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[MOTIVATION] Life of an IAS Aspirant in the Times of Coronavirus Pandemic

There is no denying that in a few days we will all be facing toughest times – shutting down of cities; restricted movements; forced hospitalisations; scrambling for essential goods (even for food). Now things are looking not that bad, but looking at what happened (or happening) in Italy, Spain and the US, it’s better to prepare for the worse. Even if the worst is not coming (thanks to measures being taken by the government and our brave doctors and nurses, one should always expect the worst and be prepared for it). It’s better to overreact than not act at all – especially in times like this. And being someone who is going to write the UPSC civil services examination two months from now, you will have to take extra precaution.

Your first priority must be to stay at home, in your room, in your PG (if PG or hostel is crowded, it’s better to head back home and lock yourself with your parents). Social distancing is the most effective way to keep yourself and others the same from viral transmission. You must by now know the symptoms of COVID-19. We will pray that you will never get these symptoms, but god forbid – if you notice even remote symptoms – get yourself tested. This is important to stop disease from spreading.

Thanks to online sources like InsightsIAS and a host of others – you will not miss anything related to exam preparation. All you need is a few books and functional internet with decent speed. As the most educated part of our society, you will have to lead by example. India is entering stage 3 of this pandemic. We all can be safe only if we listen to government directives and follow each of the instruction stringently – don’t enter crowded places; don’t travel unnecessarily; clean your hands with soap (not sanitizer) frequently; do namaste; stay at least 6 feet from people; don’t eat outside in restaurants etc.

You must know that staying healthy is the best thing you can do in your lifetime – now or later. By staying healthy and fit you can achieve anything. As told earlier, you can use online resources (for instance Insta 75 Days revision plan) to prepare well for prelims without affecting your chances of clearing it. By the end of April, hopefully things will be normal. You will all give exams. We don’t think this exam will be postponed.To avert the worst case scenario of total lockdown and and to  prevent millions of deaths, every Indian should collectively act NOW and stay at home and spend good family time together. 

We at Insights will be very active on our website to address all of your doubts anytime (under the newly started Friday Open Thread and Daily within InstaTest post in the comments section). You will not feel that you are alone. We encourage you to spend 1-2 hours to solve our quizzes, InstaTests so that you can interact with fellow aspirants and stay motivated. Staying motivated is the need of the hour. Staying alone at home away from the competitive atmosphere is both boon and curse. However, you can make it a thoroughly enjoyable process if you stick to a plan and follow it strictly. 

Staying busy is the best bet. So that you will not have to think about anything else. Except exams. While taking precautionary measures, fully focus only on the exam. Don’t get carried away with all the Corona updates and panic associated with it. You may spend the whole day reading about Corona and miss out prelims preparation. 

Moving suddenly to home from preparation hubs like Delhi and Bangalore is indeed tiresome, scary and unexpected (only if you are living in crowded and infected places). However, it’s still March and you have plenty of time. This sudden disruption might ‘waste’ a few days – but might be life-saving. 

As things look normal outside right now, the way we are writing this post might sound apocalyptical or dystopian – but you must understand that the wisest decision is to not to leave anything to chances. Especially in uncertain times like this. You are going to be an asset to this country. Be safe and healthy.

When things are not going well in our favour, we make excuses. Coronavirus will become an excuse for many to skip preparation and to skip this attempt, or the exam itself. Don’t be weak. Few days wasted won’t affect anything. Bounce back and work hard. You and your leadership are needed for our country to become strong. Your contribution as a civil servant is needed to help our people overcome grave issues that they are facing daily. Don’t give up. 

Wish you all very good health. We really pray that you will all stay fit, health and happy, and go on to clear this exam in this attempt.