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How to Decide About Taking a Drop Year?

Sometimes, due to some unforeseen or unavoidable circumstances, the JEE performance of students deteriorates a lot than the ideal. In such cases, taking a drop is very common and understandable. But, it’s always wise to discuss your situation with your family members, seniors and teachers. Get their suggestions and viewpoints about your challenges and probable losses and gains after a drop. The more you will discuss, the more your understanding will develop and you would be ready with the decision.

Following are some of the situations or conditions under which an aspirant has to think about whether dropping a year is wise or not. I’m going to discuss a few aspects and challenges which would help you take this decision in a better way.

(1) The difference between the good and the best is just of a cat’s whiskers. Ask a student who has just missed getting into an institute of his/her choice just by 0.5 marks and the ultimate truth will be known.

If you fall into this FIRST CATEGORY, the following poem is for you:

As children bring their broken toys
With tears for us to mend.
I brought my broken dreams to God
Because He was my Friend.

But then instead of leaving Him
In peace to work alone,
I hung around and tried to help
With ways that were my own.

At last, I snatched it back and cried,
“How could You be so slow”-
“My child,” He said,
“What could I do? You never did let go.”

Try not to be as difficult as the child in this poem. You have given yourself a full chance but luck has not smiled upon you. Deep in your heart, you know you have won. It’s time to let go of the technicalities of your aspirations-not because they are futile but because it is not really the need of the hour. Just like the title of Mitch Albom’s book “Have a Little Faith”; have full faith in your preparations and understand that no study goes waste. Perhaps the importance of preparation is best summarized by the following comment. Chanakya Reddy, alumni of the Chennai Mathematical Institute (CMI) says, “Always highly value your preparation more than the results. In the future, it is this very mindset that will give you the winning edge and bring you success.”

(2) You have whiled away your time during your preparation phase and wish to give yourself a full chance by taking a drop year.

If you fall into the SECOND CATEGORY, it is highly recommended that you go through a process of self-evaluation. You know your errors. In the words of Shiv Khera, an eminent motivational speaker, “You have not planned to fail but failed to plan.” Isolate yourself; do not be influenced by peers, friends or anyone around you and find your true motive in appearing for a particular entrance examination. Try and understand the reason why you developed a careless attitude. Visualize yourself if you drop a year. If you truly believe that you are determined to give your 100%, take the plunge and never look back again. However, even if you have a 1% doubt about your capabilities (not in terms of knowledge but willingness), then avoid a drop year in the first place. Start analyzing various other options seriously.
(3) You don’t know where you stand; you are neither too close nor too far away from what you wish.

If you belong to this THIRD CATEGORY, then you really need to make up your mind. Perhaps, there are a variety of options opening up but none of them were your first priority. Let’s assume you are very hungry and feel like having a pizza for lunch. However, you simply cannot manage to order it or prepare it for some reason. In this situation, one does not simply sit and wait for the pizza but tries to make peace with whatever is available for eating.

Similarly, it is true that you had high hopes and now the options available are not that lucrative. However, if you can be determined to learn enthusiastically in any institution, it would be more valuable than a degree from a premier institution. Avoiding a drop year would be the smartest choice in such a scenario!

Lastly, there is no judge better than yourself. So, take your time, make a decision and stick to it!

One can also do a lot of awesome things during a drop year, if planned properly. Read more about it in this article.

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