For the last three years, I have been preparing for the prestigious civil services exam. I haven’t had any luck so far, but I have realised something that I want to share with everyone.
UPSC aspirants are treated with extra-admiration. Why? Even I am a civil services aspirant, but I don’t think it’s justified.
No matter what stage you are on, you are treated like nobility. And, why do only UPSC aspirants deserve praise for hard work and perseverance? Why do the students of other competitive exams like SSC CGL, CHSL, the banking sector, etc. don’t get the same appreciation?
Why does Indian society look down upon those who are preparing for anything other than UPSC? Aren’t these students worthy of praise too?
I am just a struggling civil services aspirant, but the respect given to me is very overwhelming. I don’t have any problem with people appreciating my efforts, but sometimes it’s unwanted. What has happened a lot of times is that the moment I mention my preparation for UPSC, the person starts treating me differently as if I belong to some ‘higher’ species. They begin to shake my hands and start talking in a more sophisticated manner. What the hell is that? I don’t even know how to pronounce “sophistication” correctly every time without using Grammarly, and you shower me with real-time sophistication. Too heavy to digest that. (I swear, I always write all my articles using Grammarly.)
Continuing my story, I have had the privilege of studying alongside these students (preparing for the abovementioned exams) also, and I can say one thing for damn sure that these people are also freaking smart and hardworking. The way they have calculations on their tips is mind-boggling.
You would be astonished to find out that these government exams have more than 133 rules in English subject that need to be memorised as well as practised. And who can forget the struggle with mathematics? Sweating in front of a computer screen to solve equations in mathematics is not only a daunting task but requires exceptional skills too. And, these kids solve around 100 questions in 2 hours. Hats off to these geniuses.
UPSC exam may be uncertain in terms of the syllabus, but its timing and conduct are to the point, whereas SSC students don’t even know when they will get the chance to appear in their exam. And if they clear it, the slow process of joining kills many dreams. Is this patience not worthy of applause?
I am not comparing any exams, but yes it troubles me a lot when I get more attention and respect just for the ‘UPSC tag’, while my batchmates don’t even get decent support during their struggle in CGL-like exams.
And no matter how flattering it may seem, I just want to put it out to the world, please don’t elevate us to a rank of the higher-order even when we haven’t done anything. We are just preparing for an exam like everyone else. As simple as that. And even after some of us clear the exam, treat us just as you would treat any other person in authority. Respect us for the legal accountability that we would possess, not for our long study-sessions because every second person is burning the midnight oil to make their dreams come true.