Sometimes all you need is support from loved ones to wade through trying times… even examinations.

“Every day is just nerve-racking,” said Santosh to his friends, who were anxiously discussing the final exams, just a few days away. Santosh was in Std XII. He had got through his pre-board exams with a fairly good performance. Still, the fast-approaching exams caused him great anxiety every day. Vineet, a close pal, casually replied, “Guys, I don’t bother. As you all know, I do have another option.” All his friends were aware that Vineet was being weird nowadays. He often commented about resorting to “copying”, which caused great annoyance to the entire group.

Santosh was bewildered by his friend’s comments. Back home, as he thought over and over the same words, he fell asleep.

Santosh was nervous on the first day of the examination. He trembled while taking out the “chits” he had made at home, from his pocket. No sooner had he started copying the notes into the answer sheet that he realised that someone had put their hand on his shoulder. He turned around to see the invigilator staring at him, giving an absolutely stern look. Goodness! He had been caught red handed! Never did he expect such a dreadful thing to happen to him! Santosh was being mercilessly thrown out of the exam hall.

Boost of confidence

Santosh woke up with a start. “What a terrible nightmare,” he thought. He tried to calm himself. His heart was beating faster than ever before! As he reached out for a glass of water, he ended up knocking the jug to the floor. The noise woke his father, who came into his room to check on him. He turned on the lights and was surprised to see his son up so late, sitting upright on his bed, sweating profusely. He sat beside him and enquired gently. Santosh confided his fears about the fast approaching exams.

His father patted his back gently, and said, “Son, it is normal to feel a little anxious about the exams. But never let fear get the better of you. Let me tell you my story. When I was gearing up for my board exams, I was unfortunately taken ill. With just a few days left for the exams, my appetite had weakened and I just could not cope with my studies.”

Santosh stared at him in awe. He asked, “Daddy, how on earth did you manage?” His father replied proudly, “I had a good friend, who was a great source of strength for me. His sheer confidence helped me believe in myself. He helped me with all the important topics and revisions covered in the special classes. He helped me in standing up to the weak state of mind caused by my illness. I gradually picked myself up and prepared for the exams reasonably well.

“Weren’t you scared of scoring low marks?” asked Santosh innocently. “No son, our goal was just to give the best and not to think of the results. Propelled by my goal and backed by hard work, I simply gave my best and got through with reasonably good marks. I followed the same rule at every stage of my life. Today, as you see, your father is quite a successful person,” replied his father.

His father continued, “Your goal should always be to do hard work and not worry about the result, since the result of hard work is always success. Try to gain inspiration from friends who have a positive outlook, and help those who lack confidence and need encouragement.” His father’s words clearly dawned on Santosh, what he meant.

The next day, Santosh felt much better, as if ready to take on any new challenge. At school, his discussion with various students revealed various mindsets. Some were confident and some were apprehensive. Surprisingly, Vineet was dull and upset. His father had overheard him talking to his brother about “copying” in the exam. He threatened to have his son thrown out of the house, if he even thought of resorting to any wrongful way!

Santosh realised that his father was right. Vineet lacked confidence and badly needed help. Like his father’s friend, he started off with the task of helping Vineet and a few other friends. He helped them with the difficult topics and revisions for them. This way, Santosh too was getting prepared for the exams all along. Soon, many others joined the group, a few of whom offered great help. All the students were slowly shedding their nervousness completely. With a rigorous combined effort, the entire group gradually became strong enough to face the upcoming challenge!