The existing peer pressure online to be “productive” is bound to make you question your futility and lack of productivity during the quarantine period. But, who said that the quarantine period is a contest? 

“If you have not learnt any new skills during this lockdown, you lack discipline!” 

“Learn how to use your time productively and amp your CV!”

“How do I use my free time during the lockdown?”

“How can I be more productive?”

LinkedIn overflows with enthusiastic students and professionals uploading tons of certification courses and virtual internships. Instagram overflows with budding chefs, YouTubers and content creators displaying their latest dish, video and DIYs. The existent peer pressure is bound to make you question your futility and lack of productivity during the quarantine period. However, the question that thus arises is, have we given in to the productivity guilt or not?

With an ample amount of time to spare, the idle mind surely cooks up conspiracy theories and fan fiction and that is alright! We have spent days and nights working, hoping to get the perfect CV ready. Over-work, over-stress, this is a much-needed break. The quarantine is nature’s way to ask us to calm down, to take a break, re-think and pause. 

Rhea Dsouza, a student of Jesus and Mary College reminds us to take a break amidst this world-shaking pandemic, “Think of all the times you have had to overwork yourself and do the extra deed. Look at this as a well-deserved break from all the times you overdid yourself.”

People are on the streets, dying. People are on the hospital beds, dying. It is a pandemic, a historical event which defines the course of history. Crude oil hits below USD 0, we await a global recession, world-leaders have tested positive, the world today is anything but normal. Some have the perseverance and strength to continue with their day’s work without any intrusive thoughts. 

As an individual with anxiety, it is not easy. The fear is not intermittent; it is constant, consistent, steady and staring right into your eyes. I too believed let’s work on that CV, managing over four jobs, two internships, assignments, societies, a stable relationship, an unstable family and mental health later, I quit. Life is more than aiming to ace the perfect CV, sacrifice your family and social life to work, work and work! 

A student of Ramjas College, Pranjal Gupta juggles amidst six jobs and internships and fails to draw the line between academics and productivity. “Ever since the lockdown, I’ve been checking people’s profile on LinkedIn. When I see them doing so many things, achieving so much at this stage of their lives there is this constant fear that haunts me, “Am I not giving my best?”, “Why did I miss this opportunity?”, “Shall I enrol in this or that?”  I have involved myself in so much that I seem to be lost somewhere and not know what my hobbies are.”

The relationship between productivity and capitalism is an old, toxic one. The hustle culture points towards a notion that those who don’t hustle, they cannot succeed. There is no harm in staring at the wall for day’s ends, binge-watching the same show countless times, experimenting in the kitchen, bonding over board games with your family, you have the rein to your life in your palms, only you can direct it, not social media gimmicks. 

Pranjal continues, “Lockdown hasn’t given me a chance to be bored and actually fuel me with a drive to do something new, I’m just running like a sheep. Is this how I’m going to be different from the crowd? Without any introspection in such historic times?”

We need to be gentle with ourselves, there is only so much that our body and brain is capable of, without the burnout phase. Some people thrive under stress, some don’t. Some can learn a new language, some take multiple efforts in simply getting out of the bed. Some seek solace in working relentlessly, some can hardly breathe. Today, if you have taken a deep breath filling yourself with the rejuvenating air, that is enough. Just breath. 

Featured Image Credits: Instagram

Anandi Sen

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As first or second year students, we seldom refer to our resume, barring the rare occasions of applying to college societies or for summer internships. But as the third year comes calling, the significance of the ‘Curriculum Vitae’ (CV), a document that can make or break your career, glares menacingly back.

Many a times, a CV can become the sole impediment that stands between you and your dream job. Most companies begin their recruitment process with ‘CV shortlisting’. A poorly conceptualised CV can altogether disqualify your job application, while a well-planned, coherent and smartly presented CV can catapult you through the subsequent rounds of selection.

Although you are exposed to campus placements only on entering the fifth semester, you cannot enjoy an oblivious and inert existence through the preceding four semesters. Agreed, the act of formally laying down content of a CV is done in the final year of college. But, development of that content is an on-going process that must span all three years of college. After all, the parameters on the basis of which you will market yourself to a prospective employer can’t be acquired overnight. Your net worth is the value that you acquire over a period of time, requiring consistent effort to hone and sharpen your skill set of employability.

Therefore, as a first or second year student who hopes to grab a meaty campus placement in the future, you must start working now.  Essentially, a good CV format requires that you address the following heads: Educational Details, Internships, Research Project, Position of Responsibility and Achievements and Awards.

Following below is an attempt to guide you, so that when the time comes, you have ample content to fill the above heads:

1.Educational Details
Here, you must mention your class X,XII and college percentage. Thus, start working on your college marks. Aim for an aggregate of at least 80%, where anything above will certainly fall to your favour. The best of the best companies eliminate you on the basis of your marks, so doing academically well in college can put you in a comfortable position.

2. Internships
It’s important to productively employ your skills in a professional field of your choice during the long summer and winter vacations allowed by DU. Internships not only give you an opportunity to explore yourself and your talents, but also equip you with professional etiquettes that employers rank high on their checklist.

3. Research Project
Although not necessary, spending one summer or winter break on a research project can give you an academic edge over other contenders. However, to gain credibility, make sure that you conduct this project under a mentor.
4. Position of Responsibility
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. And needless to say, no one wants to hire a dull employee! Ensuring a good academic record must not come at the cost of being a college nerd. You have to present yourself as an all-rounded personality and therefore, invest yourself in extra-curricular activities. For this, make sure you’re in at least one college society. Further, be proactive in assuming responsibility. For example, take charge of organising your college/society/departmental fest; stand for a society post; volunteer and perform social work etc.

5. Achievements and Awards
Nailing this aspect is consequential to how well you utilise your inherent talents. If you do well academically, you’ll become the recipient of academic awards given by your college. When you are actively involved with a society, you will compete at fests and other outstation competitions, coming away with participation certificates and experience, if nothing else. So if you tactfully tap your potential, this part of your CV will pretty much fill itself.

So come on, young ‘uns! Get to work now! Sow your seeds of ability today, nurture them with hard work and you shall reap the fruit of a great placement tomorrow!

I’m here to answer your queries. Feel free to drop in an e-mail.

Good luck!


Feature Image credits: chipright.com


Kriti Sharma
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The most threatening sword of Damocles that hangs above all of our heads today is a two lettered, innocent sounding word ‘CV’. It appears as if one step in the wrong direction will jeopardise one’s future forever. It’s a weighty word though, inspite of the ease with which it can be spelt and said. Say it aloud among a group of college-goers and the atmosphere will be mixed- a pall of gloom on the side of those who feel like their all-important two page document is filled with exaggerated achievements in a painting competition at school, and jubilation and smugness on the side of those who have done eight internships, presented six research papers and published ten. The future is quite secure now, isn’t it? After all, isn’t that what they said? A good, long CV will get me a good job, and a good job means good money and a good life.

We spend our college lives, putting together that document-line by precious line. Don’t get me wrong- I am not saying your CV is not important or advocating rebellion against the established order of things. It definitely is a significant document, both in terms of higher education and employment.

But it’s time we watched what really goes into it. Doing an internship merely because it may add another fancy line to your CV is both redundant and a waste of your time. That piece of paper is meant to be a record of your dedication towards your goals and the ability to work towards them. Therefore, the number of internships you have done and research papers you have published will matter very little if you cannot identify your goals and justify your choices. Saying I interned with XYZ organisation because I wanted another line on my CV is certainly not an option.

Thus, building a CV should not be the only motivation to do anything in college- be it an internship, volunteering with an NGO, or publishing articles and research papers. College, after all, is the perfect opportunity to discover yourself, identify your interests and then pursue them as a career option or course for further education.

Image credits: www.global-workplace.com

Abhinaya Harigovind

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