“Kota, Rajasthan” rings a bell in the ears of every Indian, especially those with medical and IIT aspirations.
Here, I am going to tell you little instances, experiences and problems that I faced when I was doing coaching there, hoping that this article may help someone who is planning to go there or someone who is planning to send their kid.
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1. Living alone -
At the age of 16-17, we have to stay away from all the comforts and pampered life of the home. Hostel life sounds like fun, but not here. If it did become fun, there would be no point in going to Kota in the first place. Here, the atmosphere of the place is so competitive that solitude becomes a necessity. Every other person will always want a better result than you and there really is no place for genuine friendship or bonding. So, don’t go with the idea of a college-like hostel life because here you come with a goal in mind and all the enjoyment has to wait.
2. Dealing with the competition -
The competition here is terrific, with the brightest of the bright minds all aggregated at one place, an average student is going to find it hard to keep up with all the stress. It may even seem intimidating. But the trick is to not get yourself blown away by this. We have to learn to give ourselves time to improve upon our own intelligence and knowledge and keep reminding ourselves that the weekly tests are not the final deciding factor of the main results. The result may sometimes be good and sometimes be so bad that you are almost thrown into depression. That is when you have to learn to take things lightly and try to refresh yourself for the next hurdle. Do not ponder much over the result. Do correct yourself and check your weak areas and subjects, but never let it bother you too much because those who always last till the very end make it to the top.
3. Friends, family and social media -
As mentioned above, this is not really the best place to develop a friend circle. But that does not mean that you have to become a depressing longer. No. Being friendly with your hostel mates and classmates is a must, but the trick is that you need to restrain yourself from wasting too much time in unnecessary chit-chat at the cost of your precious study hours. There is always the tea break, lunch and dinner times when you can take a break from books and freak out a bit with your friends only to be back again with renewed energy to study again.
Talking to the family is a must. Telling them each and every detail of your day is the best way to keep a check on yourself and it always gives a sense of security and hope. You’ll know that what you are doing is right and if you do hide something from them and it pricks your conscience then, it is an indication that your living alone has taken a bad turn. So, parents should keep a watch over their children and always encourage them.
My advice to those aspiring for medical and IITs is that they should keep away from social media like Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter etc. because these are nothing but an unnecessary distraction and not much use to them. They are the best ways to have you waste your time. Do get a newspaper to keep you in touch with the world and improve your GK for exams such as AIIMS, JIPMER etc. I had a normal phone which cost about Rs.1000 and its only purpose was to talk to my parents and few friends, no Andriod, no iOS.
4. Teachers and the institute -
The best thing about Kota is the teachers. No matter what institute you are in, Kota has some of the best teachers the country has to offer. Though there are disappointments once in a while, but that is when you learn to teach yourself and there are always the doubt-counters to help you out with your doubts. In my institute (Allen) I had problems with Organic Chemistry which never got through me when it was being taught in the class no matter how hard my efforts were and when my marks were going down because of it, I decided to learn it my own way. So, I referred extra books and attended the doubt sessions regularly for a month, and only after making my own notes and learning it my own way, I got satisfactory results. So, sometimes you have to find your own way of learning things.
The coaching material provided by the institute is more than sufficient to get you through any competitive exam. So, refrain from buying too many guide books because a lot of them have irrelevant information. Stick to your material and when you have a complete grasp of it, only then you should go for other books but that too only after you ask your concerned teachers.
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5. Stress and anxiety -
These are the two most common problems that children not only in Kota but also in every other coaching institute face. This is when hobbies come in handy. Best stress busters I find are one’s hobbies. Take out time for yourself, read a book, draw, paint, sing or dance. The trick is to relax and keep your mental prowess in peace without letting stress take the best of you. Also, don’t let your self-esteem be downtrodden because of your poor results. Try to stay optimistic and always look at the bigger goal rather than concentrating on the weekly tests only.
Stay away from chatty people and keep a distance from judgemental people for their opinions about you will only do you harm. Best is to ignore unwanted company and keep your own peace.
Keep talking to the teachers and tell them your problems. They are always ready to help and their advice is always the best.
6. Schedule and curriculum -
You’ll either be in a morning class batch or an evening batch (which can be chosen according to the convenience of the students). The general duration of the classes is 6 to 8 hours. You have doubt counters and teachers are always available in the institution.
Apart from this, make a timetable of your own giving an adequate amount of time to each and every subject (more to the ones that you are weak in). In my case, chemistry took up most of my time because that was where I was lacking in my tests.
Sleep well. A good sleep is very important else there is 100% chance that you’ll doze off in the middle of an important lecture. Six hours of undisturbed sound sleep is very important to boost your concentration.
7. Food and hygiene -
The food mostly depends on the hostel but try to avoid lots of oil and sugar because due to low physical activity there are a lot of chances that you’ll gain weight/become obese. Try to eat the salads that available in the hostel, avoid junk food and eat more fruits. This is the toughest part since you never really get anything nutritious to eat. But try to take care of yourself.
As a lot of students live in a single place, there are a lot of chances of disease break-outs. Maintain personal hygiene and cleanliness.
Well, these are the basic few tips if you are planning to go all out studying for your big dream.Kota was helpful for me in more than one way, it also taught me adjustment and self-reliance as well.
But according to me, success can be achieved from anywhere and in any field if you plan to work hard with total dedication and perseverance.
Wishing that all your dreams and aspirations take flight.
All the best.