Has Lockdown Become A Rat Race Of Achievers, Affecting Students Who Aren’t Able To Keep Up?

By Tina Garg:

Today is the 70th day of lockdown in India. In these many days, I have tried my hands on all sorts of things such as making dance videos, cooking Chinese food, and even gardening.

I also changed my entire career plan during this period and explored new academic avenues. While I did a little something in both academic and extracurricular spheres, I have several friends who are just doing one of these and a few who are opting to do none.

There is no doubt that these months have been hard for all of us. However, the ones who are not able to do anything in the field of academics and profession are relatively more stressed than the rest of us.

COVID-19 has changed the way we used to work.

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Many students are anxious because of the rat race going on during this pandemic.

Sensing this huge change, a lot of students have started planning well in advance, keeping in mind the market trends and industry demands post the COVID-19 era.

While many of us are having compulsory online classes conducted by schools or colleges, others are taking online courses as well to brush up their skills.

Many People Are Doing Something Or The Other, But What About The Rest?

There are plenty of students who are doing more than one of these things at once and trying to make the most of their time.

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Students reaction in the interview on being asked “What skills did you learn during lockdown?”

While it is a good call to try or learn something new and be productive, this entire fiasco has now started to look like a race, the one that Virus talks about in 3 Idiots.

Yes, we are indeed living in a very competitive world where one has to excel in their field to bag a job offer or a good work opportunity, but who among us expected that this lockdown phase would also become a huge race track for students.

It is funny how human beings end up making everything a competition, even during a pandemic.

One additional question that would be asked to students in companies’ interviews now is “What interesting thing did you learn during the lockdown period?”

While this question will fill some with joy, as they are doing everything in their power to make this answer as long as possible, for a few others it would only mean making up stories or just nodding their head politely with a smile.

We also need to consider that various students are pursuing courses just for certificates, without paying heed to knowledge or skills.

Possible Effect on Mental Health

Apart from the other considerations, it is worth mentioning that this unnecessary rat race is taking a toll on the mental health of some students.

This constant urge to achieve everything all at once has made many students apprehensive, who are not able to keep up with this ongoing madness.

The cherry on top, social media is leaving no stone unturned to highlight their fear. WhatsApp and FB groups are filled with quotes such as “ If you do not come out of this phase as a better person or with an additional skill, then you never lacked time, but you lacked discipline.”

And funnily enough, this quote is followed by a post saying “ Your mental health should be your priority “.

When two contradicting things are presented in such a way, then it is not surprising to see students lose their sanity.

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Social media leaves no stone unturned to make students anxious by such quotes.

If you are one of those students who are not in the position to give their 100% because of whatever reasons, then please know that it is not the end of the world!

You can choose to not do anything related to your career or work right now and it is perfectly fine. Your well being should be your first priority.

So, give yourself a cheer if you are someone who is not losing the race, but someone who has chosen not to participate.

Originally published at https://edtimes.in on June 2, 2020.

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