Keep faith in yourself

Dear Madam,

I am studying in IX in Bengaluru. I have many problems in my studies. I am not able to concentrate on my studies and I do not know the reason. One more problem is that I want to become a fashion designer. I am very passionate about it. I am not able to decide what subjects I should opt for in 11th. I cannot opt for arts as no one in my family will let me study arts because they tell me that arts is not at all useful. Kindly guide me on this aspect. And please let me know how I can improve my concentration.

Pooja K

Dear Pooja,

When you are in the 9th, the subjects you are going to do in the 11th standard is not something you need to decide right now. As far as I know you need to decide your subjects only in the middle of your 10th standard. At this point of time, what subjects you eventually choose does not have any bearing on what you do right now, because for now you have to do all subjects, and attempt to do all subjects as well as you can. So don’t create an additional hurdle in your mind that is not allowing you to proceed because you don’t know what to do in the 11th. The two are not related right now.

Also, even if you want to pursue fashion designing as a career, you can do so with whatever subject you choose in the 11th. It is important for you to remember that your career choices may change as you grow older, and they often do. Most people don’t have a firm choice as early as 9th standard. So it is always safer to make subject choices which keep your options open so that you have the possibility of choosing a different path.
As for your concentration, you need to understand what thoughts are causing you to get distracted. It is often helpful to do some deep breathing when you are distracted, and bring you focus back. I would need to understand what is distracting you in more detail to be able to help you. Maybe you can call the Parivarthan Counselling Helpline at 080-65333323 to talk to a counsellor who can help you with this. All the best.

Dear Madam

I am presently studying 2nd year BE. In the first year, I have scored FCD (first class with distinction). However, I feel that my interest towards studying is decreasing and I sometimes feel that I may fail. I don’t know why this is so. During the exam time, I feel more sleepy and I can’t even read for two hours continously.  I tried studying by sitting in the library but couldn’t and I can’t see myself lagging behind. Can you suggest ways to help me?

Potential engineer

Dear potential engineer,

I hear you say two things – the first is that you are scared of failure. This fear is what is potentially holding you back from being able to perform at your best and put in your best effort. The second thing I hear you saying is that you can’t see yourself lagging behind. In some ways the two things are linked, but there are some differences.
I urge you to read this article on the subject of failure:

http://personalorbitchange.blogspot.in/2010/09/its-not-end-of-road.html. We need to learn to view failure, not as something to be dreaded, but as something which helps us understand our limits and learn from the experience. Failure is never a person but an event. So if you fail in an exam, it does not mean that you have failed, all it means is that you have failed at an exam. There may be several other things that you will succeed at. Instead of viewing failure as a final blow, we have to learn to take it in its stride, because some amount of failure in life is inevitable and the sooner we learn to deal with it, the better.

The second issue about not being able to see yourself lagging behind is also related to the same concept. You need to build your sense of self-worth based not only on your academic performance but on other qualities of your personality as well. I think it will be helpful for you to get the help of a counsellor to help you deal with these too aspects, because these are easy to understand if you spend the time to do it, but if you don’t they have the potential to derail you from your path.

You don’t need to be successful at everything you do, even though that may be a preferred choice. You need to focus on completing the marathon that is life, not on winning every sprint. All the best.


Maullika Sharma is a MBA graduate with a specialisation in counselling. She works with adolesents and parents. Send in your queries to Education, Deccan Herald, 75, MG Road,
Bengaluru-560001 or e-mail us at dheducation@deccanherald.co.in.

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