brahma muhurta are especially suited for intense spiritual practices of focusing the mind on God. It is a particularly good habit to wake up early and meditate on the names of God.. There is no better rejuvenator for the mind than this. Afterwards one can immediately start off with one’s studies. Most students tend to go late nights which is a dangerous for one’s health and detrimental for one’s studies. A simple way to understand this is through an analogy. If you would like to drive long distances what is the best time of the day to begin your journey? Early mornings!! Why? Because then the traffic on the roads is minimal and you have the whole day to complete a long journey. If one were to start in the evening one would be harassed by highway traffic and also would have to break his journey to rest for a while. Similarly, our mind keeps storing various impressions it receives during the day and when one sits for studies in the evening or night these stored impressions act like highway traffic inhibiting our peak concentration levels. But a rest of 6-7 hours at night refreshes the mind so that early in the mornings we are at peak concentration levels. Secondly, sleeping late and waking late forms a habit that may play havoc with one’s performance on the final day of the exam. A habit of studying at night and resting in the day habituates the mind to be more focused at night and relaxed in the day but unfortunately competitive exams are held in the day and not at night, so one is losing one’s capacity for concentration during the day by studying at night.
I don’t realize where I am losing time. How do I know whether I am wasting time or not? Admin
Maintain a time log to see where you are wasting time, i.e. every time you are changing an activity – record the activity in a diary along with the time. Note even the time wasters, like gossiping with friends, taking a stroll around, etc. That way you will realize where your time is getting lost imperceptibly… now all that you have to do is to reduce these time wasters – and it is no big deal. Just reduce your access to these things and your mind will settle down…
Also whenever you are studying track the time using a stop watch. Pause the stop watch whenever you take a break from studies. That way you’ll know the exact time you are studying.
Will I be able to crack IIT – JEE? What if I am not able to? Admin
Well. IIT is not all in all! IITs are not the only good colleges in India. There are many other options as well. We should have an optimistic outlook in life. We can expect for the best but we should also be prepared for the worst. If you have a narrow outlook then you will not be able to attempt the exam in a healthy state of mind. Your high expectations from yourself – not being able to accept any other kind of result will make your mind filled with anxiety. In fact this will make you under-perform than your actual ability. You should understand that you are writing a competitive exam. 1.5L students sit for IIT JEE (Adv.) we cant say that all of them should get the seat. There are only 15000 seats… Even if one cracks still one may not get the “dream branch” he/she desires in a particular IIT. We can only try our best and leave the rest to God and have faith that whatever is coming is the best for us.
If you think that you will not be able to crack then we can never crack. But if we think let me try my best and work sincerely with a positive hope then there is a chance that by God’s grace your dream can get fulfilled.
I am not able to follow the JEE program in my coaching institute. It’s very fast and I don’t get sufficient time to understand the syllabus. What should I do? Admin
This is a problem for 80% of the students preparing for JEE. Since the syllabus is vast, the coaching institutes somehow try to cover hurriedly and keep putting many tests one after another. This is the nature of this world. You never get the best arrangement. Some or the other defects are going to be there – if the professors are good the way the program is conducted may not be good – and if the program is good then the quality of tests etc. may not be good. So, we have to “adjust” – you can choose a good institute which you are confident of and try to get the best that institute can offer. It is always advisable to “try” to follow the program in the coaching institute – it is not that bad after all! If you start making your own one, you will mess up. You will surely not be able to perform well in the exams conducted by the institute and you will be discouraged. If you try following the structure of the program given by the institute – still you may not be able to get sufficient clarity in all the topics. No problem! The institutes normally cover the syllabus much early so that revision can be done. You can put those topics for the revision time and gain more perfection. Prepare for all the exams conducted by the institute and try to perform sincerely. You will be able to evaluate your level and your progress.
I get discouraged especially when I am not able to solve problems or when I commit mistakes. What to do? Admin
This will happen with any student. We commit mistakes and that is human tendency! The question is what are we going to do after committing the mistake? Are we going to learn or give up? This is a principle that applies to every walk of our lives. A sincere student will try to learn from the mistakes rather than becoming discouraged and frustrated.
Especially when we are learning a topic in physics and we are trying to do some problems – you will be able to do some depending on your understanding till then and you will not be able to do some because your understanding is not sufficient yet – so you make mistakes. We should understand that mistakes will help us to learn and understand the concept in a much better way. So see mistakes as a “Learning opportunity” rather than as an “Inability” in you. You will be able to make a positive progress in your learning of the subject.
How to make Career Decision? Admin
Choosing a career is an important Life decision. And it should not be made in a haste. It should definitely not be made under pressure.
If you choose a career path because so many others are choosing the same or because your parents are forcing you to choose it, beware – it can become a worst decision of your life.
We, at ARJUNA, have interacted with hundreds (if not thousands) of students who are in pain due to wrong career choices.
Several students feel ‘I want to choose Engineering’ and ask them which stream, ‘Computer Science’ is their reply. Most of these students don’t know what it means to be a Computer Science Engineer, they are unaware of the skills and mindset which it requires. They opt for such a career only because of media boom or parents pressure or because someone became famous in their locality or town after choosing CS, IIT!
Little do students know that even in IITs only handful will get CS branch. And even among those students in CS branch, at least a half regret their choice. Rest others ‘select’ their branches based on luck, we mean to say, their ranks. Result: most pursuing Engineering never get to study the subjects they are really interested in. Most even say, that they would best fit in some other career field.
The same holds true for medical.
So how should you decide your career option?
Simple. Based on your inclination. Answer few imp questions.
What are you good at and what are you interested in? Answer to these two questions will give you a small list.
Then next ask yourselves – Can you do this for next 40 years of your life? This requires little more knowledge to gather. Knowledge about the challenges and about the opportunities. Becoming aware of opportunities and challenges will further reduce the list.
Then comes the next question – Financial security. Does the option which you are choosing give you enough financial security? If yes, go ahead. If no, then you have to intelligently balance between interest and finance.
Today’s complex economic system is far from being balanced. And the leaders of society will have to work to make enough options financially viable. Till then an intelligent choice has to be made which balances financial security and the interest / inclination of the student.
The important thing is that we work for living not that we live for working. ‘Work for living’ means that work is just a part of life not the life itself. Life is a celebration of joy and happiness. Our work or career option should not spoil this celebration! What gives joy to life is not work itself but the ‘purpose’ for which we work. Relationships, selfless service and spiritual goals are far more important than the work.
Work integrated with the purpose of life is what will enhance the celebration of life. And that is what, at ARJUNA, we help you in – to define the purpose of your life.
Is Spirituality to be practiced in old age? Admin