The Rat Race to Success

AniM By AniM, 1st Jun 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

What we put our children through, in the name of education and the mad desire to succeed

The Race is On.....

Within the last couple of weeks, secondary and higher secondary board examination results have been declared, both state and national. Literally millions of kids have the fruits of their labor displayed after a 50-60 day wait. What now awaits many is their first step outside the institution of a School and the journey towards a professional career will begin with the first introduction to a college or other higher study institution. But preparation for this event had started many years back, tuitions, extra classes, entrance exam special coaching, and many other aids to get your child that coveted course/University/profession. Not only the poor child, but the parents also go through sleepless nights trying to provide the best support system for their wards, be it in term of finances, infrastructure or guidance and physical support. It is nerve wracking and exhausting, to say the least.
Then what? A 90% score is par today, Delhi University first list cut-off % is set at a ridiculous level of 99%-100%. The IIT’s, JEE’s have their own entrance exams, tough and unforgiving. The rat race is on in full flow, eat or be eaten. Nervous children and ever anxious parents sweat over the outcome of each test or admission list. This is very natural. But then when you look back or assess this mayhem years down the line, you realize how mostly fruitless this madness has been. Not that the toppers from each board will go on to become the most successful professionals, be it in a job or their own venture. Everybody passing out an IIT (something which was a mammoth fight to get into for most students) do not get a successful career, many fade into oblivion. The reason behind it is rather simple. Academics can only teach you so much. You may score 90% in your boards, get through an IIT/JEE, score reasonably well there and even land a decent job in campus; but this will never guarantee you any success going forward. Life’s biggest teacher is life itself, day to day experiences teach you much more than your classrooms. The basic foundation is built by academics, one has to add smartness, opportunism, sincerity and focus to the mix to achieve even a modicum of success.
Go back and think about your own lives. Nobody in my generation got 99% in their boards, and many a average student then, have an extremely successful career now. In most cases, far better than those who scored 90% and got through the coveted entrance tests. They built on their foundations, grabbed the opportunities that came their way, worked hard and never stopped learning. I am sure many of you will recollect lot of such examples in your own circles. Even though we realize this, do we implement this for our own children? We mostly don’t. The rat race we endured, we put our children through it too, and mind you it is getting more and more cut-throat every year. Whether or not the kids have a knack for it, we send them to cricket coaching, guitar/violin/piano lessons, dancing or singing classes and Art classes, Martial arts and what not. Add to this the pressure to do well in academics; honestly, it seems to be too much for any pre teen kid. We as adults would struggle, these are much younger children. But we still keep doing it, till their graduation level we will ensure that a non curricular interest or passion remains sidelined, not to become a career choice till much later.
We need to think, and assess. Individually as well as collectively, freedom of choice is not a constitutional right, it is our social obligation to our next generation. To be able to dissociate them from the unending rat race, do what they feel comfortable doing, what they are passionate at. Because you will try your hardest to excel at something you are passionate about. Academics become almost irrelevant after a certain point of time in life (unless you are a teacher or any other form of an academician), your passion and learning in life are the only things that will take you forward, We have to learn and follow this for our children, for the sake of our children.


Career, Career Choices, Career Improvement, Career Planning, Career Success, Education, Education System, Educational Centers, Iit-Jee, Student Performances, Students, Studies, Study Skills

Meet the author

author avatar AniM
I have been an avid reader since my childhood and that is my biggest passion! I will write on Telecom, Cricket, Book reviews and some politics

Share this page

moderator Mark Gordon Brown moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


Add a comment
Can't login?