Failure in an exam is not the end of the world

Failure in an exam is not the end of the world

Ask your counsellor

Resilience is all about being able to bounce back in the face of adversity.

Dear Madam,

I am now in Class 12 but not able to concentrate on my studies because of many distractions. Moreover, I get tensed and stressed thinking about my future and my family as there is some misunderstanding. I feel my health is getting affected because of this. Please advise.

A student

Dear Student,

It seems like there are things happening in your family environment due to which you are getting stressed. As a result, you are not able to focus on your studies, and this inability to focus is causing even more stress. At this time it may be important to remember that there will be things happening in the world, and around us, all the time, that we cannot control, even though we have an immense desire to control them. The only thing we can control is really ourselves – our thoughts and feelings, how we process what is happening around us, and how much we allow it to affect us. Stress does have a way of manifesting itself into physical symptoms in the body. So, if you are finding the stress unmanageable, please reach out to a counsellor who will help you interpret things in your environment in a way that is not harming you. The counsellor will help you establish and understand your boundaries so that you don’t take on stress that does not belong to you. If you are noticing your physical health is getting affected because of your stress, I suggest you do it sooner rather than later. All the best.


Dear Madam,

I haven't performed well in the entrance exams and I don't have hopes of getting a seat in a good college. I am uncertain of what I want to do. I am quite disappointed with myself. Please advise.


Dear Rekha,

Please know that failure in an exam is not the same thing as you being a failure. You may not have done well in the exams, but that does not mean all paths in front of you are closed, or that you are a failure as a person, unless of course you decide that you are. When one door closes, another one opens – provided you allow yourself to look for them and find them. Focus on what the whole process of taking these exams taught you – about yourself, about your interests, about your strengths, about the system. How can you apply those learnings to the rest of your life? Being disappointed with yourself is not necessarily bad if it nudges you to do better and be better. It is however harmful, if you allow it to judge you for life. Talk to a counsellor if you need help sorting through these emotions. Good luck! Remember, there is always a path ahead, even if it may not seem so right now.


Dear Madam,

I was planning to quit my job and do higher studies. However, due to the current situation, my family advised me not to do so. I was all set to fly abroad but had to defer my plans. I don't feel like working now and am not able to meet my deadlines, which is causing some problems at my workplace. What should I do to get back on track?


Dear Roshan,

The world has changed and so everyone’s plans have been either put on hold or had to be shelved. Very little is currently business as usual for anyone. So, it is important for us to be able to adapt and adjust our plans and our lives given the current environment and resultant uncertainty and shake up. The fact that you are disappointed by this change is totally understandable since you had exciting plans. However, it is important not to become dysfunctional because of this change. Resilience is all about being able to bounce back in the face of adversity. And in the current scenario resilience is probably going to be the game-changer between those who navigate these turbulent waters successfully and those who are not able to. So, a good thing for you to do maybe to focus on building your resilience. This would involve acknowledging and understanding your feelings and then shifting your focus to what you can control, what your strengths are what you are grateful for (of which there will be a lot). Get the help of a counsellor to do this if you find you are unable to do this on your own.