What will happen if you fail that exam?


What if you fail in that exam?
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Flashback from school time: I was one of the toppers of Class 10 from my school. Rather, I’d say country. The marking scheme had been changed recently and hundreds of students had scored a perfect 10. I was one of them.

I had just taken my first step towards seeing a dream when the journey seemed much more farther than I had expected it to be. I was a school kid- full of hopes.

The society had conditioned me to prepare for victory. (Not much has changed in all these years.)

If you get good marks in school, you’ll get a good college. A good college means a good job. A god job means a good life. But life doesn’t end at a god job. Life never settles.

Everybody around me was hustling to get a good life. There was an unseen pressure from everyone around me. Their expectations, their hopes from me.

Wondering why the pressure is termed ‘unseen’?

Her cousin scored this much in class 12! That neighbour’s son got into into college! That distant relative is working abroad! That person is earning so much!

What if I’m unable to live up to the expectations of my parents? What if I don’t fulfill the society’s hopes from me?

The questions resulted into fear.

No one realised that I was scared. No one saw it. If anyone saw some uneasiness in my behavior, they called it normal. They calling it ‘normal’ conditioned me into believing it to be true.

The fear reached it’s saturation level. The thought of not being able to secure a good life for myself scared me so much that I did not even want to try. I wanted to give up even before trying.

Do you call that normal?

A school kid who was full of hopes wanted to give up. Is that normal?

We prepare ourselves for victory but not for loss.

Fast forward to 2018:

“It is a race. Let’s see who comes first.”

By saying this, my sister-in-law prompted my nephew to drink his glass of milk. I was competing him.

It’s a common tactic used by parents to make their kids eat, drink and study. In return, they are promised cartoon time, chocolates, games or other things.

I ended up finishing it first. I think I was more hungry than him. I told him that I had won and he came second. However, he wasn’t ready to listen. He gulped down his drink in one sip and began cheering for himself, “I came first, Bua (aunt) lost.”

No matter how hard I tried to convince him that I had won, he stated otherwise.

He does not understand what it means to not win.

Today: I did not top my Class 12 exams. But I did much better than I expected after all the fear and pressure.

I did not graduate from the best college in the country. (But which is the best? Everybody calls themselves best.) But the world did not collapse.

I did not land in my dream job straight out of college. But I’m alive.

I AM HAPPY!

Why are we not told what will happen if we fail that exam? Why are we not told that it’s okay lose? Why are we not told that we won’t be losers all our lives? Why aren’t we told that there are other options? Why are we not told that we will still be loved? Why aren’t we told that our lives would not be worthless?

Here’s one Indian mother who’s trying to make learning easier for her son. I’m proud of her!


In response to Let it Bleed 32

18 thoughts on “What will happen if you fail that exam?

  1. I don’t know the answers to your very heartfelt and profound questions. I do know that it is the same here. I was never told how to deal with failure. ..and when it hit, it was huge and I almost didn’t get over it. I tried to teach my sons that winning will never be the only thing in their lives. They will fail..a LOT..the key is to get back up and try again. Eventually you will either succeed or you will find something else to try.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m proud of you for being that parent who taught her children the most important lesson of life. I hope they were understood you and didn’t stress themselves too much..

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Failure is definitely the best lesson in life, or maybe the real lesson is how we respond to it, but either way, we are not taught to embrace it. Maybe that explains a lot about the world today…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Why are we not told … ?” Probably because so many people don’t know that our “Plan B” may actually be God’s Plan A. They don’t know how to trust God with their future. Or they are afraid that if they say it’s OK to fail, they (or the kid they’re talking to) will stop trying.
    What’s needed is balance. As Keith Green said, “Keep doin’ your best, pray that it’s bless’d, and Jesus takes care of the rest.”

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah.. because if we get “the worst”.. then “the best” wasn’t meant for us. And then we should try knocking another door.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Well said.
    I think you will always remain a failure in someone’s eyes. There will always be something more you could have done. However, you said the magic words – “I’m happy” and THAT is what truly matters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, we should strive for it but just to improve ourselves. It’s important to understand it’s unachievable.

      I read your tips. They’re helpful. Proud of you for making things easier for your son.

      Liked by 1 person

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