Power of Plan B
If your first choice does not work for any reason, you don't stop trying. Instead, you will deploy your alternate plan This is the season of...
If your first choice does not work for any reason, you don't stop trying. Instead, you will deploy your alternate plan This is the season of entrance examinations. The run up to these examinations is not a usual transition in the life of a student. Years of hard work, relentless slogging and stressful life will be culminating into a climax. Is this the end of studies? Indeed not. It is rather the beginning of the next phase of studies. However, moving from junior college to a university or a higher education institution is considered as an important transition. It is in general perceived to be the last turning point in a student's life, as though life will settle down after this turn. The huge build up of expectations, intense coaching and sustained preaching makes the student believe that life is dependent on the outcome of these entrance examinations. The family, society, faculty and peers paint a picture that this is the panacea of student life. In fact, students will be influenced so much that they become obligated to meet the expectations of everyone around, irrespective their own inner voice. They are made to believe that they need to uplift the pride of the parents and elders. Their entire self worth will revolve around clearing the entrance examination, getting admission into a top class institute and thereby enhancing the family prestige. The key question is: what happens if you don't succeed in doing so? Will it be the end of life? I have often seen students experiencing a sense of guilt for not living up to the expectations of others and for not raising the stature of their family. Secondly, students' self confidence erodes exponentially which will take a long time to restore. Are we then saying not to set lofty goals? Is it not desirable to have expectations? No. It is not that student should not have goals. In fact, setting goals in career and in life is important to set a direction. However, it is important not to see the goal as the end of career or life. Overdependence on a singular goal and building entire career around that will be disastrous. For very many reasons, one may not be able to achieve a goal. It does not mean that such a person has no worth or his future is bleak. It is therefore important to consider Plan-B. What is Plan-B? It is a simple thought process of having a backup plan. If your first choice does not work for any reason, you don't stop trying. Instead, you will deploy your Plan-B. Consider the case of Teja. From his high school days, he was made to believe that he should become a doctor. Moreover, he was also told that getting admission in a government college (without hefty donation) is a sign of meritocracy. In his first attempt, he could not get admission into MBBS. For his score, he was able to get admission into dental medicine, that too in a private college. He was thoroughly disappointed. He felt it to be a failure to take up dental medicine when his goal was to study MBBS. He therefore decided to take another year of preparation and then aim to get MBBS only. Despite best of his efforts, he once again got admission into dental course only and out of compulsion, he had to take it up. He however nurtured a feeling of a failure and took considerable time to settle into his dental medicine course. In hindsight, Teja was not ready with a Plan-B and therefore wasted one year without any tangible benefit. Similar was the case of Archana who was determined to get into IIT and that too into electronics stream. The major difference was her father who encouraged her to prepare for IIT while simultaneously getting ready for a local engineering college as well. When she did not get through to IIT, she was not shattered because she was ready with Plan-B. She then joined in Mechanical stream (not electronics which was her first choice) and life moved on without depression. In your anxiety to achieve your primary goal, the power of Plan-B should not be undermined. While passion to achieve a goal is important, Plan-B brings a touch of pragmatism! Remember, life offers more than one avenue to explore!