Mentor Speaks: Sanya’s tryst with Avanti

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My tryst with Avanti started when my JEE got over, and my seniors from IIT Bombay asked for my books for their fellows (now I am running around trying to recover them for my fellows :P). On reading online a little more, I found out about the IIT Delhi chapter of Avanti and was confident that come, end of first year, I would apply for mentorship. Education for the underprivileged has always been a cause I have wanted to contribute to, because I believe, that once educated, these children too will give back to society, ensuring a perpetual cycle and thus will contribute to the nation’s progress. When I was interviewed for mentorship, the intensity and depth of the questions was indicative of how important this task was. The opportunity to have such a lasting impression on two children’s future, albeit scary, was something I was determined to give my best to.

Thankfully, I was selected as a mentor and when I met my fellows for the first time, it struck me that these two would look to me for every doubt they had in their preparation, academic as well as non-academic. Brushing aside a single Chemistry question, or a “You don’t need to study Trigo, it barely comes”, would affect their rank, it could result in a change of a hundred ranks either way. Since then, whether it has been solving H.C.Verma doubts for an hour over the phone, or calming one of them down before an Atomic Structure Quiz, its been an amazing journey. I’ve been lucky(?) in a way, my fellows are complete opposites, one is a chilled out, easy go lucky kind of guy, the other, a hyper, easily worried and perpetually tense girl. The experience so far has taught me how to be ambivalent, deal with multiple personalities. Personal visits to their homes showed me the inverse relation between the size of homes and the warmth of the owners’ hearts. They are always so grateful for what I am doing, they genuinely believe that I can change their child’s future; this faith drives me to work even more, push my fellows the extra mile, ensure they solve every question in the module. Over the summer, I picked up a few of the books I had left from my coaching, just to revise Electrostatics and Magnetism, I am dreading the day, they ask me a question I do not know the answer of. I have done my best to get involved in their lives, talk about their friends, school life, family issues, just have them open up to me, so they know that they can approach me for academic and personal issues.

It has been 3 months and I do my best to get them excited about studying, it’s not just about getting into IIT, it’s about learning and applying beyond their books. Mistakes that I made while preparing, I know how to stop them when they go down the same path. Handy tips which I got from my seniors, now tried and tested through two generations! I know, what would suit them, whether it’s quantity of time spent studying, or quality. No doubt about it, I want to see them clear and join the IIT of their choice. But seeing them evolve slowly, take tough papers and bad ranks in their stride, I know that the entire process of preparing for the JEE will ensure their success irrespective of where they go. These two years are the most crucial of their life and proper guidance now can take them places. Fingers crossed! 22 months and counting!

 – Sanya, Mentor, IIT Delhi

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