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IT IS DURING OUR DARKEST MOMENTS THAT WE MUST FOCUS TO SEE THE LIGHT

Though everything that occurs in our life, happens for a reason leaving a positive or negative impact. Some are able to cope with the pressure that comes with the failures in life while some give up immediately or after struggling for some time. Our life is actually a product of a reaction where our attitude acts as a catalyst. So, while dealing with the failures in my life, I made complete use of this positive catalyst named attitude to come out with flying colors in the toughest engineering exam – IITJEE (JEE Advanced).
MY BACKGROUND – I am from a middle-class family with my father working as a government employee. I know whenever someone hears of a government employee, a person taking bribe comes in mind but this was not the case with my father. So, the income was less and seeing the financial problems in my home, I generally used to cut my expenses to save as much as I can. My elder brother was weak in studies and I was nearly good, so no. of expectations piled up for me. I was a regular student in my studies, so the teachers also expected a good score out of me in JEE Advanced in first attempt but something else was decided by destiny.

MY BAD TIME– Everything was going well both academically and in personal life but everything transformed when only 4 months were left for class 12 Board exams. At personal level, I suffered a relational loss of my friend (girl) with whom I shared each and every moment of my life and then life took a complete turn there onwards. For the first time, I came to know about my emotional weakness.It was something which came as a shock to me and I was taken aback emotionally. I could not share this with anyone nor with my parents because they had a different image of my relation with her. I could not focus anymore on my career and stopped studying. I knew I should not do this but I lost all my strength to come back on track. My teachers were worried about me as they saw a drastic downfall in my marks. That was the darkest moment of my life as it was going to affect my future in every way. In darkness of life sometimes we lose hope. Just like when we are in a dim light we need light to guide us the path, I was also searching for the same light in this darkest phase of my life but I could not see even a single ray of light of hope.

MY STRUGGLE – Somehow, I struggled to survive in the last few months left for Boards and JEE. I was trying to escape the world. I lost hope of getting selected in IIT. I didn’t have anything to lose now and the fear of losing diminished from my life . I think this was the first good quality which I acquired during that period. Whenever I tried to pick a book, I could not understand even the simplest line. I started loving darkness and my tears became my only permanent partner,never leaving me alone. With results of Board exams (88.8%) came the family pressure. Everyone related to me started discussing about my marks. I tried to calm myself during the JEE Advanced but I could only turn pages back and forth frequently in the exam. Coming out of the test centre, I told my parents not to expect anything. This was the day when even my family left me all alone because I could not meet their expectations.At that point, I realized that there are some phase in our life , where we have to face nitty gritty of life all alone.

A CHANGE – Time was for the JEE Advanced results. Yes, I was selected but not with a good rank (could not grab a seat, a disadvantage of being in GENERAL category). But I could see a ray of hope. This was the indication that I should give myself another chance and I thank myself for recognizing this opportunity.
Sometimes You Just Have to Pick Yourself UP and Carry ONWithin few days, I landed up in the coaching hub of India– Kota, baffled by the big buildings of coaching, hostels and houses converted to PGs. I was able to get scholarship in a coaching center, so my financial problem was solved to some point.It is very important to know yourself and I knew that I could not focus but I decided to give myself another chance, so I tried to just focus in class (& avoid distractions) and did nothing coming back to my room. In my room, I always felt lonely and the best solution I found to it was – SLEEPING, so now my bed became my partner whenever I was in room. At times, I was high and studied well, but most of the times I was low and in depression. Every time I had a talk with my father or mother, I was always asked to work towards increasing my score in coaching tests (but I do not believe only in score)ACHIEVEMENT– Though I did nothing extra the whole year but I fought with my emotions entire year which was the demand of the situation. My effort was fruitful this time I was able to get a good score in both JEE Mains and JEE Advanced 2017 and finally got IIT-Guwahati. My story may show that it has no complicacies. I agree to it because there are more hurdles to come in life but for someone like me who is full of feelings and emotions, it was the toughest time and I am happy that I was able to overcome it.

SOME POINTS TO HELP IN PREPARATIONOF IITJEE (JEE Advanced) · Believe in yourself and the hard work that you are giving in the preparation. Whatsoever be the situation the hard work will always pay off in the end. Be regular with the subjects and avoid backlogs. If backlogs are piling up, then first cover the current topics and then focus on backlogs. Believe in improving concepts first and then only focus on improving scorecard in mock papers (Though scorecard may sometimes be a reflection of one’s knowledge but not always). Score card should be used only for evaluation of weak topics and hence improving them. Do not try to follow too many books. Select few standard books, work on them and follow them religiously.
Books followed during preparation :
1.  Physics · 
I. NCERT Physics Books Class 11 & 12 (for basic knowledge) ·
II. Concepts of Physics Vol I and Vol II By Prof. HC Verma ·
III. Problems in General Physics, I.E. Irodov(I could only attempt few problems in 11th class) ·
IV. Coaching packages.
2. Mathematics
I. Mathematics for Class XI and XII by RD Sharma
II. Cengage Series
3. Chemistry 
I.Physical Chemistry – NCERT Chemistry Books Class 11 & 12 (for basic knowledge)
II. Modern Approach to Chemical Calculations, RC Mukherjee ·
III. Organic Chemistry – Organic Chemistry By Solomons
IV. Organic Chemistry for IIT-JEE & Other Engineering Exams, by MS        Chauhan.
V. Inorganic Chemistry  – NCERT Chemistry Books Class 11 & 12
VI. Concise Inorganic Chemistry, J.D. Lee.
In the final days, revision is one of the most effective ways of learning. Revise as much as you can. Previous year papers must be solved religiously before sitting for the final exam and must be attempted in the 3 hours slot. ALL THE BEST to all the JEE aspirants.

PRAKHAR SETH

Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati
psethjiorai@gmail.com  
November 7, 2019