My name is Rahul Kapoor and I am a social worker, but more importantly I am also your friend. I have been through the same phase of life in which you find yourself today. I have closely observed the declaration of Class XII results every year, the hype around it, and its precise linkage with the high cut-offs of Delhi University, which have become a benchmark against which students across the nation try to judge their results.
Let me begin my message with a congratulatory note for you all. I want to congratulate all those who have secured really good marks and met their expectations through their results, and I also want to equally congratulate all those who could not secure the number of marks and percentage that they would have liked to achieve.
Right now, all you will be shown by the media and the headlines will be the pictures of the toppers – 99.2 %, 99.3 %, 99.4 %, 99.5 %. Yet, when you will scroll through all the newspapers tomorrow and all the news channels today, you will realise that you can identify not more than 100 such students who have been highlighted in the newspapers.
The question is then, “What about the rest of the students?” This year, nearly 13 lakh candidates appeared for the Class XII CBSE exam, and it is pretty obvious that not all of them have above 90%. That means that there is a strong possibility that you are one of the huge chunk of students who do not have above 90%.
You are the ones who have got 50%, 60%, 70%, and 80%, and you are national assets of this country as much as those who have secured 99.99%. Also, you are not alone – there are many more like you sitting in their houses right now and thinking that they are the only ones who have not secured above 90% and that their life is ruined. Trust me, if you had access to the results of all these 13 lakh students, you would not feel as bad as you do right now. The problem is that you are exposed to the results of only those who have topped the examination.
Please understand that 60%, 70%, or 80% might be considered less in a context in which cut-offs of Universities for college admissions go as high as 100%. The media is always ready to highlight the topper who got 99.6%, but these marks are not bad marks, and there is a huge difference between getting less marks than another, and feeling that you have got bad marks. Do not forget that this 60% now makes you eligible for graduation. So how can this be bad? In fact, 60% are first division marks.
You all are unique and have your own worth, irrespective of the marks you get. You may well have got 60% today, but you have the potential to be the top entrepreneur, technician, singer, musician, psychologist, social scientist, mathematician, dancer, sportsperson, and many more great things tomorrow. The need is to recognise that potential, and the importance of today in our quest to become the best we can.
I will tell you, Class XII results are actually a new beginning, even if you have unfortunately not passed this time. This is because this day offers you an opportunity to learn from experience. It gives an opportunity to you to realise your strengths and uniqueness, and also understand your weakness and where you went wrong. What you see today in your CBSE results is the outcome of a process which you have gone through, and during this process you have gained valuable experiences and lessons of life. When you start afresh, you will take this experience forward with you.
Many of you might be expecting 90%, but may have got 60 or 70%. I do not stop you from opting for a recheck and getting that mental satisfaction for yourself, but I would also like to tell you that you are not alone in feeling this way.
Somehow we all, by our very nature of being a human, hope for the best, but there is a difference between hope and expectation. Our expectations can only be based upon a set of logical actions, efforts, and the commitment that we have put in.
This is where these results illuminate many aspects of your personality. You have to assess the gap between your expectations and achievements, because getting 60% is not at all a problem. The problem lies in you getting 60% and expecting 95%. This is where disappointment starts to creep in. It is unfortunately a result of what our competitive society has done to young minds like you.
To draw the best out of all of you, I need these promises from you:
Do not remain in a state of denial. Do not fall into the trap of telling yourself that you deserved more marks and got less. Of course you deserve much more in life, but for that you will have to first accept the marks you have got now. After all, you have earned these marks, and acceptance of these marks is a mark of acceptance of the self, the first step towards self-discovery.
We all are unique and worthy beings and we all have strengths. Try to find out what gets you going – be it music, dance, photography, maths, science, psychology, social work, journalism, sports, or any other field which may appeal to you. Always pursue a hobby, and never hesitate in backing what you feel is the best for you. At this stage, many of you will realize that this result which you are mourning does not make much sense, as this score will not take you closer or further from the best you want to become.
Many of you who have got 65 % or above can still get to colleges of Delhi University and other good universities, maybe just not in the courses and colleges of your choice. Let it not be about the college anymore – let it be about you from now on. After all, it is the students of a college who determine what a college will be, and not the college itself. Be the best of what you are and your college will automatically become the best, and will invest in you by all means.
Join the college which your marks make available, be the best version of yourself there, and you will see that very soon it will not matter which college you join, but who you actually are.
There are options like IGNOU and Delhi University’s School of Open Learning. Do not shy away from taking admissions in these if they are all your marks allow. Do not feel embarrassed when others tell you they are in more known colleges. You are not the same as them, and your journey is different from theirs, so it is obvious that your path will also always be different from them.
I want you all to start preparing every single day out to become the best version of yourself. Next time, when you sit for that examination, or perform in that auditorium, or play in the ground, you should be able to look at yourself in the mirror and say, “Today I am the best version of myself.” No matter what the result is, look yourself in the mirror again and say, “I gave my best.” Trust me, the result of that day will not matter to you anymore. You will still be at peace with yourself. and feel happy and satisfied irrespective of the outcome.
I will end this letter by telling you a bit about my personal self. I am a graduate from a private university in Noida. Like the majority of you, I did not get the marks to enter into the best colleges of Delhi University. I didn’t even know that something like Delhi University exists when I passed my Class XII. But I tried to become the best version of myself in my own college, and the college too reciprocated.
Later, I applied for Masters in Social Work in Delhi University. I had always wanted to work with people and help them and bring change in society. I got through in the very first attempt, and my two years in the college were also phenomenal. Amidst all of this, I did not stop striving to become the best version of myself every single day.
So, it does not matter where you are today. What matters is that you have the potential to reach where you want to reach tomorrow. You just have to recognize that potential and respect it, and be the best that you can be. After that, the results won’t matter, the only thing which will matter is that you gave your best.
You may feel low today. But I believe you can rise and become the best version of yourself and defeat the odds stacked against you. If you do feel stressed, and feel the need for counseling, call the CBSE toll-free helpline 1800-11-8002. The helpline gives psychological counseling post-Class XII Board results. Do not hesitate to call. Sharing with someone who understands relieves a lot of burden sometimes.
My best wishes and love to you all,