[A Letter To Self]: How Everything Changed After My 12th Board Exams

4 minutes


Congratulations on your promotion!

It’s funny how quickly the time flies by. Just a few years back you gave your 12th board exams. It was perhaps the worst year of your life.

Do you remember how you would wake up at 5.30 in the morning and ride in the chilling cold weather to the tuition classes? And how you would struggle to solve all those complicated formulas and learn by heart definitions of concepts that you didn’t entirely understand.

From tuition classes, you’d go to the college and the grind would continue. Hours after hours lecturers would walk in and tell you that this is the most important year of your life – as if there wasn’t enough pressure on you already! And then you’d come home, swallow a quick dinner and fall asleep with the lights on and drool spilling on your textbooks.

Your marks were continually poor, no matter how hard you worked. Why didn’t you stop then and think for a minute that maybe that wasn’t the field for you? Instead, you blamed yourself for your poor performance and accused yourself of being lazy and stupid.

The holidays post the exams were equally stressful because there was that anticipation of the results. Maybe deep down you thought if you worried enough, the results would turn out to be good. But your results turned out to be very bad.

The day the 12th board results were declared, you were shattered. You couldn’t eat properly or sleep peacefully for days. Because with your marks, you couldn’t get into an engineering or medical college, and if Indian society is anything to go by, doing anything else is not worth your time.

But looking back, poor performance in 12th standard was the best thing that happened to you!

You were forced to remove yourself from the herd mentality and think about yourself – your strengths and weaknesses. You chose a course where you thought you would excel because it was more suited to your interests and aptitudes. And you know what? You were right!

The years of your college after 12th board were the most pleasant years of your life! You were finally doing something you were good at and learning things and lessons that interested you. Not only your academic performance, but your confidence and self-esteem improved as well.

You emerged out of college with flying colours, not with just a degree, but an understanding of what you wanted to do with your life, and also a close circle of like-minded friends.

Looking back, doesn’t it seem silly that you thought something as trivial as 12th standard exams would decide the rest of your life? And that is the message I want to give to all the 12th standard students who have received their results.

In a few years, your 12th board results will become insignificant. It is what you did with those results, the next step that you take, that actually matters.

So if you are either overjoyed or down in the dumps because of your 12th board results, snap out of it! It is just an indicator of what you are good at, and what you should be doing with your life. There is no right or wrong, good or bad.

So, cheer up, keep your head held high and most importantly, have a positive attitude about every failure in the future. Because as it is truly said, failure is the stepping stone to success.

Warm regards,


Is the wait for exam results proving too stressful? Are you upset about your exam results? Come talk to our Experts at YourDOST to get personalized guidance on how to go forward.

Sushma Hebbar

Sushma Hebbar is a Senior Psychologist at YourDOST. She is an experienced career psychologist with a Master's in Clinical Psychology. She has worked with clients of different age groups, dealing with a wide variety of psychosocial & life adjustment problems that people face in their everyday lives. She has an extensive experience of dealing with career confusions, academic issues, relationship issues, exam stress and skill development. She worked as a facilitator and trained children for the development of Higher Order Thinking Skills. During her internship at All India Institute of Speech and Hearing at Mysore, she worked with children having ADHD, Learning disability and even those who were intellectually disbaled and suffered from Down syndrome. Her belief is that every individual is unique and has the right to be happy, which clearly goes on to show her liberal mindset.