“Failure is an event, not a person. Yesterday ended Last Night” – Zig Ziglar
This famous line by Zig Ziglar is like a fuel to accelerate, like a tonic for revival to all those who have experienced Failures in their personal or professional life. Such failures could be due to physical, emotional, cognitive, behavioral incapacity.
The focus of this article is for those students who have seen academic failures at the undergraduate level. Thanks to the Credit Based Semester and Grading System – CBSGS it is difficult to fail, get ATKT (allowed to keep the term) or at worse a drop. The system is challenging but the liberal examination policies under several universities give many opportunities to the students to clear their ATKTs. But this might not be a cakewalk for many.
Today’s classroom comprises students from diverse backgrounds w.r.t. past education, income, lifestyle, family structure, exposure, etc. Some are able to manage the new CBSGS whereas some find it very difficult to cope.
Let me take two extreme scenarios in the event of getting ATKT:
- Within the permissible limit
- More than permissible limit leading to Drop
In the first situation, the student is promoted to a higher class but has to clear the ATKT exams. This can be challenging as the student has to study and prepare for the ATKT and for regular exams. It’s important to discipline oneself and manage time very well. Get in touch with the teachers, ask doubts, seek the explanation of difficult concepts. Take help of friends who have mastered the subject well. Keep yourself updated with rules & regulations of ATKT exam to avoid any last minute surprise. Focus more on academics than extracurricular activities of the college.
The second situation is a dismal scenario which makes the students heartbroken. Students lose a year in this situation. Some students feel this will bring shame to their family. They fear being stereotyped as failures forever. They feel their friends won’t talk to them, ignore or isolate them. Loss of confidence, low self-esteem, poor credibility is also some of the demons going through their minds. Some students may also take extreme steps like suicide, eloping, resorting to addictions like smoking, alcoholism, drugs, etc. All this creates a vicious circle for them making the situation worse. My intent is to make these students aware of possible discomforts with such life situation and also be prepared to deal it rationally. It’s OK to fail. It’s OK to lose a year.
As long as you realize why and how could this happen, it’s really OK.
It is very important to introspect oneself, some soul searching, some rational thinking. Students may want to spend time alone in figuring out things, It all OK.
It is very natural to avoid meeting friends and family in the initial days of shock. But if this extends for more than a week then it is an alarming situation. After initial days of self- imposed house arrest students should speak to their teachers about the rules, regulations and procedures to be followed- next exam dates, how to study, which books to refer, etc.
Many teachers also counsel such students. This is very important because teachers as mentors know their students well. They are also aware of the strengths and weakness of their students. Students should also take study tips from their friends and top scorers of the class. For emotional comforting friends and family can be a huge support. They may advise, might get upset, may levy restrictions. Try and take it in a good spirit. If the situation is worsening, then students may also take professional counselling.
After initial days of mourning its time to take charge of life. Start some physical activity like games, exercising, swimming, join a gym etc. This will release the feel good hormones – endorphins and reduce the stress level. Meditation also helps in times like these to build positivity and optimism. It also improves concentration. Now since there won’t be college or lectures, one is left with a lot of free time.
Skill Up is the new age mantra. Turn your hobby into some professional skill. Learn advanced computer operations, sharpen your cooking skills, learn new dance forms, catch up on some good books, etc.
One can also get some good internships, the part-time or full-time job as per the area of interest. This will expose the student to challenges of the real world. My personal observation is that all those students who take up internships or do part-time jobs in their vacations become more serious and responsible with their academics. T
aking up some outreach activity or doing some community service is also beneficial. This will give a great sense of satisfaction to the concerned student. This can also be mentioned in one’s resume to showcase how socially responsible one is.
Making good use of one’s time is very important. One should do all that which was not possible in a regular college schedule. Watch good play’s, attend exhibitions, seminars in your city. Go for a road trip or engage oneself in camping.
Social media sites like Quora & Medium provide a vast pool of knowledge on almost everything under the sun. Start blogging or contribute in the above sites.
There might be times when one may feel low or left out when friends are busy with college activities and exams. It’s ok to have such thoughts but one should not let it grow and spoil the mental balance. Be in touch with friends. They can be a huge guiding force.
Parting thought by APJ Abdul Kalam – The best brains of the nation may be found on the last benches of the classroom.