Note: T5E’s Insti Mood Survey 2021 was conducted in September to study the current lived reality of institute students. The survey received a total of 1306 responses with representation (albeit skewed) from all degrees and batches.
The aspects studied by the survey are Academics, Co-Curriculars, Opinion, Mental Health, Physical Health and time and At-home-life.
This article delves into the last two aspects.
Before you go ahead with the rest of the article, do take a close look at the above graphs that outline the demographics of the respondents of this survey. These charts are key to understanding why we got the results that we did for questions that depend heavily on one’s batch/ degree. To put it crudely, note that PGs are underrepresented in relation to UGs and older batches are underrepresented in relation to newer batches, especially 2021 and 2020 batches.
Physical Health, Time and Relationships
Out of 1306 respondents, only 99 exercise daily and 431 claim to not engage in any intentional physical activity. However, two-thirds of the respondents exercise or play sports at least one day per week and the overall average days of exercise stands at 2.4 days per week.
It is also observed that respondents who engage in physical activities regularly also consume healthier food than those who don’t, as shown by the graph below.
Exercise in general enhances the quality of sleep and we have found an almost linear correlation between the quality of sleep and the number of days of exercise per week.
This depicts that exercising often helps one enhance their quality of sleep.
Quality of Food
Given that around 65% of the respondents rated their quality of food above 4/5 and only around 10% rated it below 3, it would be fair to say that respondents in general are satisfied with the food they consume.
Respondents who consume better food also tend to have better quality of sleep.
Correlating insti-residence status with the quality of food, we see that the average score for the quality of the food served in insti stands at only 2.74/5 compared to the average of those who stay at home, which stands at 3.81/5.
Time spent on Activities
We have collected the time spent on some of the regular work that a typical student engages in a day, i.e., entertainment/social media, internships, PoRs, hobbies, internships and placement preparation. (Academics-related time spent was covered in our article on Academics and Co-Curriculars.)
Since, the majority of the respondents are from 2020 and 2021 batches, the average time spent on intern and placement preparation and PoRs is partially skewed.
60% of the respondents weren’t preparing for an internship or for a placement at the time of the survey, and among the ones who were preparing, the average time spent was 1-2 hours. Over 38% of the aspirants allocated less than an hour for the preparation. In contrast, 2.5% of the aspirants spent around 6-8 hours per day. Hobbies are often the stress busters in this hectic academic life and the time spent on hobbies is a healthy 1-2 hours per day while the majority of responses stood at <1 hour.
The overall average rating for the satisfaction with one’s daily routine is a low 2.2/5. The pandemic could be the biggest culprit, but there are many other factors that impact the respondents daily routine as is evident from the correlations discussed below.
38% of B.Tech respondents rated their satisfaction with routine as 1/5 while 27% of Dual degree and 33% of MA respondents reported the same.
There is a clear inverse correlation between satisfaction with routine and time spent on social media. Notably, 60% of those respondents who spend 8+ hours per day on social media rated their daily routine as 1/5. This can be attributed to how excess usage of entertainment and social media causes distraction in the flow of a daily schedule. Another possibility is that when one feels they do not have enough control over activities they do during the day, one tends to spend a considerable amount of time on social media at night.
Mental health is the standout factor that influences satisfaction with daily routine: 75% of the respondents, who rated their mental health 1/5, also rated their satisfaction with daily routine as 1/5. Only 8% of the respondents who rated 5/5 for their mental health aren’t satisfied with their daily routines.
Daily routine and productivity also strongly influence each other: 67% of the respondents who rated their productivity 1/5 rated their daily routine the same.
65% of the respondents who rated their work and study environment 1/5, also rated their satisfaction with the daily routine 1 of 5. As the rating on the work and study environment increases, the satisfaction with the daily routine also increases.
On an average, a respondent talked to 3.6 friends regularly and only 3% of the respondents talked with more than 10 insti friends regularly.
52% of respondents rated their satisfaction in remaining in touch with their insti friends below 3/5. Maintaining relationships during these times is often difficult due to lack of proper communication channels, indeed.
Respondents who rated their contact with insti friends 1/5, on an average, talk regularly with 1.5 friends. When it comes to the ones who rated 5/5, the average number of insti friends they regularly communicate with is 7.6.
Mental health improves if we share our burden with our friends as we are on the same track and fittingly 52% of the respondents who rated their mental health 1/5, also rated their contact with insti friends 1/5. The percentage decreases as the mental health rating improves. Only 17% of the respondents who have a stable mental health are not able to remain in contact with insti friends.
A significant part of academics and social life moving online meant that the time spent looking at screens increased tremendously- online classes, assignments, internships, social media and academic workloads collectively impacted the screen time. Consequently, the average screen time per respondent stands at 10.35 hours.
82% of the respondents spend more than 7 hours looking at the screens per day. Average screen time spent by respondents who rated their mental health 1/5 is 11.4 hours per day, while it is 9.6 hours per day for those who rated it 5/5.
The presence or absence of a personal room is ostensibly a crucial factor determining a respondent’s privacy, personal space and the opportunity for self reflection and a stable study environment.
Interestingly, the availability or non-availability of a personal room had little to no impact on both the respondent’s screen time and their quantity of sleep. However, students having personal rooms study for 2.7 hours/day on an average while those who do not study 3.05 hours on an average. A plausible reason for this could be that having a personal room allowed for greater efficiency, reducing the number of hours to be put in.
With most of the respondents living at home, the family atmosphere plays a key role in student’s mental health, academics and other aspects of their life.
As the chart above shows, there is a strong correlation between family atmosphere and mental health, as 61% of those who rated their family atmosphere 1/5 have given the same rating for their mental health. Similarly, the proportion of respondents with better mental health increases with their rating of family atmosphere.
Around 40% of the respondents live in four member families while around 10% of respondents have more than 5 family members at their home, indicating that they could be living in joint families.
The above chart shows that, broadly speaking, a lower number of members in the respondent’s family increases the favorability of their work and study environment.
Common household chores include going to market to buy essential commodities, cleaning up dishes or lending a hand to household members. Even though perspectives on household chores differ, it is uncontested that they demand some time and might even serve as a distraction if one has no choice but to contribute to household chores.
Our survey indicates that around 93% of the respondents perform household chores to some degree and frequency, with 60% of respondents pitching in only when asked to do so.
Categorizing the data on the basis of gender shows that female respondents are marginally more involved in performing household chores, given that 38% of them do chores daily as opposed to 30% of the male respondents. Moreover, 62% of B.Tech. and Dual Degree respondents help in household chores when asked to, while 64% of PhD respondents do their chores daily.
Study and work environment
A favourable study environment is categorised by a lack of disturbance and a proper space to study. A favourable study environment can increase productivity and pave the way for efficient work.
There is significant variability in the study environment, indicating varied experiences. Moreover, most of the respondents lie between 2-4/5, indicating moderate satisfaction with this metric.
Understandably, there is a fairly strong correlation between study environment and productivity.
From the above article, here’s the quick summary of the data that the team collected and analysed through this survey:
- At the time of the survey, 97.3% of the respondents had completed 1st dose and 47% of them were completely vaccinated.
- 66% of the respondents play sports/ do exercise at least a day per week.
- 51% of the respondents who exercise regularly, have a healthy diet. Whereas only 22% of those who don’t exercise at all, have a healthy diet.
- The average score for the quality of the food served in insti is 2.74/5.
- The average number of hours one spends on social media/Entertainment is 2-4 hours.
- 50% of the respondents do not hold any PoRs.
- The average rating for the satisfaction with one’s daily routine is 2.2/5.
- 60% of the respondents, who spend 8+ hours per day on social media, rated their daily routine as 1/5.
- 75% of the respondents, who rated their mental health 1/5, also rated their satisfaction with their daily routine 1/5.
- On an average, a respondent talks to 3.6 friends regularly.
- 27% of the respondents rated their ability to manage and maintain contact with insti friends 1/5.
- 52% of the respondents, who rated their mental health as 1/5, also rated their contact with insti friends 1/5.
- The average screen time per respondent is 10.35 hours.
- 82% of the respondents spend more than 7 hours per day looking at screens.
Read other articles of IMS here.
Download the data collected here: Insti Mood Survey 21′ Responses