Why can’t I top the class?

We are humans. We have interests. We have desires. At the prime of our health, we do not like to get caged in a room and study the cryptic text for long hours. Yet, we did our best. We attended the lectures. We put our best to understand the text. But, the exams returned a very average score. Our confidence is touching the nadir. Why is that we are unable to top the class? Let me pen down my perspectives as a student for you.

First of all, the number of hours you put into your studies is a poor metric to success. Instead, measure the amount of passion and discipline. Passion is the fuel which brings curiosity. Curiosity leads to the energy you need to be disciplined. Discipline provides you the first necessary quality to top the class. It stops you from getting distracted. It helps you develop and improve your focus. Few wise men claim discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments!

Discipline is like Kohli training every day for batting, or Bolt training regularly for a sprint. To be a topper, you need the second essential ingredient. You need “the technique”. This is where a coach becomes important. There is a way to study. Learning to program in C is not about taking a book and reading it for couple of hours. It requires a good collection of problems, a well-organized mind-map of concepts, planned and timed practice along with aptitude to find the logic. This is where the tactical elements such as note-taking, incremental problem solving and regular revision play an important role. These elements build a strong technique which helps you study faster, and deeper. Few people are naturally talented. They don’t need a technique to top. But, when your talent fails you, technique helps you. As they say in cricket, form is temporary, class is permanent. Build a solid technique. It never harms to be good in your approach to studies. Know how to study effectively. Develop good study habits.

If you mastered the technique, and also demonstrate incredible discipline, there is only one more aspect you should keep in mind. To me, this is the most important part. You must “enjoy” your work. As a world champion puts it, “Without an element of enjoyment, you cannot excel at anything”. Do not let the minor failures or set backs disappoint you. You win few minor battles and lose many. At the end, it is the war that you do not wish to lose. Exams are the smaller battles. They are not important. Being knowledgeable and skillful is what you should aim at.

To summarize, be disciplined, do it right and enjoy doing it. Success will follow. Someday, there must be something that only one person in this whole world would be able to do. And that person should be you. Go for it!

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Author: Venkatesh Vinayakarao

Researcher, Computer Science.

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