BTech: An Emotional Degree

A story featuringAishwarya Kumar and her battle against pulmonary tuberculosis

"My journey in ICT has been one of the most interesting rides, with significant crests and troughs.

“The biggest challenge that I faced in these four years was when I was diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis in 2017. It took a toll on my mental and physical health. It happened at a time when I was under grave pressure of doing well. I had been advised to take rest, on account of which I had to miss a lot of classes. But I still had all the notes from all the classes, from my close-knitted circle of friends. We might appear for tests with the same syllabus, interview for the same job; but that’s the wonder of friendships at ICT. We always lift each other up in the spirit of healthy competition and camaraderie.

“I remember the day we had a group presentation and I felt really overwhelmed just before it was my turn to present. It was a feeling I had never felt before because I don’t fear making presentations in front of a large audience. Even though I am laughing while typing this now, I had started crying back then, for no particular reason. But I got through it because of my professor who understood my delicate situation and let me appear for a test at a later time and my friends that stood by me and made sure that I felt better.

“I had a similar overwhelming feeling multiple times during my end-term exams. It was immensely uncomfortable for me to sit in one place and write for three hours at a stretch but I still managed to pass my semester without letting my grade drop too much. This was because my parents supported me and never let me fall through it all, aiding my recovery, which took nearly six months.

“One of the things I have learned in this pandemic is that positive psychiatry includes celebrating small wins.

“I celebrate the time that I have spent with my dear friends,

I celebrate the supportive, loving and caring family that I have,

I celebrate graduating from ICT with a degree that makes me more desirable for the personal care industry,

I celebrate the professors that gave me knowledge,

I celebrate learning not just technical things but also a lot about life,

I celebrate my experience through my graduate years, for its contribution in making me the person I am today, is irrefutable.

“This has truly been more of an emotional degree than a B.Tech degree for me; and I’m very grateful to everyone that has been a part of my journey."