There are many paths to success

Ask you counsellor

Dear Madam

I am 18 years old and I want to pursue medical education. I passed my class 10 with 90%. Since I was interested in doing medicine, I opted for PCMB .But from the beginning of Class 11, I was not able to get the marks which I used to get in school upto the 10th. As a result I lost confidence in myself. I struggled hard to score. Istill didn't get good marks despite my hard work and I finished my 11th standard with a mere 60%. The same continued in the 12th as well. As a result of my low confidence I just scored 63%. I wanted to score above 90%.I have not done well in my medical entrance tests either. So, madam, please suggest something which helps me regain my confidence so that I can bounce back, because I have a great desire to achieve my goal.

Mallikarjun Virat
Dear Mallikarjun

Exams and marks have a way of putting stress on us like nothing else, because we start seeing them as benchmarks for how good we are. We have to learn to believe in ourselves, and our capabilities, no matter what marks we get. There are many paths to success and the moment we allow ourselves several options we start reducing the importance we attach to just one option. Also define what success in life means for you. You may be currently defining it as getting into a medical college, or pursuing a medical education. The moment you are able to redefine it to something larger as being a “good doctor” or “as serving people” you will find many more options. There can be many ways of being a good doctor, and getting into the top medical college is not the only path. That may be one path. However, if you are dedicated to your task, getting into other not so famous colleges can give equal opportunity. And then recognize, that medicine is not the only profession before you. You can be a success in life, even if you don’t pursue medicine. Is your interest in medicine stemming from a personal choice, or have you been made to believe that that is the only respectable path to follow?
Dear Madam,

I am a 2nd year PCMB student. Previously I was studying under the Karnataka state board syllabus. Since I am new to this NCERT syllabus I need your guidance. I have an aim to join the AFMC, Pune. For this purpose I need to take up its entrance exam. Every year around 1 lakh students aspire to take up this exam and there are only 130seats. This is an army institution. I wanted to join army, as my elders advised me to get into army with some basic graduation and I accepted to do so.  Since the past two years I am very keen to become a surgeon in the army. The most disappointing thing is there are only 25 seats for girls. The competition is very high. I am getting baked under my own pressure. I really don’t know how to come out of this pressure. I got 81.6 per cent in the first PUC. Can you please advise me how to train up to face this pressure created by myself? I am not able to meet my own expectations. Daily I am battling with myself. I can’t concentrate for more than an hour. But I want to study at least 14 hours a day. I very badly want to get into AFMC.  I love to serve my country. Please tell me some tips to improve my logical thinking. As I need to study both 2nd year and 1st year’s portions, howdo I manage time?  I know I have asked a lot of things but please help me I really need some expert advice. It’s my dream of getting into this institution, I really can't express my desire in words. I know that I only get what I deserve and not what I desire. But I want to become deserving. Please help.

Varsha Shankar 
Dear Varsha

You are deserving and what you desire is well within your reach. However, I think you need to aspire for the right goal. It is very honorable of you to want to serve your country. However, I don’t think you necessarily need to think that getting into AFMC is the one and only way to serve the country. There are many paths to an end goal. Our stress gets the better of us when we start thinking there is only one path to reach our goal and if that path gets blocked we are doomed. If your end goal is to serve your country, and as a surgeon in the army from AFMC is only one path to it. Also remember, if one door closes, and alternative door always opens up, provided we allow ourselves to recognize it. It is only when we are open to many options can we reduce the stress of going ahead with only one option.

You are right, if you are stressed you will not be able to focus. Stress builds up from anxiety, and your anxiety is about there being only one path to your goal, and not knowing what to do if that path closes. Redefine your goal and broaden it. That will allow you the possibility of seeing many options ahead of you. Some amount of stress is good because it motivates you to work hard. However, too much stress is counter-productive because it overloads your brain and prevents you from being able to concentrate and focus. Allow yourself to visualize other possibilities in your life and you may realize that there are many options you can work with.
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 dheducation @deccanherald.co.in

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