For as long as I can remember, becoming an IAS officer was my dream—a calling, even. The idea of creating meaningful change, of leaving a legacy, had always been alluring. But then, life threw me a curveball that I hadn't seen coming.
In the middle of my intense UPSC preparation, I experienced a breakup. Rohit and I had been together for years, and just like that, it was over. The person I thought would always be by my side during this grueling journey was suddenly gone. I was left with stacks of books, a broken heart, and a focus that kept drifting away.
The breakup affected me more than I’d like to admit. There were days when I stared blankly at my notes, reading the same lines over and over without absorbing a word. The burden of lost love seemed to amplify the already colossal pressure of the UPSC exams. I felt like I was sinking.
One evening, my friend Nidhi, noticing the despair in my eyes, sat me down for a chat. "Look, I get it, heartbreak is tough, especially when you’re already stressed about the UPSC. But have you ever considered online counseling?" I was skeptical but decided to take her advice to heart. What did I have to lose?
Logging onto the online counseling session, I was greeted by a kind face on the other side of the screen. The counselor seemed to understand what I was going through without me having to spell it out. "UPSC is a part of your life, not your entire life, and certainly not your entire worth," she said. That line hit me hard.
In the weeks that followed, the counseling sessions became my emotional boot camp. I learned coping mechanisms and emotional intelligence skills. The counselor helped me reframe my breakup as a life lesson, not a life sentence. And the most unexpected thing happened: I began to regain my focus and my love for the UPSC syllabus I'd been neglecting.
As I continued my preparation, I felt a shift within me. The hours of study no longer felt like a chore but an investment in my future. The breakup still hurt, but it was no longer a shackle pulling me down. Instead, it became a lesson that fueled my resilience. And while the aim of topping the UPSC was still my North Star, I began to understand that the journey mattered too.
So here I am, back on track with my UPSC preparation, and more importantly, back on track with myself. The exam date looms closer, but instead of fear or dread, I feel excitement and, dare I say, a sense of joy. My dream of becoming an IAS officer is as alive as ever, but now, it’s complemented by a newfound sense of self-love and emotional strength.
I haven't taken the UPSC exam yet, but I feel like I've already passed a significant test—that of emotional resilience. My online counselor helped me realize that life will throw various challenges my way, be it a tough exam or a heartbreaking loss, but it’s how I cope, adapt, and grow that truly defines me.
So, as I forge ahead on this path, I carry not just my books and notes, but a heart full of courage and a spirit renewed. My dream hasn’t changed, but I have, and that’s a victory worth celebrating.