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Bridging the Gap: Coping Challenges and Maximizing the Goodness of the FBS Experience

They say studying in University of Dhaka is a transformative experience.

It is certain that getting admission in the Faculty of Business Studies of Dhaka University is a dream held by many, but realized by few. Each year, thousands of students put in tremendous effort in the hopes of becoming part of the distinguished alumni of Bangladesh’s most well-known university. But why are these degrees so coveted? Dhaka University (DU), known as “Oxford of the East”, has been grooming nation-builders for a bit more than a hundred years.  For both students and their families, the University of Dhaka is often seen as a gateway to the life they aspire to lead. They believe that obtaining these degrees will unlock numerous opportunities and potentially pave the way for a stable and prosperous future. Students work hard in school in order to work even harder in Dhaka University, in the hope of being presented with greater opportunities. But once they arrived at their prized destination, is it what they thought it would be?

Since they were in highschool or even kindergarten — they were likely in the top 1 percent of their class, and then the at least top 3% of those who sat for C Unit Admission Test. They achieved remarkable marks, obtained recognitions, and secured scholarships. This kind of high achievement was not just encouraged, it was expected from them.

As the first semester starts and the pressure intensifies, the initial dreams of an illustrious journey at the Faculty of Business Studies in the University of Dhaka begin to fade. For many students, the reality is a stark contrast to the picture they had painted in their minds. The confident freshmen walking in the corridors of academic building of FBS soon find themselves questioning not just their academic abilities, but also their sense of self-worth. These students invest their time and energy in their studies, giving their very best. In the blink of an eye, midterms are upon them, and with them, the arrival of results.The outcomes do not align with their anticipated standards. To make matters worse, their effort is questioned for the first time in their life. Stunned by this turn of events, they try to seek guidance from whoever can be approached, about which “X Factor” is exactly missing in their effort . Nothing improves, despite their increased endeavors,  results continues to be subpar. This pattern persists until they eventually disconnect emotionally from their studies.

Inevitably with time, they unwittingly slip into the mold of an average student or even worse, a below-average student – a label they had initially dreaded.

Trying to maintain a decent cgpa , balancing a range of extracurricular activities, and competing with peers – with so much pressure to be great, it is no surprise to find that when these kids fall, they fall hard. 

The question arises – What could be the reason?

Distance of communication with teachers, inadequate teaching method, lack of proper guidance, adapting to new environment, the high expectations from families and society, intense competition, and the pressure to excel, play a significant role in these students’ sufferings.

According to a survey, in Bangladesh, 75.85% of university-level students are suffering from depression.

The success of institutions relies on their capacity to recognize, involve, and provide proper support to students. And as they have taken the responsibility of the students’ education and learning, the struggles faced by many previously proven meritorious students raise questions about the effectiveness of the educational system.

In our quest for solutions within this challenging scenario, we can find some individuals who initially faced challenges in achieving excellence, yet they endured. These individuals in the midst of intense competition and adversities overcame the situation that could have led to failure or a state of negativity or stagnation. So, with the hope that in the near future these undue challenges will be diminished, for now, we have control over only one thing: how we handle this situation for ourselves.

Here are some suggestions for you if you are struggling, according to those who have have gone through a similar situation and overcame it eventually:

1. Reach out to Seniors: There’s a fantastic group of upperclassmen who are more than willing to assist you. From Google Drive and handwritten notes to pieces of advice, they are there for you with it all.

2. Try to Understand the Course Teachers: In the university, teachers rotate every six months with new semester and new course. As soon as you understand what a teacher expects in an exam paper, they are no longer your course teacher. So, keep your ears wide open in class from the beginning; you’ll find hints. Moreover, you can reach out to seniors to gain insights early.

3. Plan Your Semester Ahead: Solving past questions and familiarizing yourself with the course material in advance will help you tremendously.

4. Be Consistent With Your Studies: Even during the toughest weeks, stay up-to-date with what’s being taught in class and be sure to review the material over the weekend. Trust me, falling behind is what can become burdensome.

5. Understand Your Circumstances: Life isn’t a straight line; difficulties often pile up at the worst possible time, making it hard to cope. Your own vision might become clouded, and you could feel unworthy for not handling the situation well. Don’t ever feel this way; being mindful of what’s happening to you and how you’re reacting matters the most.

6. Validate Your Feelings: In a highly competitive environment, the struggling people feel ashamed of their results and never come forward to express why they’re facing challenges.

7. Create a Support Group with Similarly Struggling Peers: Knowing that you’re not alone in this journey can be incredibly helpful. Staying connected with others who are also facing challenges will help you maintain perspective, and you can support each other in your efforts.

8. Avoid Isolating Yourself: One common phenomenon in this situation is isolation. As students who struggle to maintain their academics feel pressure and shame, they often isolate themselves. This further complicates their university experience, making it bitter and unfulfilling.

9. Befriend Positive Peers: It can be tough to share your struggles with people who aren’t facing the same challenges, as you might doubt whether they’ll understand your position. However, trust me, you’ll find friends who are sympathetic and sensitive to your struggles. Just be cautious in identifying these friends correctly!

Finally, I want you to reflect on your academic journey leading up to university. Haven’t you already conquered various hurdles? From grasping complex concepts to achieving outstanding grades, you’ve surmounted them all. So, hold tight, stay resolute, and believe in yourself. You’ve got this!

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