A day in the life of a student in India

If you have ever wondered what it is like to study in India, student Shubham Gupta shares a typical day in his campus life

July 2 2019
A day in the life of a student in India

I am a final year student at Indian Institute of Management Bangalore pursuing my MBA. Two days at business school are hardly ever the same, but I am always trying to create some semblance of a routine. However, as I have discovered over the past year, this tussle makes life here much more exciting.

About the campus

IIM Bangalore was designed by the Pritzker-Prize-winning (considered the Nobel Prize for architecture) architect, B.V. Doshi. The campus design in itself is a case study for architecture students. The campus is designed so that all hostels and academic blocks stay naturally ventilated throughout the year.

The part I like the best is that the hallways and hostels are positioned so that all students pass through a common area. Therefore, you are likely to always bump into someone you know on campus.

The lush greenery within the campus makes the weather slightly better than in the city, where temperatures can reach as high as 35°C.

Beginning the day

The first class of the day starts at 10am. I usually wake up by 9.15am so I can grab a quick breakfast. The students’ mess hall is the preferred place for meals for everyone here. Although there is a lot of variety, I prefer to have milk and a South Indian dish like idli or dosa for my breakfast.

Our attendance is tracked through RFID cards, which means one cannot afford to be late even by a second. This has forced me to do many a 100-metre dash from my room to the lecture hall whenever I have woken up late.


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Lunch

Having attended two classes, each lasting an hour and a half, I head back to the mess hall for lunch. Lunch is a more relaxed affair.

In the wonderful weather of Bangalore with clear skies and a gentle breeze, we have our lunch out in the open area just near the mess. Following lunch, I head back to my room for a short siesta and leave the day’s planning for later.

Evening and night – the time when I am the most productive!

Refreshed by my afternoon nap, I head back to the academic block to attend my evening classes. For this term, I have opted for strategy-heavy courses, which means hefty case readings and a high emphasis on class participation.

When I finish my classes for the day, I head to the campus canteen or one of the cafes on campus to have some fruit juice and evening snacks. With the rest of the day to myself, I prepare a rough schedule as per my to-do list. I, then, head either to the gym or to play lawn tennis during the evening. I make sure to work out every day as it provides me with an emotional outlet and also helps me sleep better.

Post work-out, I head for a quick shower followed by dinner. Dinner is a good time to catch up with other classmates and share our days. Although with the Cricket World Cup going on, not much is talked about except for cricket.

Depending on where we are in the term, I either prepare for my case studies for the next day or meet with my project group.

Of all the things at IIMB, I believe group projects have taught me the most. By working in a group with people you don’t know, you learn negotiation skills and gain valuable insights from someone else’s industry knowledge. During the latter days of the term when project submission deadlines are near, it is common for us to stay up until 5am or 6am in the morning making final touches to our reports or presentations.

Now that I have done this for three terms, I feel quite used to it. In fact, through these late-night sessions, you end up becoming good friends with your project-mates. 

On relatively relaxed days, I spend some time solving Sudoku. I enjoy reading The Economist or Financial Times, which also benefits me with my coursework. Although I am studying business, my favourite section from these newspapers and magazines is international politics. I feel keeping abreast of global news is a good way to broaden one’s perspective.

As it nears 3am, I finally decide to call it a day. I usually lull myself to sleep with some calming piano music. 

Weekends

There are no boring weekends at IIMB. With a host of clubs and societies, there is always an event to join in. Bangalore, being the tech-hub of the nation, has a huge youth population and offers a vibrant nightlife.

I usually spend my weekends playing sports like squash, table tennis or swimming, and doing some non-academic reading.

Relaxation

With so much to do on campus you constantly feel pulled in many directions. There is always the fear of missing out on something good, popularly referred to as FOMO (fear of missing out). Though it was more acute during my first two terms here, I have become more relaxed now.

During stressful times, I usually go for a stroll or a bike ride within the campus. With all the opportunities that my institute provides, I have started to become more grateful for where I am.

And all the hardships have made me realise, that sometimes it’s good to take a pause and try to live an easy life.

Read more: A day in the life of a student in Japan

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