Dropper. The word itself demeans one to a failure. Well, you cannot call a dropper, a failure. He is just a guy who wasn’t lucky enough to clear, or get a decent rank in the most worshipped Entrance Examination, IIT-JEE! And yes, if you are a dropper, you are under the lime-light because people exclaim that you have dropped a year, and now you would definitely crack the examination. No one cares about how much pressure a person undergoes during that year. No one actually cares, except your parents of course!

When you hear the word dropper, things that pop up your mind are, Kota, 18 hours’ study, Resnick Haliday, H.C. Verma, mock papers, etc. Well, a dropper year is not about clearing an Entrance Exam, but it’s about how to handle the pressure, the society creates. My story might seem as cliched as any other dropper’s story. It was filled with crests and troughs, but majorly the latter part. Poor JEE Mains score, no rank achieved in JEE Advanced, remorse was swallowing me up. The very thought of future was smothering me. “No college, no life” was the thought popping up my mind, again and again. Was I not smart enough? Two years of coaching and lakhs spent went vague. Under all this pressure, I finally decided to drop a year and was determined “Ab toh IIT nikalunga, phod dunga Advanced!”. So, first thing that came up to my mind was to go to Kota, as it is considered a temple for JEE Exam. But oh crap, the suicide news didn’t seem to stop. Parents were worried, so I decided to stay at Lucknow and clear my entrance, after all, “Lucknow Kota se kam hai kya?”.

Joined Resonance Lucknow, was filled with enthusiasm. After seeing dozens of known people dropping, I thought that I wasn’t that bad, after all, I wasn’t alone! Things went pretty good till first monthly test. Was able to top the list. But then, people started leaving my batch and went for the better batch. Batch strength seemed to drop exponentially, and so did my confidence. Months passed, and my tests’ performance started degrading, and no matter how hard I tried, I wasn’t giving up to my fullest. I missed many classes due to unavoidable reasons. Oh, and one of the unavoidable reasons included Chicken Pox, which was quite hilarious, as it spread like an epidemic across all coachings of Lucknow. It felt like some hypo who was not sure of clearing the entrance examination seemed to spread the epidemic, as in, “Main toh clear nahi kar paunga, baakiyo ko bhi nahi karne dunga!”. All these unavoidable reasons, and I still tried to focus on my ultimate goal, “Phodunga Advanced!”

Now, the worst part of a dropper is seeing his friends get into a college and put pictures with ‘girls’ on facebook. Not to mention the pain a General Boy endures seeing his lesser deserving friends get into a good college. It’s a quite dynamic jealousy until you realize that you’d do better than him, as you’ve sacrificed a year of your life. You do overcome that, by indulging your mind in DPPs (Daily Practice Problems) and modules. And when I mentioned the word sacrifice, it was literally me sacrificing a lot. I mean, in this era, wifi and smart phone is a necessity. And it is quite heart trenching to sacrifice your lovely phone! But, as it is said, no pain, no gain! But hey, the dropper year wasn’t that bad. I made new friends, literally great ones! I mean, we waited for the class to end so that we could go out and have our favorite tea.

Life became monotonic, until the last month before JEE Mains exam. Count down began, few days were left and the teachers were only concerned with finishing up the syllabus. Pace was touching heights. I wasn’t able to catch up with class’ syllabus. Now, I didn’t mention, when I started coaching, I had a goal “250+ lane hai Mains mai”, but now, the goal shrank to 200+. Marks weren’t matching up to my goal. It seemed like frustration and marks were at a phase difference of 90 degrees, where frustration seemed to follow modulo graph and marks the negative of it. I wasn’t sure what I would do in the exam, whether I would be able to stand up to my parents’ and teachers’ expectations. Leave IIT, I wasn’t sure that I would be able to get into a NIT. Still, I didn’t lose hope and kept studying. Then came, the main day, the judgement day, the JEE Mains day. 3 hours went by, and I don’t know what happened, but I wasn’t happy with what I have done in the exam. Went home, checked Answer Key, added up my marks, and tears rolled down my eyes. It seemed like I wasted that one year, that one freaking year where lot of expectations and money were spent by my parents. I was only 12 marks ahead of my previous year’s score. Depression started swallowing me up again into its fathomless pit, and it almost had me, until my father boosted up my spirits again. He always suggests me to forget the past and move onto a brighter future.  I started fresh again, and this time, with the motto of working hard without any tension. I was still not sure about my future. So, I filled out the form of IMU(Indian Maritime University) as a last resort. Things started going pretty good, state entrance exam and many other unsung exams went pretty good. As the time passed by, JEE Advanced was coming near. This time I applied a different strategy. I satiated myself with the fact that no matter what happens, I would prepare for JEE Advanced care free.

Then came the day just before the most hyped exam. After having revised everything I went to the bed at around 11 P.M., but this freaky mind, couldn’t stop thinking. I planned for an eight-hour sleep but that plan seemed to fail and finally after 4 hours’ long attempts, I managed to relax my mind at around 3 A.M.  The day came, 23rd May, 2016. I sat in the examination hall, invigilator passed me a question paper. I was overwhelmed with confidence after reading the pattern of this year. My mind was like, screw everything, I’d give my best in this paper and we shall see what happens later. 3 hours passed, 2 hours break, another 3 hours. My head was boiling, maybe because of the hot weather or maybe because of the tensed environment. Finally, after having completed the paper, I was free. All tension ended then and there. Didn’t care about result. Didn’t add up my marks. Didn’t even have a look at the Answer Key. And now you know, where I am!

-Banipreet Singh Raheja
IIT (ISM) Dhanbad.

Team ISMDiaries

The entire ISMDiaries Team comes together to create articles to be shared via the Team ISMDiaries handle. What you are reading is a culmination of efforts of several members of our team and no one in particular.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
FacebookGoogle Plus