Wednesday, 20 MAY 2015
“Chitwan, your phone is ringing, get up.” my mom came to my room yelling. I wasn’t an early riser but the phone compelled me to get up. 40 missed calls; Oh god!! What had happened? Seemed as if the world had turned upside down. Just a few minutes, and I realized the CLAT committee had uploaded the mysterious merit list. I was anxious about the CLAT results. My mind was full of all sorts of “Oh god! What’s going happen?”
“Chitwan, did you see the results?”called up a good friend. “Nah, just wait. I’ll call you back”, I said.
“Look at yourself, always sleeping. I have your result”, said he. This very moment I realized how close a friend he was to have my login details.
“You’ve got an AIR 8”
I couldn’t believe my ears. Was I dreaming, I didn’t know. Yes, for me the world had really turned upside down. I could now sense ecstasy filling my insides. Finally, I had made it to NLS. After this roller coaster ride across the year, it was finally my time, my time to celebrate.
I remember the day I had decided to take up Law as my career, a family meeting upon evening snacks and me, trying to convince my family as if a lawyer in a courtroom. Well, I had won the case and in came the deliberations regarding my coaching institute.
“So, you do not have a good CLAT coaching in your city, now you decide and tell me where do you want to go- Delhi or Bhopal” my dad had said taking off some burden from his shoulders (I am from a small town, Shivpuri, in the heart of India.) And I had set off on the road to Bhopal for all my legal hunger and academic needs. One week in, and I realized how difficult it is for a biology kid (Yes, I had chosen Physics, Chemistry and Biology as my main subjects in 11th grade) to fight those reasoning questions.
Two weeks later, I was practicing some reasoning questions at night when my teacher called. “Your target should be NLSIU, you have the potential” were his words. And that’s when I started afresh with a new target and the NLS library as my phone’s new wallpaper.
Two months passed by and I had written my first mock in September, the very first mock. A tough bite but I had managed to score a 97. “Alright, you fared well buddy” feeling satisfied with myself, I went into my teacher’s cabin, sat before him but his reaction had come as a shock to me.
“Is this the way you plan to get to NLS. Such a bad score is not getting you anywhere” he had said.
In his eyes I had witnessed a ruined expectation. Expressions on his face could have been reduced to a mixture of anger and a fear of failure. And then the human tendencies had cast their spells upon me and I too started loathing the score that had satisfied me some 10 minutes ago.
“Just work on things and they’ll improve. Hard work never fails” my father said to me on the phone that night.
And refuelled, I had started again with a task based approach and had hit a score of 129 in the next mock.
Exhilarated, I had rewarded myself with some Rajasthani food and yes, I had been legitimately proud of myself that day. I saw it as the first step to my admission into the best law school in the country. A score like that if constantly maintained had the power to send me to my dream law school. Again I had been overpowered by my satisfaction and the score had rendered me complacent for a few days. Chilling out with friends started consuming greater part of my day than the prescribed limit.
What I’ve learnt from my endeavors is that you cannot ever afford to get complacent because a downfall is always lurking around the corner. And so, a downfall encountered me directly in the disguise of a series of awful mock scores. After 6-7 of those, I had started my search of my own Guru Dronacharya. Seeking someone who can guide you to your satisfaction is a herculean task, I had realized. With low scores and increased pressure I actually reduced my ability to study effectively.
In midst of all this vagrancy, my fortune had brought me to a senior who took me to the shore. Someone who was the anchor to my storm caught ship .His words still bear in my mind “Mock scores are like a cycle, they keep on varying up and down. It’s you who has to be constant.” Like a guardian angel, he had taken me under his wing and I was back in the game with a bang.
In came December-January and I had heard: “CLAT goes online”. All predictions about the CLAT being easy started off. “the first online CAT was easy too” says one self styled CLAT expert. “CLAT 2015 is by RMLNLU, solve all the UPPSC papers” says another.
Pressure piling on, I tried to do as much as I could in a day, every day. Meanwhile, my scores improved too and had rather taken a greater boost.
In had came the month of April. I had started a practice of writing a mock test daily. The month had been full of expectations, discussions about the paper and speculations about who would make it to the top notch NLUs and of course NLS.
Sunday, 10th May 11:00 AM
The D Day had come. Yes, it was all luck to get to the top ranks but coupled with substantial amount of hard labour. All the last minute preparations had been going on. Had I been nervous? Not at all. I had made up my mind to expect any kind of paper, to be calm, whatever may come. In fact, the night before I had watched a movie and had had 10 hours of sleep.
“Hey, how was the test?” my friend had asked, and I had just smiled and shook my head. That day I had been contented with whatever I had done. No regrets.
What I’d like to share with CLAT 2016 aspirants?
Just keep calm and focus on your prep. A constant effort is needed throughout the year if you want to graduate from a top rung law school. Take productive breaks out of your study schedule. You do not need to detach yourself from every activity but must limit yourself. And finally, give all in. Don’t hold back your efforts lest you leave your potential unfulfilled.
ALL THE BEST!
PS: The article has been focused mainly on a student’s psychology throughout the year which I think is more important to deal with than other things.
Anyone with any kind of doubt, academic or otherwise can shoot them through the comments section below.