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Drishti IAS Blog

ORN Diary – One

  • 26 Dec 2019

Another year is about to end. In a week. In few days.

Another year passes. Another year that I had spent with the same old books - Laxmikant, Physical Geography NCERT, Spectrum.

Had been another year that I couldn't clear the Prelims.

Another year that I drifted away from my friends, from theatre, from poetry.

Couldn't participate in the protests against CAA and NRC because I was busy trying to study Chapter 6 from Laxmikant and also trying to make sense of all the editorials.

Apart from the more significant debate about discrimination against minorities, about the attack on secularism, I dive deeper into the peripheral topics and read about Inner Line Permits and the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations. I try to understand the definition of 'illegal migrants' and the exemptions from the definition of the word. And as I check WhatsApp statuses of my friends holding placards at Jantar Mantar - 'Yeh Subah Humi Se Aayegi!' - braving the Delhi winter, I feel ashamed, unimportant, insignificant and little.

As regrets start settling under my skin, I try to think my way out of the unsettling chaos and confusion that is around me, within me. Contemplation.

I need a plan!

Something is definitely wrong that I haven't been able to clear the Prelims four times in a row. I have to be honest now.

But being honest with the self is the most difficult thing.

I worked hard. Revised everything. Did previous years papers sincerely. Neglected my friends. To a very large extent my family too. I had been a good student. Of course! No doubts about that.

The second (and a little more honest) reading of the sentences above put a clearer picture of the entire scenario in my head.

I had worked hard. True! But not just on my studies. I worked hard on so many other things as well. Translation works. Documentary making. And much more.

I did go through previous years’ papers sincerely. (Towards the end. Though without strategy. Without a proper understanding. Without even trying to understand the pattern of the paper, or trend.)

Neglected my friends. (May be not so much. I let myself be persuaded into harmless partying, that broke my routine and discipline. At the same time, I wasn't quite there with them when they needed me, making the preparation an excuse for my incapability of being able to manage my time and emotions.)

Family. Well they have supported me all this while. Guided me. Wept with me at my failures. Motivated me. Even relatives had been quite supportive. I had been quite privileged here.

I had been a good student. Especially during the month before Prelims. Though I had not been able to consolidate my notes. It had all been very haphazard. I did not develop a strategy through mock tests. Did not even revise my Optional. No answer writing practice.

Ouch. Honesty hurts.

What now?

Roughly, I have now, around 160 days left for Prelims 2020. If I take out the last 10 days to manage my nerves and another 10 to cover my unpredictable health issues, I am left with 140 days. I have to cover Current Affairs for 18 months, and Geography, History, Environment, Economics, Polity. Not to forget the upcoming Budget and Economic Survey. I have to practice mock tests (and strictly understand the pattern of the mistakes I make). I have to cover roughly at least 50% of my Optional.

And now we are thinking!

In the last week of 2019, I am going to plan my year 2020 better, work on my time management skills, and also try to understand myself a little better and make my 140 days count. That’s a promise.

 Mohit Srivastava 
 Old Rajender Nagar 

So friends, this is what Mohit Srivastava went through, this very morning.

What about you? Are you ready for an honest conversation with yourself? Let us know about you and your plans in the comment section below.

Team Drishti

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