Adios! Batch of 22
Updated: Mar 12, 2022
An ode to the survival and online MBA during the pandemic.
Written By: Stuti Rakecha, MBA(IB), Batch of 2020-22, IIFT Delhi
June 2020, the day I realized I had finally made it to the B-school that I’d been dreaming to attend for quite some time. My admission letter said, “Report to the campus on 5th August, 2020.” It asked me to own either a black or a navy blue suit. My higher self thought to herself, “Really ? is that even possible.” So with a combination of optimism and skepticism, I hoped for the best but the pandemic had other plans.
While my LinkedIn got flooded with happy posts of people declaring they made it to IIFT, this phase was followed by an instant resentment for an online MBA. So, we worked hard, we learned to adapt.
Just like Anik Sarkar said, “Sometimes the only way around suffering is to go straight through it.” And so we did in a very unconventional way.
We organized online open mics to online get togethers, from meeting offline in the same cities to sitting on meets till 6 AM in the morning watching videos after our projects.
We learned new ways to express affection.
Sending food with love
And making stickers and memes with screenshots.
But there’s another side to this story, I know people who said, “These are online doctors. These are online engineers” and hence, we were labeled, “online MBAs”. Countless memes, countless jokes, we laughed at a few, resented some others but at the end of the day always stood strong.
Remember how Chandler was funny because he accepted who he was and made jokes about it and so did we. We learned to laugh about it after complaining about it for long. We learned to LIVE OUR DREAMS in unconventional ways. We made it through the toughest times.
Then came the moment when we could actually see the WOW below TOW and as magnificent as it looked in pictures, well I would just say, it was equally simply just “interesting” in person. I saw people helping people they never even spoke to, I saw people opening their doors and welcoming others with open arms. I saw people making new friends and building new relationships. And that restored my faith in humanity a little after what the world saw in 2020 and 2021.
While the tenure was short-lived, it made me realize the value of companionship and the truth that hides in plain sight. Yes, a major part of my MBA curriculum was online. Yes, I got to meet my batchmates for a very short time. Yes, I found it hard to stay awake in online classes but let’s be honest, it might have been the case in offline classes as well. Ohh !! how I truly wished for online classes but got to attend just 2. People said you can never bond. They said you can never learn. And while we were stereotyped and while some of it may be true, a major part is not. I would just say,
We are the ones who survived the test of time.
The ones who defied all odds and managed to not just survive, rather thrive.
So, as I bid adieu to this wonderful journey which was no less than a rollercoaster ride,
I take away the fact that we adapted in our own way, joked in our own way, focused in our own way, bonded in our own way, and outperformed our own selves in our way and this was when all the external factors were against us.
This makes my stance even stronger about the fact that while we may be remembered as the “covid batch” in the future but we’ll always be the ones who survived the test of times with an irrepressible spirit.
So, here’s me raising a toast (metaphorically) to the batch of 22, unique in its own way.
Till our paths cross again !!!
Stuti has loved reading and writing for as long as she can remember. She likes to believe that poetry, just like beauty always hides in plain sights and hence likes to write about the most common things and find happiness in them.