Pressures during JEE Preparations – Distractions

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In the earlier article I discussed the pressures that a typical student preparing for the JEE faces even today, when the government has tried all it can (and continues to try) to make the exam smoother.
The pressures are mainly related to 1) peers, 2) coaching class & schools, 3) Parents, 4) The exam itself, 5) Distractions that beckon you.

How should you handle the pressure? Let’s start with one of  the easier ones in this article – Distractions

Handling pressures during JEE preparations – Distractions

As far as distractions are concerned, the only way to make sure you are disciplined enough to find the required time to study for the JEE is to avoid the distractions.

There is, unfortunately, no other way.

But what about the “balancing act”?

People who talk of “balance” are seriously mistaken in my view. They do not understand the nature of the beast that is the JEE. In order to succeed in the JEE, you must carefully weed out all possible distractions from your life – TV, internet, your mobile, etc. If you don’t limit the time that you spend on these distractions, you will find that you have very little time left for preparing well.
When you are preparing to fight a lion, you won’t be making merry … you will be sharpening your weapons. JEE is the lion, your preparations are the weapons and indulging in distractions is making merry.

So what do I do to fight this pressure?

Let’s break up the distractions into two types – those related to media and those related to friends & relationships. Lets look at these separately

A) Getting out of the web of the internet 

You have to learn to use media like TV, the internet, etc. for education rather than for entertainment & socializing. Get off Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc., forget Youtube for the time being (except for educational videos) and focus on your preparations. Remove all superfluous apps from your mobile phone as well!

B) But what about the web of friends & relationships?

Handling relationships and the urge to bond socially is a bit more difficult. Being human you are a social creature and you cannot be expected to ignore or become immune to friendships, camaraderie, infatuations, etc. – you cannot be expected to de-humanize yourself while preparing for an exam! And you should not.

But then, you must observe limits here – if your friends are going out everyday, maybe you can join them only once in a week; if you have a strong crush or an infatuation, maybe you need to think less about them and day-dream less than you are doing right now etc. All this is difficult to do, but it must be done. The best way to do it is to deliberately keep your mind away from such stuff and focused on something else. And the JEE gives you a lot of stuff to focus on!
As my own coaching teacher used to say: “If you are giving the JEE you have three besties already. And their names are “Physics”, “Chemistry” and “Mathematics”. Bond with them, hang out with them and fall in love with them!”

All this usually has to do with our emotions. The upside is that if you learn to handle and channel your emotions using your intellect at an early age (at the teenage stage), you will really be your own master when you grow up.

A final word of caution

Needless to stay, you must stay away from bad company (friends who are into alcohol, smoking etc.). Bad habits formed in these years will not only waste your time during preparations but will also stay with you for life. According to latest research, the teenage brain is particularly vulnerable to addictions. So please stay away from addictions of all sorts, no matter how strong a pressure you face.

Rohit Mehra

IIT D , IIM A grad with a passion for education, especially STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Math). Love the JEE and the way it has evolved through time ... keen to help students crack it.

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