I was scheduled to appear for my Chartered Accountancy final exams in May 2020. These exams are labelled as one of the toughest in India, and naturally, I was nervous. In January 2020, I would scroll through the news during my study breaks, and read the news of the nascent pandemic. I had a well-charted career plan in my mind and never thought that these would have to wait a little.
To begin with, my exams got postponed five times. My study leave from my internship ended before the exams and I had to get back to work remotely, something I’d not imagined earlier. I would describe my mental health in three phases:
March to June: The free fall
The Positives: I now had some extra days to prepare for my exams, I had a home and food to eat, I was luckier than many others.
The Negatives: I was livid that my plans had to be rescheduled and was worried over the rising Covid-19 cases and dipping GDP figures. But luckily for me, I had my friend with whom I would share my concerns and feel much better.
Conclusion: Be thankful, always!
July to September: The recovery phase
The Positives: I was back to work and quite engrossed in it, too. I was really happy to be back with my fellow interns. The easing restriction made me feel better.
The Negatives: I had burnt myself out a lot in the initial months of the year, and my mind and body were like a phone on power saver mode — no flash, no torch, limited brightness and ready to switch off any time. I struggled to manage work and studies, something I could do with ease earlier.
Conclusion: Give your body and mind rest before it forces you to do so.
October: Returning to normalcy (or new normalcy?)
The Positives: With the end of my internship can the end of my multitasking phase as well. I had engrossed myself in extracurricular and my mind was refreshed. The CA exams were sure to happen now and I breathed a sigh of relief. I also put myself together finally and ruminated over the year and all that it offered.
The Negatives: Well, I’ve decided not to see them as negatives anymore, but as opportunities — to grow, to realise one’s potential and help others in need.
That’s why I have shared my experience here. I too moped in early 2020, but now I choose not to. I choose to remember that this time won’t come back. This mantra has worked well for me, let me know if it does for you too.