P(r)epping!

Published on April 25, 2020

Facing important examinations? Does it seem complicated? Is the milieu of the exam overwhelming or confusing? Do you have it all sorted out, but find the unwanted advice doled out by “well-wishers” pushing you to the edge? Do you find it hard to sift through sensible helpful suggestions and meaningless preaching from the pulpit?

If you are familiar with any of the above mentioned questions, then you are a teenager in India who is to take the Board exams this academic year! So welcome to the typical life of the high school student in India!How to bypass this?

1. Work gets done only if you are doing it in the NOW. Procrastination or rationalizing poor work will only feel good for a while. But in just a bit, that will ripple into an impending sense of failure or fear and anxiety creeps in.

2. This situation then paves the way for interim poor performance lowering self esteem, and clouds your assessments of the efforts and consequent outcomes.

3. When you are unable to gauge how much and what kind of effort to put in to get the desired outcome, you fall prey to all kinds of advice, all presumably well intended, but mostly coming from brains that know the least about you. And when you are unsure of yourself, every other person is likely to show himself as being one up, put himself or herself on a pedestal and start the discourse meant for your “betterment”.

4. So just get started and keep going at it. Set a goal for the term, break it down to how much has to be covered in a week, and then translate that into each day’s work. As you persist with this, you may at regular intervals review your progress through tests.

5. Do take the interim tests, these help to maintain a certain healthy level of stress that is useful for optimal performance.

6. The review of performance is to be used to hone your PROCESS of studying and knowledge acquisition. The main aim is never the marks at the boards! I agree that often it seems like that is all that matters. But no, what matters is the process and it’s continuous fine tuning that results in high achievement.

7. Remember, life can take a turn at any point in time, so it is always the process that makes the days worth it. So the effort and the ways you adopt to put in the effort is what will come in handy as an adult.

8. Learn to cut yourself off the hype of the exam. No single exam will determine your life, but each individual day’s efforts in a progressive direction will.

9. Individuals who ramble in a self important manner, in a desperate manner, in a condescending manner are all trying to make themselves feel better and not you. So let them be. Seek out those who speak in helpful ways and seek to understand what you need before they serve you something!

10. Try to avoid getting into altercations with friends, authority figures as otherwise your energy will have been wasted. Live and let live! Invest your energies in devising strategies and implementing them to aid your work.

11. Start thinking like a professional. At this point, your profession is that of a student and your work is to study and engage in activities that energise you to work better. So just get cracking!

(Have had numerous parents and young adults who have sought help through their concerns. This post is an attempt to lay down all that I have gleaned in my work with them hoping that it would help others in similar situations.)


Category(s):Academic Issues, Adjusting to Change / Life Transitions, Executive Functions, Oppositional & Defiant Behavior in Children & Teens, Parenting, Stress Management, Teenage Issues

Written by:

Mini Nair

Mini Nair completed Masters in Clinical Psychology and is a certified Cognitive Behaviour Therapist. Also qualified in Human Resources Management, she has been associated with the psycho-socio-educational-familial aspects of the lives of children and adults for over 19 years now.
Her work includes student and parent counseling, medical psychotherapeutics, psychodiagnostics, teaching undergraduate students of psychology, conducting Behaviour Management workshops for students, parents and teachers. She has already worked with some leading educational institutions and hospitals in Mumbai and other metros in India. Her interest in spreading awareness about personality development and growth has led her to contribute articles to the Times Wellness supplements. She currently works as an Independent Consultant.
A multi-faceted personality with formal training in classical dance too, she blogs to convey thoughts that can't stay inside her head anymore!


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