Don't live up to others' expectations

Don't live up to others' expectations

Ask your counsellor

Dear Madam

I am studying BE Telecommunication in VTU. To be frank with you, now I am 27 yrs old. I took admission in 2005 and I was to complete the course in 2009. But due to my negligence and laziness, it is only now in August 2013 that I have got admission into the final year. Since I am taking 8 years to complete my course, it will be very difficult for me to get a job in any MNC. So now, as I have few months free till August for my final year admission, which course should I go for that will be useful for me in getting a job. Till now I have studied Programming Languages like C, and C++. Please suggest any career oriented courses of upto one year duration. Even if it is expensive, I will go for it. I am interested in software courses as I am interested in writing the logic for a program. I am the only son of my parents and they have huge expectations from me. I don’t have any plans for PG studies. I am already 27 now. So please provide me enough details of institutions, which would recruit me to good MNC.

Dear Student

I am not a career counsellor and so have no advice for you on which courses you should attend to brighten your chances of a job in an MNC. All I can suggest is that don’t make your life about living upto your parents’ expectations alone. What are your expectations from yourself? Don’t strive to achieve something only as a favour to your parents. The biggest beneficiary of your professional success is you, not your parents. They will merely be happy to see you grow in whichever area you choose. The actual joy and satisfaction of doing well is going to come to you, not your parents. So it is about time you decided that you needed to achieve something because you want to do something in life.

It is good that you have been able to recognize the reasons for your not clearing your exams in time and keeping up with your peers. Recognizing where the problem lies is half the battle won. If you know where the problem is, it is much easier to overcome it. Remember also, that success in the workplace is not merely a function of marks. It depends, to a large extent, on your soft skills as well - your ability to communicate, lead a team, be a team player, think creatively and out of the box, problem solve, etc. You may want to spend your next few months focussing on those areas.

Dear Madam,

I am a 9th grade CBSE student studying in Kendriya Vidyalaya. Recently I changed my Section and I am facing an inconvenience. I was a topper in my previous class. After changing the Section, I feel I can't cope because of the competition. All the toppers of the other sections are in my section, and I feel inferior between them. I want to gain my confidence back. PLEASE HELP!

Dear Student

It looks like you have been shifted into a section which has all the high performers from all classes. I am sure this was done to make the environment more challenging, and hence more meaningful, for all of you - to help you achieve your potential and better equip you to face the future competitive environment. You should not view this as a threat, or an inconvenience, but rather as an opportunity that you have been given because of your good academic performance.

It is not important to always be the topper amongst a group of children. The goal of education is not to top, but to learn, and to gain the tools to achieve your potential, now and in the future. Would you rather top amongst an average set of students, or be amongst the entire set of top performers, even if you are not at the top. Your goal must be to maximize your learning and put in your best effort. Your sense of self-worth must come from your self belief and confidence in your own abilities, not from the fact that your marks were the highest. Your sense of achievement and success must come from being as close to achieving your own potential, rather than from being the top amongst a mediocre bunch.

So be thankful for the opportunity that you have got. Change is always difficult because it involves stepping out of your comfort zone (in this case, that of knowing that you can easily top your class). But to grow and achieve our potential we must step out of our comfort zone, no matter how scary that process. So go ahead and plunge in.

Dear Ma'am,

I completed my 1st PUC Science(PCMB) with an average percentage. I have no intention of joining any tutorials as I believe that I am confident of reaching my goals with the coaching given in my college. Even in my 10th Std (State syllabus) I managed to secure very well without tutorials. But now, everyone I know have joint tutorials and I am literally the only person who is not as serious as others. I feel too depressed and insecure. In spite of this, I have no interest whatsoever to join tutorials because I know I can't balance both college and tutorials. I feel too anxious just thinking about 2nd PUC. Being insecure as I am now, I have lost hope of doing well. I experienced all of these before the start of 10th Std too, but I managed in the end. But, now I feel too low. Some of my college teachers have begun their own tutorials and I feel even the teachers suggest to join tutorials. There is no one to inspire and motivate me to prove that it is possible to succeed without tutorials and this fact has pushed me to the edge. I am willing to put my best efforts and work hard with dedication. Is that enough? Everyone has this theory in mind that only students who go to tutorials can do well in 2nd PUC. Is that true? Can I perform well without going to tutorials?

Dear Arpitha

If you are confident about your ability to work hard and put in your best effort, then you do not need to do something because everyone else is doing it. Most people go to tutorials because that forces them to put in the extra work required, which they are not confident and disciplined enough to do on their own.

Ultimately success in the exams will depend on effort, diligence, and dedication, whether it is in the tutorial classroom or at home. What the tutorials may do is make you more familiar with the style of questions that may come in the examination, but you can get that from past question papers as well. The tutorials are just an extra tool that students use, to make sure they haven’t missed on any help they can get. Tutorials cannot guarantee success without the student’s own dedication and effort.

I am happy to hear you say that you are confident of reaching your goals on your own. Ultimately, that is the confidence that will drive you to success, not tutorial classes. So don’t lose heart. It is always difficult to do something that is different from the crowd, but go with what your heart says.

 You say you are not as serious as others, yet on the other hand you say that you have the confidence to do it on your own. These are contradictory statements. Obviously you are serious and have confidence in your own ability. Seriousness is not measure by how many classes you attend.

Don’t let your fear and insecurity incapacitate you. Every one needs to find the means to the end that works for them. Just because tutorial classes work for others, does not necessarily mean they will work for you.

Others may not have the same confidence that you have. Don’t let others’ fear and insecurities convert your strength into a weakness.

All the best

Maullika Sharma is an MBA graduate with a specialistion in counselling. She works with adolescents and parents. Send in your queries to Ask Your Counsellor,
Education, Deccan Herald, 75, MG Road, Bangalore-560001 or email as at