The Alternative Journey


This article has been submitted by Vaibhavi Dwivedi  for the CLATGyan Blog Post Writing Competition. If you think it’s a good read, ‘Like’ the article on Facebook (the button is at the bottom of this piece) or post a comment using the ‘Comments’ section below.

This is a real story that needs to be told. Let me start by explaining to you why exactly I chose to write this. So I was sitting in my hostel room, thinking of all the deadlines I had to meet, listing them down, making notes, when I stumbled upon ClatGyan for the first time since CLAT 2014. A familiar gut-wrenching feeling engulfed my senses. Emotions that I had buried down so deep inside resurfaced once more. Yes, I wrote CLAT, not once but twice. And I didn’t make it, not once but twice. And yes, occasionally it does hurt but now that I think of it, life has only gotten better. So here’s a story that you need to know.

I was a straight-A student till my 10th grade in CBSE, after which the next grade hit me hard. I opted for science stream without really considering any other options (the reasons behind this decision remain too many to count), and struggled to complete schooling with decent marks. In the pursuit of making a living out of science, I discovered how unsuitable the subject actually was for me! So in 2011, after spending half a lakh of rupees on a medical coaching institute, I took my first bold step of dropping out of the coaching class and started investing my time in discovering what I really wanted to do. As one might expect from an extremely protective family, there were a lot many ‘what-will-you-do-now’ and ‘what-next?’ questions which demanded answers. Quite honestly, I had no idea.

Eventually, I drifted away from my family’s dream of wanting to see me graduate with an M.B.B.S degree and ended up wanting to be a writer. However, my 12th board marks weren’t going to be enough to get me admissions purely on that basis, which was perhaps the only thing I had foreseen in my future. And as my luck at the time would have it, I spent a month bedridden with dengue fever in Jan’13, two months before my 12th boards and 3 months before CLAT. So there I was again, forcing myself to dream a new dream. The results left me devastated. I had gotten somewhere around the late 3000s, which wasn’t good enough to get a seat in any of the National Law Schools. It was nowhere close to being enough.

By mid-2013, filled with loathing and anger for the Common Law Admission Test, I decided to join a law school close to home. However, after spending a month in my new home (that miserable hostel) and following strict class timings from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm, wearing uniforms (black and white salwar-kameez) and following dress codes, I had started to grow sick of the place. After two months, I started thinking about CLAT again. And as the 3rd month ended, I broke down.

I started craving for all those little luxuries that I had never appreciated before like having the freedom to wear anything but salwar-kameez. After bitching about the place to bhaiya and crying about it to mom and dad, I decided to drop out of the place in the beginning of November ’13. Despite the doubts considering my decision yet again, my family gave in to my desires and let me take the second bold step.

After 8 long months of striving hard and prepping for CLAT, gaining around 30 pounds and giving up on social life, May 11th 2014 was supposed to be my day. But as the results were announced, withheld and announced again, I got a ‘controversial’ rank of 1230. There wasn’t much left to do now.

I was now forced to go with my backup choice of joining Jindal Global Law School. This was that one place which stereotypically wasn’t meant for someone from the ‘middle class’. But soon enough, I grew used to the place and learnt to love it. I found people I could call mine and realized how those stereotypes that I had bought into earlier, were completely false. Working hard was fun again. Sure, there are ups and down in college but after successfully wrapping up my 1st year in a law school, I can safely claim that my failures helped me become stronger and wiser.

So to all those who couldn’t crack CLAT this year, don’t worry too much. You can always give it another shot and if not, your next destination might just be the one for you. Life is so much more than what it seems to be right now. It’s okay to fail and okay to cry. And more importantly, it’s okay to move on and dream bigger. Never forget, you are the master of your own destiny and that unknown alternative journey? Maybe it is worth giving a chance to.
I’m doing well now, are you?

–  Vaibhavi Dwivedi

B.A. LL.B- 2014

Jindal Global Law School


  1. This is such a lovely piece of writing!
    Also, I’m sure it is very relatable for most people sitting for such competitive exams. 🙂

  2. This post will actually help those who believe that board examination marks are the end of the road realize that their is so much more than that. And that some private universities can actually be very good. Thanks for sharing your experience about the same. You really motivated me.  🙂

  3. Thanks for sharing your alternative journey with us, it’s sure been a ride, but rollercoasters are fun, right?

  4. It was quite motivating Ms Diwivedi. And  yours is similar to mine story . I too had faces all these exactly like yours . But the part of being into a law college is still incomplete now. I wish i could make a good one. And wishing you all the very best in your life ahead. And looking forward for books written by you.( if tell you ..actually i also want to write one ).

  5. A great reminder that not cracking the CLAT is not the end of the world and through hard work and perseverance, one can still succeed 🙂

  6. A big thank you to Shreya , Rhea, Swati and Purn. I’m glad you liked it Shreya. Also, life sure is more fun this way Rhea!
    Swati, I hope your alternative journey leads you to a beautiful destination, you have all my good wishes. And Purn, thank you for your vote of confidence in my story. 🙂

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