Autobiography

My Autobiography: When Life took a U-Turn in XI Std.

This is a difficult post for me to write. That’s because, my life took a U-Turn from the glories of Xth Std whereย I had finished second in my class and fourth in my school. In 6-8 months, I found my rank slip to 25+ in XIth Std., and even worse in XIIth Std.

I always took academics seriously and my results reflected that. One thing changed in XI – I shifted from CBSE to the *dreadful* Matric system where one had to memorize even Maths problems (Millions are forced to do just that in India).

I hated this new syllabus and this new board. When I hate something, I hate it with all my heart. I was sitting before books in the evenings, but was not able to study. I mean memorize. Maths, from being my favorite subject became my worst nightmare. Not that other subjects were faring any better. Computer Science was an exception though.

The more I tried to study, the more I ended up not studying. For someone who has always been focused on academics, this was a disaster.

I even remember when my Maths teacher from CBSE met my Maths teacher from Matric and I happened to pass by. The CBSE teacher said how good I was in Maths, and the Matric teacher was wondering why because I was (by then) put in a special coaching for slow learners!

My situation became that bad in such a short time. The worst thing was, I was helpless. The final results in XIIth were fine actually, but it was nowhere close to what I aimed and I did not get an admission into BITS Pilani – the primary reason why I shifted to Matric from CBSE.

***

In hindsight, I think, these difficult periods are very important in life. Nature has its own way of teaching life lessons and I learned a very important lesson: Academics is not the only thing in life!

This bad academic performance continued throughout the rest of my academic career. That meant only one thing – I couldn’t take up a traditional ‘techie’ career that most of my friends got into.

Thank God I didn’t.

That’s why the difficulties I went through this period were so important. They forced me to see that there is life beyond academics.

These difficult times were the foundation for all the risks that I would take later on.

Because, by then, I was used to failing. Andย I was no longer afraid of it.

Destination Infinity

22 Comments

  • SG

    I am glad you learnt a valuable experience from this. As they say, if life hands you a lemon make a lemonade out of it. What was your college major? Just curious.

  • Avada Kedavra

    Even I switched from CBSE to state syllabus but in my case, I found state syllabus to be very easy as I had already studied those in my earlier classes @ CBSE. It also depends a lot on the college/friends/environment I guess. I never had good friends in my old school and then suddenly I found plenty of good friends which acted as a motivation I guess.
    But all is well that ends well!

  • Nandhini Chandrasekaran

    I moved to another school similarly in 11th. My state too dropped from a centum scorer in maths in 10th board exam to no-more- interested in maths in the 11th. I was shocked about my own state. And I resonate your thoughts with respect to this, that our failures turn us to a different person than what we might have imagined ourselves to become, perhaps for a better path. Reminds me of ‘Find yourself’ song from the movie, Cars.

  • Jeevan

    I studied up to 5th std in CBSC before shifted to matricโ€ฆ I would say my primary education in cbsc gave me a wonderful base in English, but what I learned about life was only after drop out. I feel really great about my English today is mainly because of my basic knowledge that finely developed during that period.

    Mostly students from cbsc go to matric or state board when they could not cope with studies, but being class topper why this shifting?

  • Rajesh Mani

    Same here. Not that I was good in CBSE, but I was happy and content with 71% in 10th Std, then came the shifting to non-sense state board syllabus to get good marks.I’m the first person to study 12th in my family, so there was no idea about how to proceed. I was put in state board as advised by my teacher. Then came the nasty days of my teenage. Once they asked me to mug-up maths problems,I was not interested to study at all. I used to get appreciation for my writing skills in english in 10th and in 12th the teacher did not give me marks as I wrote something on my own.. I’m not able to recollect what I studied in 12th and first two years of college. Later, got into reality,pulled my socks and started enjoying my studies and there after it was happy days.

  • Sandhya Kumar

    Many students shift to matriculation or State board syllubus after 10th from CBSE for the reason you have stated here. CBSE students find the first couple of years’ study in Engineering very easy, l was told. Others found it tough.

    Maybe whatever happened, happened for good. You are happy and doing well.

    My elder son got 100% in Maths in class X and 52% in class XII. When he came out from the exam hall, he said that he finished all the questions except one. That year was famous for looong math XII paper. Govt. announced 5% extra marks for all the students. Still he got this mark. Applied for re-valuation. Nothing changed. His whole attitude for Indian education changed. Wrote SAT, got 99 percentile marks and joined MIT with 94% scholarship. Well…his whole life changed.

    • Rajesh K

      That’s too much of a variation – 100 and 52. I think there should have been an error in evaluation. Wonder why the re-evaluation did not change it either.

      Destination Infinity

  • BIkram Mann

    reminds me I was in a public school but for some reason i left school in 12th class and came to Govt college, what a rude shock it was I flunked my exam.. i came to punjabi medium .. worst decision i ever made ..

    • Rajesh K

      All of us take such decisions early on, but I guess we eventually figure out things. Time and efforts wasted is wasted, however.

      Destination Infinity