So the CBSE results are out again, and as the divine souls of Social Media would have it, marks don’t matter posts are trending all over our timelines with full vigor. This isn’t very different from the ‘Happy Mother’s day (and it’s opposite, I hate people who post Happy Mother’s day) posts’, or the ‘Arvind Kejriwal is a retard (and its opposite, AAP is the future of India) posts’.
It sounds very easy to become subject experts on Facebook or Twitter, since big studies are just a Google search away, and one can always take his time coming up with well crafted replies (much like this blog post.. Umm.. Well.. Oops). But being someone who finds Facebook activism a waste of time (personal opinion, because I’ve observed that we simply vent our anger, and barely achieve anything out of it), I usually keep myself away from online debates. But when we talk about CBSE results, or anything like that, we’re talking about an age group that can very easily be influenced, so I felt this needs to be said.
To put it in a concise manner, ‘Marks do matter’, if you’re investing your time and money in something and not achieving anything of it, you did fail, and don’t let these comforting thoughts tell you otherwise. Just to be clear, I’m not saying that marks are the only things that matter, or that you should go on cramming up facts to go on a factual diarrheic mode in the exam and score well, but if you plan to do something in life that will take your marks into account, please don’t let others tell you that it’s okay to fail, unless you are phenomenally good at taking risks.
We have all kinds of people in our society. Those who don’t study and those who do. Those who take the road less traveled and those who don’t. It’s not a shame in doing any of that, it’s a choice one consciously makes. It’s not a shame to fail either, we’re only human. But the shame lies in the fact that even before failing, you make your peace with the fact that it’s okay to fail. And that’s where the problem begins. I’ve been both a topper and a failure in my life. And I don’t feel proud of my failures. I also know that I could take those risks, because that’s the path I’d consciously chosen for myself, but maybe it’s not the case with you, maybe you need those marks, so before you tell yourself that marks don’t matter, give it a shot, maybe they do.
I agree, our education system is all sorts of wrong. We produce more engineers every hour than Mexico produces drugs. It doesn’t give the kind of encouragement that is needed to arts, sports, research, entrepreneurship… But then, there are thousands of people who still passionately take them up and are good at them. And they may or may not be scoring well, point is, it won’t matter to them. What it shouldn’t be is the other way round. Where a poor score in engineering or a failed start-up or a dead end IT job pushes you into these things. And you keep telling yourself that marks don’t matter, failures don’t matter. Because they do, and here you’ll find hundreds of people doing better than you.
So if you’re young, yet to start your career, or even if you’re old but open to hear an opinion apart from yours, consider this. Try to be good at what you do, or take a risk and don’t do it, instead do what you’re good at. Yes, marks do matter, if you don’t know where you’re going, if you do see yourself making your career in a traditional field competing with a million more, these marks do matter. It’s not the end if you didn’t score well, but be prepared to work harder, this isn’t the time to relax.