KOTA- Is it worth it?

According to reports, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is expected to release the Class 10 result tomorrow (5 May) on its official website.

People question as to why the fields of engineering and medicine have been given so much importance.

In India, which is home to a sizable middle-class population, you would, perhaps, expect them to advise their wards to opt for fields other than science. A child has every right to pursue his interest. If someone wants to become a successful cricketer or a successful actor, that person will have to understand that only a few do make that mark. Is it necessarily ideal to expect a middle class parent to advise their wards to go for a career which seems highly vulnerable? I guess no.

Therefore, the first thought which comes into the mind of every science student after giving his/her board exams is, ‘shall I go to Kota to prepare for IIT/NEET or not?’

Some have their answers as no, while for few others, it’s time to pack their suitcases and move out for the very first time. They have many doubts in mind. How will I wake up on my own? Will I be able to adjust? Will I crack the entrance exams or not? And many more such questions revolve around in their head.

The truth is, a student entering this city is never exactly the same person, after spending their 2 most crucial years in Kota.

So, the question, Is Kota worth it?

Let’s talk about the positives first.

In India where kids are being raised in a very protective environment, you actually get a chance in Kota to explore yourself and learn things on your own for the first time. Here are those 5 things that Kota does:

It tells us what real competition is all about – Life is generally chilled out till your 10th board examinations, and when you move out to Kota after that, you get to see a different world all together. It’s like coming out of a local train and jumping into an express one.

You start to understand the meaning of the word ‘responsibility’ – Ever since your birth, your mom had always been there to take care of you but when you start living in Kota, you are all on your own. Of course, there are friends to help you out but there is always a sense of responsibility on the shoulders. At the end of the day, this decision-making capability makes you more mature as an individual.

24 hours doesn’t seem to be enough – With 8 hours of class everyday and then hundreds of DPP’s to solve, you always seem to be running out of time. There is so much to do all the time, even finding time to sleep becomes difficult. If you are a sincere student then the added pressure of coaching institutes makes sure that you don’t get time for any leisure activities. And in case you are not a sincere student then there is all the time in the world for you to play computer games in cafes and roam around in the city mall.

Food will no longer be a priority – The moment you join a mess in Kota, your special love towards food starts diminishing. In the name of good food, all you get to eat is pohas and jalebis, which are by the way available on almost every single shop and thela. You don’t have much of a choice.

You actually get to know how good you really are in those 2 years – Everyone who joins Bansal or Allen or Carrier Point, starts with a dream of clearing the JEE/AIPMT paper. All of them don’t succeed in doing that. Even if you were a good student in school doesn’t necessarily make you good one in Kota. You have to prove your mettle among lakhs of students who are competing for the same number of seats, in order to succeed.

Amidst all the positives, there is a negative side too.

People crack jokes on the theme, “Hey, Kota is losing its sheen”.

So, let’s understand why.

Let me make my case with a piece of data — CBSE X results. 96,000 students received a perfect 10 CGPA in 2016. Now, the number is beyond 150,000.

Imagine, a child in his early teens. His parents are boasting all around that their son has scored a perfect 10. “He is going to crack the competition, he just got a perfect 10 in the boards, he has been a perfect 10 all his life.” Even students with 9.4, 9.6 are going to have the same ego-inflation all around. Nobody really understands that about 2–3 lakh students have better than 9.4 grades.

Then, comes the reality — you face the competition, everybody is a goddamn 10 pointers. Egos are hurt, reality sinks in, you are not as good as your neighbour, your roommate. All that you have believed about yourself and your dreams is wrong. That is too much for the young children. Some fight back, some give up on education and most unfortunately, some give up on life.

Next thing is fear, Fear is the most dangerous thing that everyone has experienced in their life in different situations. Students preparing for these exams faces fear of failure/non-fulfilment of expectations. Actually, it’s not failure that causes fear but the thought of reactions of others after the announcement of result causes fear.

Now there are certain misconceptions that leads to fear

1. Future Depends only on clearing exam: Students think clearing exam is everything and that is the only thing that decides their career (jobs and earnings) and there is no other path or option. But the reality is that there are hundreds of different paths which they can choose according to their interest and passion and can earn lots of money, even greater than the salary/packages that they will get after passing-out from these top institutes. Yes, it’s true! Any exam can never decide your future. Mind it!

2. IITs or AIIMS are everything: Students thing IITs and AIIMS (or other top-ranked colleges) are everything. They think these are the best (both in teaching and salary packages). Students and Parents think that their future is secure only if they get a degree from these top colleges than their future is spoiled. But the reality is that future of student depends on how he performs in his college life and how much he learns and develop his skills to meet the company requirement. Yes, many companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, etc comes to these colleges for campus placements and relatively fewer companies come to lower ranked colleges. But to get placed through campus placement you should match skills required as per company’s requirement. There are also off-campus placements where you can go to any company you want and if you have potential and skills that match the company’s requirement, no matter which college are you from, you will get placed.

These misconceptions lead to fear, which results in lack of confidence and depression and affects concentration in studies.

Message to students:

Consider yourself as your favourite cricketer. If you did not perform well in one or more matches (due to less practice or any other reason), then what you should do?

Suicide? Of course not.

So if I have to put it in this way, life will give you lots of opportunities and I guarantee that. “Do Not Quit” from this game of life and believe me, the game of life is much more interesting than the game of cricket and you just have to keep moving forward and after some time you will realize this one thing,

That marks matter, yes, for most of us, marks decides where we will spend the net 3-4 years of our life, but it won’t decide the rest of our life. So instead of focusing on securing good grades, one should focus on achieving something big.

Always have that fire that you’ll do something big in your life, something that will make a difference.

To give you a better perspective, I will give you my example.

I scored average marks in my boards examination, I did engineering from a private college, No one believed in me, and here I am, a little bit known for my work. Could I have thought about having a government funded project and co-founding “Azeedo”? No.

But, I always had this fire that I will do something in life, that will make a difference.

So I took baby steps and I didn’t just let marks be my motivation rather I allowed my dreams to become my biggest motivation.

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