Ask you counsellor

Separate anxiety and aspiration

Ask you counsellor

Dear Madam

I and my wife are worried about the academic performance of our 18 year daughter, who is in BCA 1st year. Though she has scored more than 82% marks in SSLC examination, she scored 50% marks in PUC and also attended the CET and scored less with a ranking of 89000 inspite of one year tuition for PCMC and for Engineering.

 We were interested in sending her for engineering, but she does not like engineering because of mathematics and physics. She is interested in computer science and has opted for the BCA. She never reads the notes given by the college/tuition centre, but reads only the text books. She does not have the capacity to convert the questions to answer by reading the text books. We repeatedly tell her to study the notes given by the lecturers. She will never do that saying that lecturers are not giving proper notes and hence she is studying the texts. She was in CBSE syllabus upto 4th standard.

Since it was tough and the school shifted its CBSE section too far, we put her in State Syllabus and in 8th standard. Though she was reluctant for the changes, she finally accepted our wish. We feel these are the reasons, she is showing no interest in studies. Moreover, whenever we advise/scold for anything, she gets angry and she will not reply, but will show her anger in the face and go away from the place. She is dull in mathematics and physics. We are sure if she attempts and concentrates on her studies well, she will definitely get high marks. We find while studying, her concentration will be somewhere else. We have earlier taken her to a counsellors and took their advice also. She will never tell anyone the problems faced by her. She shows more interest in watching TV/playing with mobiles. Except in studies, in other activities, she helps her mother, understands the problems at home and will do whatever is needed.  She mingles with her friends and family members, who have a good opinion about her. Kindly help us in solving the problem.A concerned parent
Dear concerned parent

You are correct in saying that she is probably not focusing on things you would like her to focus on because that is something you are pushing her towards, not something that she would want to do. It is very important to be able to separate our anxieties and our aspirations for our children, from those of our children, and let our children find and live their own dreams, rather than yours. It is important to be able to help them identify their dreams, rather than give them your dreams to fulfill.

I urge you to help her find her dreams. Maybe the best possible way to do this would be to get her some counselling support. Counselling will give her a safe, confidential and non-judgmental space to confront her fears and build her dreams.

­Dear Madam

I am an engineering student. Before I joined engineering I completed my diploma and before that I lost 3 years in my PUC. When I failed in PUC 2nd I was still confident that I will clear PUC 2nd, but I failed again.  After losing 3 years I joined diploma and did well in diploma and my aggregate was 71%. After diploma I wrote the CET for lateral entry in engineering. I did well in my 3rd semester internals but in the exam I failed 2 papers. I couldn’t believe that. I had answered those papers well so I applied for revaluation & passed in one of the two papers. When I entered the 4th semester I lost my all confidence and I didn’t do well in the internals and exams. I failed again in the 4th semester. My total backlogs were 4, when I entered the 5th semester. I tried to gain my confidence & again I did well in internals and exams, but in my 4 backlogs I cleared 2 and failed in 2.In 6th semester I studied a lot more & did well in the 6th semester but in the backlogs I cleared one and failed one. That one backlog is my gate paper which I had written well. I applied for revaluation & challenge revaluation, but didn’t clear. Because of this gate paper I lost another one year and I am not eligible for my final year. My total years lost is 4 years. Now I am thinking of suicide. Such thoughts are coming in my mind. I am thinking I am a useless fellow. I think I don’t have a right to live, but at that time I think about my parents and avoid that feeling. Such feelings are coming to my mind often and I avoid them. Ma’am, most of the time, I still believe that God will do best with me in the future. But sometimes I don’t believe it. Please tell me what I have to do. I am passing the worst stage of my life.Kaleem
Dear Kaleem

I understand that you feel you are going through the worst stage of your life and are feeling hopeless and dejected. And are also feeling suicidal thinking there is no meaning in your life. Many times when things get really tough our first instinct is to quit. But I acknowledge your courage in writing to me for help. I urge you to see a counsellor as soon as you can. I don't know where you are living so do not know if you will be able to find a counsellor easily. If not, please call some of the free helplines that are meant for people like you who may be temporarily struggling with the challenges life is throwing at them. One such helpline is the Parivarthan Counselling Helpline for which the number is 080-65333323. This is available for anyone who will take the trouble to call between 4 pm to 10 pm Monday to Friday.

 This is a free helpline in which a counsellor will help you work through whatever is troubling you at that time. If you feel helped you can call this helpline multiple times as well. 

Meanwhile, I admire your confidence and courage to continue with full determination with your course, and having the confidence to get revaluations where necessary. You may have lost four years but I think you need to put everything in perspective. Four years in your whole life is not your whole life. You have many more years - maybe another 60 years at a minimum, and if you think of it in totality, then four years is not such a big amount. Once you get past this hump this will fade into insignificance. Secondly, you need to take stock and see what this experience has taught you. In every failure there is a lesson to be learnt. And if we learn the lesson, then the failure is not a waste. 

Thirdly, failure is always only an event, it is never a person. So while you may have failed at some exams, it does not imply you have failed as a person. Success in life depends on a lot more than marks in exams. The marks just open some doors. After that they are pretty irrelevant because ultimately success in the workplace and in life will depend on your confidence, your self esteem, your ability to work in a team, your ability to lead a team, your ability to think out of the box, your problem-solving skills, your communication skills, your ability to learn on the job, etc. So don't lose heart. Remember there is always light at the end of a tunnel, and just like all good things comes to an end, all bad things also eventually come to an end, though while we are going through them, it seems never-ending. And when things are really seeming tough call the helpline for some solace.­

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