Have a goal


Dear Madam,

Until Class 10, I performed well academically (80 per cent aggregate). But when I graduated to PUC, my performance began to go down.It took me three years to complete my PUC II and I only managed to secure a 46.3 per cent overall and 47 per cent overall in Physics, Chemistry and Math. My parents, who believed in my capabilities, decided to give me another chance and got me  a COMED-K seat in an engineering college. Again, I failed to make it to the second year because I had seven arrears. I know that I am capable of scoring 75-80 per cent in Engineering. I prepared my own notes but I could not deliver.

I set a time-table to study for 10-12 hours a day. The first day, I manage to get three to four hours. The next day,  I take a break. I then begin to make a fresh time-table. I have wasted three years. I want to overcome these hurdles. I am 21 years old. I don’t have friends. I have two younger sisters. And I wish to set an example for them. Please help.

Sanjay S H

Dear Sanjay,

I think it would help you to talk to a counsellor, or someone else you trust, to figure out for yourself what is blocking you in achieving your potential. You maybe distracted due to something, or someone, and this is holding you back from putting in your best effort. Or, you maybe depressed and unable to focus on what you need to do.

You may also need help in formulating a goal for yourself which will motivate you to not be idle. It is possible that you don’t have a goal or a dream that you are working towards. You seem to be fortunate to have a family that is supporting you and therefore, are not pressured on that front, however, sometimes pressure spurs us on. My advice to you would be to go look for your goal, and then go about achieving it.

Dear Madam,

I am currently in PUC II (Science). I have taken up Biology as an optional paper. I quite enjoy this subject along with Physics. What throws me off are the applications. This is scary as I am aware that the CET papers test one’s application skills. My class scores are quite good, but my reasoning ability is average and I lag behind in solving CET sample papers.

I am also confused about my next step. I don’t know whether to opt for engineering, medicine or any career-oriented course. If I want to pursue engineering, I need a solid ranking to get a seat in one of the best colleges. But since my skills in tackling the problems are average, I have little hope that my ranking will be high. Please help.


Dear Disha,

I think you should follow your passion. If your passion lies in studying Biology, then you should go right ahead and explore all possibilities which will help you leverage that passion. I am sure you have the ability to apply yourself even in your Physics problems, though you may need more practise to get a grip on the technique. However, often passion is what makes the difference between our success and failure in a particular field. So, if you are passionate about Biology, you should pursue it. I get a sense that you feel that is not a good enough option and you feel pressured to pursue Physics or Engineering. Just follow your heart. All the best.

Dear Madam,
I am a Class 10 student (State syllabus). I am confused about what career path to choose. I am doing quite well in school. Math is the only tough subject. I like Biology and do well in it.

My parents feel that I should pursue Aerospace Engineering as it has more scope and is quite different from the rest. But I think it will be very hard for me. I have always dreamt of becoming a paediatrician some day. What should I do?   


Dear Sushmitha,

If you dream of becoming a pediatrician, and you find Biology as a subject you can handle comfortably, then why are you doubting yourself? You are in a much better situation than many of your peers. Most of them have no dreams that they are chasing, and most of them have no clear-cut areas of interest.

If you have both, I am not sure what the self-doubt is about. You may want to understand from your parents why they are keen on Aerospace Engineering, and you should be able to convince them on why you would rather be a pediatrician. I am sure that if you are able to communicate your passion and dream to them, they will support you. They probably feel you don’t know what you want to do and, therefore, are trying to guide you.
All the best.

Dear Madam,

I am a PUC I student  (State syllabus) with a PCMB combination. I have just finished the mid-terms and I am not satisfied with my performance. My overall percentage in Class 10 is 75. I have always been a class topper and I don’t know how my grades have dropped. I want to be able to ace these tests. Please tell me how  to improve my concentration while studying. How many hours should I spend studying, in a day?


Dear Chaithra,

Are you getting very stressed about your marks and results? You seem to be someone who is enjoying her studies, and has high aims. Then you should study for the joy of learning new things. Don’t treat new concepts as hard and, therefore, problematic. Treat them as hard and, therefore, opportunities to learn something new, and to prove to yourself that you can understand them. It is not about how many hours you study, but about how focussed you stay during the time that you do study.

Remember, putting in your best effort is what matters the most. If you can honestly tell yourself, that you have put in your best effort, then that is all that matters. If you have put in your best effort, then at least the learning stays with you. Remember, success in life, is dependent on a lot more than just marks. Marks simply open a few doors for you. If the doors you wanted, don’t open, some others will — you may just have to look a little harder for them.

Good luck.

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