Kota Suicides – my viewpoint

Kota Suicides

The ever mounting figure of Kota suicides is really disturbing.
It is sad that students get so bogged down by their preparations for JEE that some of them decide to take this harsh step. Especially when one is living away from the support system of one’s family, the pressure can become unbearable, with no-one to talk to or understand. A lot of Kota suicides are a result of this kind of unhealthy pressure.

Life is much, much bigger than this silly little exam we call the JEE … nothing is ever worth taking one’s own life. There are so many things to enjoy, to look forward to in life. A student finishing his/her life off prematurely due to tension over an exam shows a very dismal state of affairs.

Pressure during preparation – My own case

It is true that the syllabus for competitive exams like the JEE is vast and tough compared to what a student has covered till class X. Also the questions asked are very tough.
A lot of students who were reasonably good in Class X are unable to do very well in their preparations. In-fact, I was one such student – came first in every class from VI to X and then faced a lot of difficulty preparing for the JEE. And to safeguard myself from needless comparison and pressures, I stopped going to my coaching class and used to ask my classmates for notes of what was done in the class. And I always feel that this helped me focus on my own preparation without getting worried or tensed up about others, while still availing the benefits of a coaching institute (since I used to take class notes from friends after class).

I used to feel depressed and miserable during most of class XII. In-fact a lot of my friends used to think that I will not make it in the JEE. But by just carrying on step by step and not looking around and comparing myself with others all the time, I was able to regain my confidence and do very well in the JEE (ending up with an AIR of 495).

Is Syllabus Reduction an Answer?

The problem is that the syllabus that is covered for the JEE is actually the bare essentials one must know about science. Thus this syllabus cannot be possibly reduced. However, we are not exposed to any of these bare essentials till class X. And then in class XI, as science students, we face a sudden avalanche of information while preparing for the JEE and we feel bewildered.

How does one handle the pressure then?

I have already talked about handling the very real pressures one faces during the JEE in earlier articles. I would request students of Kaysons and readers of this blog to please read those articles.
I would also like to ask everyone preparing for the JEE to watch this video on Kota Suicides by Sandip Maheshwari – one of the most logical, enlightened and motivating speaker I have come across in recent times.

JEE is just an exam

Not getting into NITs or IITs is not the end of life
Please understand that the JEE is just an exam. If you do not get into an IIT or an NIT, there is a lot else that you can do.

One’s career is not dependent on one’s degree

I have had a corporate career of over 10 years and I know of so many people with very humble undergraduate degrees rise to the top. What matters at the end of the day, in any job, is your ability to deliver – not where you studied from.
It may be that if you start your career with a humble degree, you may not get the best opening / initial job. But within 5 years of starting one’s career, if one is hardworking, innovative and industrious, one usually is able to do pretty well.

Ideal way to give the JEE

The best way to give the JEE is to give it because of your liking for science. If you like science, then preparing for the JEE becomes fun, automatically. Whether you make it through or not does not really matter then – since you have grown your understanding and mental abilities considerably already while preparing for such a tough exam anyway.

While preparing, forget your peers, forget parents, forget teachers in coaching institutes who may be putting you under pressure etc. Focus on finishing your course and on continuous revision / practice. And remember that it is just a silly exam – life will not stop if you don’t clear it. Give this exam because you love science and want to understand it better – and this exam is a good gauge of how much you understand science (since it asks you to apply your understanding to tough problems).

I wish you good luck for the upcoming exams. Remain mentally strong and keep pushing yourself and believing in yourself!

Rohit Mehra

IIT D , IIM A grad with a passion for education, especially STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Math). Love the JEE and the way it has evolved through time ... keen to help students crack it.

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