Showing posts with label Friends. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Friends. Show all posts

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Don't Compete make Friends!


Rejoicing Roy's success

When college students ask me for advice and guidance, among many other points, I invariably advise them "don't compete, make friends with your batchmates". 

I give this advice from my lived experiences I have felt many times in the past. Let me share, the most recent experience, to make my point here. 

I completed my post-graduation in Pharmacy, from Manipal College way back in 2004. Two decades have passed since then, and all of us after graduating, walked on our own unique paths and scripted our own stories on our own terms. As it happens, we all get busier at work, we make families, we grow in our roles and responsibilities, we get scattered all over the globe and it becomes a rarity to have a reunion, even though we make this plan a thousand times in our minds and hearts. 

This is the story of one of our dearest friends Roy, who had a dream of doing a PhD (doctorate). After passing out of college, he decided to join the industry and gained 7 years of work experience. To pursue his dream, he applied for a Doctoral program at a foreign university and got through successfully at the University of Ottawa, in Canada. He resigned from his job and relocated to Canada with his family in the year 2011, to pursue his goal of Doctoral research and PhD. Two years down the line in 2013, his father faced a major health crisis due to his growing age and Roy took the decision to trade off his PhD dream for returning back to India to be with his father. He rejoined the industry to resume his career in R&D. 

Many among us, would give up their dream and make compromises with the situation. However, Roy wasn’t ready to make a compromise and give up on his goal. About four years down the line while working he enrolled himself in a PhD programme in 2018 at BITS. He took upon himself the extra hours of doctoral research alongside his day job of R&D not to mention the multiple hats and roles he had to play as a son, husband, and father on his home front. After five and half years of this marathon journey, he successfully defended his doctoral work and was bestowed with a PhD on the 4th of May 2024.

Roy at his PhD defense

We know how much this dream mattered to Roy and we know the many personal sacrifices he had made and the amount of perseverance and grit he showed over these many years for making his dream come true. To be with him, to celebrate his monumental success several of us (college friends) came over to be with him. Two friends flew down from different cities and one friend came over despite of his family’s flight timings in the wee hours. 

Coming together to celebrate! 

That evening, after Roy was awarded his PhD, so many of our friends made video calls from different cities of India and from overseas. This meeting was such an emotional affair for us and we felt so happy and proud for our friend for not giving up and making his dream come true.  

Memories to cherish forever!

Even after two long decades, such kind of friendship, bonding, and camaraderie was only possible because we were friends back in our college days. We didn’t competerather we collaborated, helped, empowered, guided, and brought the best in each other. It would have been such a shame had we competed, and pulled each other down for a few extra marks and for the campus job, because in the trade-off we would have lost this life-long friendship and goodwill of one another. Feeling happy for someone is probably the purest form of happiness and we all experienced it that day. 

So that’s my advice to all youngsters who are in their college, "don’t compete, make friends". In the long-run Collaboration always wins over Competition.