‘Don’t Let Your Marks Define You Today’: An Open Letter to Class 12th Students

Dear Friends,

I want to congratulate all those who received really good marks and met their expectations. I also want to congratulate all those who could not get the percentage they would have liked to achieve.

Right now, television news headlines are replete with pictures of toppers and percentages like 99.2 %, 99.3 %, 99.4 %, 99.5 %.

However, if you scour through all the newspapers and flip through different news channels, you’ll able to identify more than 100 such students.

Now, the question is: What about the rest of the students?

This year, nearly 13 lakh candidates appeared for the Class XII CBSE board exam, and it’s pretty obvious that not all of them scored above 90%.

This means that there is a strong possibility that you, the reader, are one of many who couldn’t score more than 90%

Trust me, if you had access to the results of all these 13 lakh students, you wouldn’t be feeling as bad as you are right now.

The problem here is that you’re only aware of the results of those who topped the examination, and perhaps some of your friends.

Please understand that while 60%, 70%, or 80 % might be considered ‘less’ in a context in which university cut-offs for college admissions go as high as 100%, there’s a huge difference between getting fewer marks than your friends, and undermining yourself for getting a bad score.

You must not forget that this 60% now makes you eligible for graduation. So how can this be bad?

You all are unique and have your own strengths, irrespective of the marks you get.

You may well have gotten 60% today, but you have the potential to be the top entrepreneur, technician, singer, musician, psychologist, social scientist, mathematician, dancer, sportsperson, and many more great things tomorrow.

All you have to do is recognise that potential and strive for the best.

Class XII results can be seen as a new beginning, even if you have not, unfortunately, passed this time.

This is because it offers you an opportunity to learn from an experience.

It gives an opportunity for you to realise your strengths and uniqueness, and also to understand your weaknesses. Your CBSE results are culmination of a process  you underwent for over a year, which gave you many valuable experiences and innumerable life-lessons.

When you start afresh, you will take these experiences with you.

And in order to draw the best out from yourself, you need to make these promises to yourself:

  1. Accept yourself 

Do not remain in a state of denial. Do not fall into the trap of telling yourself that you deserved more marks and got less. Of course, you deserve much more in life, but for that, you will have to first accept what you have right now. You have earned these marks and accepting these marks means accepting yourself. And this, my friend, is the first step towards self-discovery.

  1. Identify the best in you 

We are all unique and we all have strengths.

Try to figure out what gets you going – be it music, dance, photography, maths, science, psychology, social work, journalism, sports, or any other field which may appeal to you.

Always pursue a hobby, and never hesitate in standing up for what you feel is best for you.

And once you do that, you’ll realise that mourning your class 12th result is actually pointless. Trust me, this grade card won’t take you closer or further away from what you want to be.

  1. Explore the available options 

Many of you, who have got 65% or above, can still get into colleges in Delhi University and other good universities. Perhaps not the courses and colleges of your choice, but the University surely.

Let it not be about the college anymore – let it be about you from now on.

After all, it is the students who make a college and not the other way round. Be the best of what you are and your college will automatically become the best, and will invest in you by all means.

Join whichever college as per your score and be the best version of yourself there. Soon, you will realise that it doesn’t really matter which college you join, but who you actually are, the people you meet and the experiences you have.

There are options like IGNOU and Delhi University’s School of Open Learning.

Do not shy away from taking admission in these if you don’t clear the cut-offs elsewhere.

Do not feel embarrassed when your friends tell you that they got into well-known colleges. You are not the same as them, and your journey is different from theirs. So, obviously, your path will also always be different from theirs.

  1. Start preparing and become the best version of yourself 

I want you all to start preparing every single day to become the best version of yourself. Next time, when you sit for an examination, or perform in an auditorium, or play in ground, you should be able to look at yourself in the mirror and say, “Today I was the best version of myself.”

Do not let your marks define you today.

What matters is that you have the potential to reach where you want to reach tomorrow. You just have to recognise that potential and be the best that you can be.

After that, the results won’t matter – the only thing which will matter is that you give your best.

My best wishes and love to you all,

Rahul Kapoor is a research scholar at Sarojini Naidu Center for Women Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia. He is a social activist who is determined to stand with the poor, marginalised and those who are last in the queue. The University of Delhi awarded him a gold medal in Masters in Social Work. He is also a public speaker, prolific writer and a published author.