IIT-Bombay Ex-Student Recounts Being Suicidal Due To Pressure, Reveals What Helped Him

Living away from family in a hostel and dealing with intense academic pressure, like in IIT, can take a toll on youngsters. People tend to underestimate how the constant pressure to perform, combined with being away from the comfort of home, can mess with one’s mental health. It’s like being stuck in a pressure cooker without a release valve. Feeling overwhelmed and alone, some students might start to think that they can’t handle it anymore.

In addition to this, if they fail to perform well academically, the pressure can lead to serious depression, where some might even start thinking about ending their own lives, feeling like there’s no other way out.

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Deepak Baghel is an ex-student of IIT-Bombay. Today, he is a motivational speaker and the founder of a company. But when he was in IIT, he was truly struggling – both financially and academically.

On LinkedIn, he listed some of the very embarrassing and heartwrenching incidents he had to face while he was at IIT-Bombay. For example, being locked in his hostel room because he couldn’t afford the hostel fee.

“The hostel warden locked my room because I couldn’t afford the hostel fee, leaving me feeling deeply embarrassed in front of my peers. With no money in my account and my mother’s salary delayed due to the financial year closing in 2015-16, I also had to arrange funds for my sister’s medical college fees.”

He failed a course during his first year and was criticised publicly by a professor. Coming from a Hindi-medium school, he found difficulty in understanding English question papers for a year.

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“Failing a first-year course and retaking it in my fifth year was a blow to my confidence. A professor at IIT Bombay publicly criticized me, questioning how I could fail such a basic course when I came from a Govt. Hindi Medium school in M.P. I struggled to understand English questions for a year at IIT-B. The professor’s words embarrassed me in front of over 200+ first-year students, leaving me holding back tears.”

His Moodle account (an e-learning tool which can be used as an academic calendar and grade book, along with other learning management systems) was disabled and he had to handle all tasks offline. Every professor he approached questioned why he failed previously.

“Another professor failed me due to a rigid Academic Reinforcement Program rule. My Moodle Account was disabled for six months, forcing me to handle all tasks offline, including course registration. Every professor I approached for physical signatures to enroll in courses questioned why I had previously failed. This constant embarrassment compounded my struggles.”

He managed to score well in one of the courses but because of his disabled Moodle account, he missed the end-sem exam because the professor had changed the date last minute. He failed the course.

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“Coming to the point, I scored well in one of the courses, expecting to clear a course with an AB or AA grade. However, due to my disabled Moodle account, I missed the endsem exam after the professor changed the date last minute. Consequently, I failed the course again. I felt unjustly treated by life.”

All this experiences made his feel as though the odds were stacked against him, that the world would do anything to see him fail. His intrusive thoughts were leading him to commit suicide. And almost when he was about to take a drastic step, he saw his father’s photo in his phone’s gallery. He changed his mind.

It was almost as though he got reminded of the people whom he loved and how much studying at IIT meant to his family and people from his village. Like he wrote, he is the first IITian in his family and his village and he might be the last.

Have a look at his full post here:

In such dark moments, even the faintest glimmer of hope can be enough to pull someone out of the abyss.

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