“Which standard are you in?” Asked the next-door aunty when I was going to my tuitions. I replied, “I am going to be giving my 10+2 boards this year.” She showed her concern by saying that- “Oh my God! It’s a motor year in life. U need to work hard, study hard and study almost for 16 hours a day. This is an important year”. I felt the subtle pressure she put on me. I know it already- the importance, the pressure, the study hours, the portion, etc. However, everyone I meet tends to make a big deal out of it. I think they are just concerned.
After a year, year and a half of hard work and long study hours, the boards were finally near. It’s the month of November and December. It’s very chilly and freezing. I can see my breath in the air, my heart pounding, my mind filled with worries like - “will I be able to finish my paper on time, hopefully, I don’t forget anything or go blank, hopefully, I don’t make any careless mistakes, etc.” And with all the nervousness, anxiety, sleeplessness I finally successfully attempted all the boards and was somewhat satisfied with the way I had written my papers.
Now, on Feb 8th I got my results. Before the results, I would be very anxious and nervous. Will it be good, bad or poor? What if it is not enough to get me into the college or the stream that I want. What if my friends and batchmates score better than I? They will move to a new college together without me. With bad scores, my parents will be disappointed too.
Finally, on the day of the results, on seeing them, I got disheartened. It was like my worst nightmare was coming true. It was not what I had expected. It was much lower than the amount of effort I had put into my studies. Few of my friends and classmates scored better than me. How do I tell my parents? They will be sad and disappointed in me. There was a lump in my throat, my eyes started tearing up, I felt very scared and alone, I felt like running away somewhere and that it was the end of the world.
Do these feelings sound familiar?
Have you or are you going through this right now?
How to cope positively?
How do get out of this negative and self-destructive mindset?
1. Be Lenient with yourself-
Tell yourself it's okay to have not so good results. Tell yourself that it is okay to not get what you deserve in comparison to the hard work that you have been doing.
2. Remember – the board exams are one of the many exams that we will be given in life and that it is not the end of the world. Yes, it is an important milestone for choosing a career, however, just remember that it is just a milestone and not your whole life. Not doing well in one particular exam does not define who you are or whether you will be successful or a failure in your life.
3. Find out the mistakes – find out what went wrong or what you could have done differently to achieve the score that you wanted. This will help to correct your mistakes and to achieve better results the next time.
4. Next step- Generally the next step after giving boards is preparing for various entrance exams in different fields. So, if we are aware of the mistakes that we did and we correct them or practice more that we need to improve on, we can score better.
This idea of the Next step makes our brain aware that board exams and the results that we had achieved is not the end of life and there is more to life than the boards.
5. Talk to a friend/ Classmate – it does help when we talk to a friend or a classmate who has achieved a similar result like ours. Ask them how they are coping with what they are feeling and share your feelings with them. Knowing that they also feel the same way in forms are a brain that we are not alone and that it's okay to feel sad or disheartened or upset or disappointed with bad results. It also tells the brain that We are not alone and many others are going through the same and they are coping with it too. This gives us hope and confidence to move forward.
6. Informing your parents -it is scary to show bad results to our parents. However, we do need to tell them objectively about the results. Ask for their help to make the changes needed for the next step. Tell them that this has made you realise that you need to work harder and assure them that you will for the upcoming entrance exams.
7. Practice slow and deep breathing exercises to lower your anxiety.
1. Be calm- this is very important. Process the information of lower scores first quietly.
2. Ask your kid what happened and what went wrong. Hear your kid’s side.
3. Find the flaws and try and help your child to plan better in the future.
4. Do not compare his/her marks with friends or classmates.
5. Do not shout or scold the kid. Do not name-call.
6. Tell your child that you are upset about the poor result, but at the same time remind him that the board exams are not the end of the world and encourage him/ her to do better next time.
7. Be ready to be helped.
8. Keep a close eye on your ward- for red flags- not eating, not sleeping, social isolation, the closing of social accounts online, anger outbursts, irritability, any change in usual behaviour, etc. If you see these changes, you need to consult a psychiatrist for help.
As Winston Churchill Said – success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.
If you want to succeed double your failure rate – said by Tom Watson, Said – success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.
If you want to succeed double your failure rate – said Tom Watson, CEO of IBM
Remember, just keep going forward and you will find a way. Just do not give up.
Names of a few Incredibly successful Indians who lost in school but won in life-
The comedian Vir Das, the entrepreneur Sandeep Maheshwari, the YouTuber Biswa Kalyan Rath, the computer services business owner – quick heal technologies owner Mr Kailash Katkar, Owner of popular restaurant chains called the Dosa Plaza – Prem Ganapathy, one of the most powerful media moguls in the country – Subash Chandra.