5 Fail-Safe, Definitely Useful Tips to Navigate Applications and Placement Season
By Smriti Nambudiri (ASP’23)
Are you feeling it? The growing feeling of numb panic and mild existential dread that comes with the prospect of deciding your entire future? The calm you are cherishing before the madness that GRE preparations and SOP-writing will bring in the coming months? The growing annoyance at the Harappa Career Prep Program emails, reminding you to finish the courses, while you’re attempting to balance classes and company Pre-Placement Talks? All of this, mixed in with the attempts to ignore the fact that this will be the last year you and your university friends will be unable to share gossip over dhaba chai and burst into each other’s rooms unprompted?
Well not to fret, dear 3rd or 4th year Ashokan! Because I have an easy list of solutions, designed perfectly to ensure that you can deal with the trials and tribulations of this Monsoon semester, and come out unscathed and (mostly) not stressed!*
Plans are for amateurs. Just wing it.
Now, I know what you are thinking, everyone you must have spoken to would have stressed the importance of having a plan. They may have even suggested having multiple plans, from Plan A to Z. But they’re all wrong. The real secret to success is not having any plan at all! Sure, that does mean you will amble through whatever opportunities present themselves to you instead of chasing them. You’ll just follow what you want that day, which could eventually lead you to slowly meander from one thing to the next without much direction. But, ultimately, the less effort you put into it, the more you have for doing the things that matter: like binging Netflix shows and overthinking about that one time you called a professor ‘ma’ by accident.
Maggi and Cup Noodles are your best friends.
Trust me on this, eating healthy, nutritious food is not the answer to your problems. I mean, what else will you eat, mess food? Instead, why not indulge in that hot, soupy cup of salt and spice that can sit on your table by your side and you cry over the multiple SOP drafts you have discarded? It’s quick, convenient, and let’s face it, you crave it every single day anyway, so treat yourself!
Pack your semester with classes every single day.
Chances are if you are in this position, you’re more likely a 4th year than a 3rd year, which means you have the option of taking ASP easy and dedicating more time to things like applications and placement interviews and preparation. But, instead, how about doing an advanced major and a minor, and some extra courses? That way, you will have your schedule packed enough that any time you are not in class, you have to spend on your applications and attending pre-placement talks. Then, you have no time in between to overthink or fall down a ruminating spiral that you can’t get out of! Distraction is the key to happiness after all.
Turn off email notifications. Or better yet, just throw your phone out your window.
Because let’s face it, your email is already overflowing with the many Student Government forwarded emails and Google Classroom notifications. On top of it all, with the almost minutely Superset notifications and the regular Harappa nudges nagging you about the courses that you haven’t completed yet, it sure becomes a hassle to have to see. Add Whatsapp messages with concerning questions from your parents about the status of your college applications and your future plan, and your phone is basically a vibrating existential crisis waiting to happen. So, the best solution possible is to finally take that break from your phone that you think about every time you find yourself on an Instagram spiral at 3 am, and remain blissfully unaware!
And finally, take a break.
I know this list till now has been filled with some premium, incredible tips that will absolutely 100% work and have no chance of failing in the slightest. But, this final one is more of a simple one - an oldie but a goodie, if you would. And it’s simply: take a break. Close that laptop (first, double-check if you have saved that SOP though - we don’t want any more lost or corrupted .docx files), leave your phone on your table, and hang out with friends. Go for a walk. Hell, go to the gym and run on the treadmill if you want to! But just take a breather, even for just an hour or so, before having to log back into the madness of all that you have going on. Trust me, it’s the last tip because it’s the best one.
And there you have it! 5 fail-safe, guaranteed-to-work* tips to make sure that your Monsoon semester is stress-free, and lined up for success on those placement interviews and college applications. Now get cracking, and good luck!
*The author of this article is not responsible or liable for any stress, policy breaks, or issues that arise from following this list. Any harm caused to people who follow this list is their responsibility.