This one is straight from the heart! This post is a tribute to coffee. (What others may call an unhealthy obsession, I call love.) And it’s also a look back at 2020! But the main inspiration behind this post is a desire to connect with you, dear readers, as we together embrace the new year.

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes- Marcel Proust

I hope everyone is doing well! It gives me great pleasure to be back on Medium for an update on what life in the Foreign Service is like.

Disclaimer: The reason I took so long to write this post is because (a) I’m only still a probationer and thus, I cannot talk with any finality on what diplomatic life is all about as I have not lived through it (b) I now know that passing an exam is not a big deal and having a government job doesn’t automatically make someone special (c) I personally feel like a total misfit…

Hi everyone! Hope you all are doing well! The fun thing about this blog is that the moment something goes wrong, I get emails to fix it asap :) The mock essays I uploaded around two years back were removed from the blog. I have zero idea why and I hope it doesn’t happen again!

All the very best and don’t hesitate to get in touch over email!

I love hearing from you all :)

Dear readers,

Day after tomorrow, I will formally join LBSNAA, Mussoorie as an IFS Officer Trainee (OT).The last few weeks have been emotionally overwhelming and hectic. Packing and paperwork has taken its sweet toll on me. And yes, goodbyes. I’m not good at saying bye which is why I really like the French word for bye — Au Revoir — which translates into – Till we meet again! I’ve been listening to a lot of Guns n’ Roses and Led Zeppelin this week which is always calming. That is helping me stay peaceful. …

Early Morning History Revision at YIF

Here are some of my GS mocks I wrote during the GS 8 Mains Test Series at Vision IAS. You can get a fair idea of my answer writing style here. Some generic tips from my side:

  1. Figure out your presentation style. I wrote in points after giving a short introduction.
  2. In the introduction, you can simply define the key word of the question or give a historical context.
  3. Try to give multifaceted points for extra marks. Diversify your points. …

Before I get down to answering some interesting CSE questions I found in my inbox, I want to say THANK YOU to all of you. This blog is getting way more love than it deserves :)

Also, I will be writing my last post on this blog on August 24, 2018 as I leave for LBSNAA, Mussoorie on August 25, 2018. I will also stop taking questions on my e-mail once I join the Foundation Course :( I really want to switch into IFS trainee mode this month and unfortunately, I will not be able to guide candidates from the…

DISCLAIMER: Before I sit down to write anything, the question I ask myself is — what would have made me feel better had I been still studying for civils?

And as a civil services aspirant, I felt that the real, human stories of persevering through the daily struggle were sorely missing from many toppers talks and lectures. I didn’t find many candidates talk openly with vulnerability about what they really went through.

I respect their privacy. However, despite being an extremely private person myself, I feel somewhat duty-bound to share what I experienced during the past four years. This is…

At the Indosan-Nipponji Temple / Bodhgaya, Bihar

These are certain practices and concepts that I have found to be beneficial for my emotional, physical and spiritual health. I discovered all of these during the past 4 years as a Civil Services aspirant. I have been asked to share these on my blog so here it goes. Some of the advice here is very personal so just see what resonates with you.
I hope this helps you! :)

#1. Exercise

Exercise is about self-love. Exercise has many physical and emotional benefits that I don’t need to reiterate here. It doesn’t matter whether you pick up Yoga, Tai Chi, kickboxing or…

Mahabodhi Temple Complex / Jan 15, 2018

Disclaimer: I am neither a career counsellor nor an emotional therapist. I cannot take decisions for you. I can only share my experience. Every civil services aspirant needs to understand her own self, figure out her own short term and long term goals, understand her strengths and weaknesses and devise a plan in light of her own unique circumstances. And then just take the plunge and go kill it! Don’t overthink.

Question: I wanted your opinion on Mains answer writing test series. …

— Civil Services Examination takes 6 hours and 500 marks to test 3 years of BA Hons. syllabus. Therefore, it is important to first have a grip on the gigantic syllabus. The previous post on PSIR answer-writing was just to show you my way of consolidating the optional. Only when the key points are clear in your mind will you be able to write an answer effectively within the time limit.
— The next step is to start writing answers in your own registers as well as a test series. You can get an idea that I used short paragraphs and points. I kept my answer script neat. I presented my points logically and never strayed away from the question.
— The red marks are my own corrections as I checked my answers myself. I highlighted important lines are for quick revisions before the examination.

Megha Arora

diplomat / coffee nerd

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