Family was inspiration
Speaking to Education Times, Singhal reveals that he has a family legacy of engineers. “My father and grandfather both did their Engineering from IIT BHU. Even my elder brother is an engineer from IIT Guwahati. Thus, I always knew that Engineering is going to be the way forward for me,” he says.
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While Singhal was always amongst the top faction of his class at Apeejay School, Noida, he never had a bent towards sports or any specific extracurricular activities. “This only made my resolution to be academically sound stronger. Since childhood, I had seen my elder brother preparing for IIT, which made my choice of higher education clear,” he says.
Following a schedule
Inspired by his brother, Singhal decided to go against his parents’ advice to join IIT coaching classes in standard IX. “My brother had started preparing for the competitive exam in class XI, which is what I decided to do as well. I had joined a coaching institute in class X, but focused preparations began only in class XI,” he says.
Singhal’s mantra had been consistency and hard work. “I put in a lot of hours of self-work. Attending all classes, completing all assignments handed out by lecturers, being regular with coursework, practising numerous questions on a repeat mode to develop speed and ability are some of the habits that helped me gain confidence.”
Take a break
However, the topper says that taking a break is important, as continuous studies might lead to a breakdown. “My go-to was to spend a little time on social media. My schedule was pre-decided. In between heavy study hours, I would take a break with anything between five to 10 minutes on Instagram and Twitter. This helped me catch up to all that my friends were doing and current events,” he says.
Watching television shows with his family was another way for the student to take a break. “Family time should not be underrated. Sharing a laugh with family members can be a great stress-buster,” tells Singhal.
Facing the challenge
Singhal tells that while he had been clear about his aim to join an IIT since childhood, there are many who are not sure of their future goals, which can be a huge challenge.
“Staying upbeat while repeatedly studying the same course curriculum can be difficult. With the lockdown in place and limited options to take a break, this process could get boring. I kept myself motivated with a single-minded focus on the result I desired,” says Singhal.
Another issue that the student faced was in shifting from the offline to online mode of education. “For preparations, I had joined Unacademy in my XI standard, which turned out to be a boon. Focused sessions with great teachers helped me break away from the monotony,” tells Singhal.
The youngster does not have any solid plan for his future yet. “I have vague ideas about joining a big organisation with a great salary package. Another thought is to break away from the mold and do something for the society. My immediate goal is to join an IIT to become an engineer, the next step I will figure out after that,” he says.