How to make come back in life after getting year back in VTU?
Answered by Suhas Nataraj, student who studied under VTU and a successful Engineer.
Let’s proceed and hear it in his own words…..
“This question got me out of bed where I was browsing Quora on
my phone and now I am on to the laptop to type this answer.
I have been there, felt like my life was over and I know you are
going through the same. Let me tell you my story.
I was always a mediocre student scoring 70s and 80s. I was
quite active in sports and a bit of cultural stuff like stage drama
etc. I was quite famous and would always be accompanied by a
friend at any time of the day.
Class 10, meant serious business. Parents and teachers were at
their best advising me and pepping me on. Sports and other
extra curricular activities were stopped and day dreams of a
good college and great career were played again and again in
front of me. I tried my best, rose to the occasion and ended up
scoring 91%. At home, I was a hero. At school, some were
surprised and others had a bit of new found respect for me.
Good score in 10th meant the best “tuitions” in town even
though at a towering fee. This was the time where tuitions were
more important than the college you were studying in. In spite of
all the hype, I had the balls to bunk tuitions, play around and
enjoy life. I ended up with a “below average” 67% and a 5 digit
rank in the Karnataka CET.
I still remember it was my Dad’s friend who read out my CET
rank over phone from his office where he had a fast internet
…………7”. I was shell shocked.
Thanks to my telephone-number-like rank, I ended up in an
average college and chose Mechanical engineering (which I grew
to love later) since all other branches were opted or were
available in below average colleges.
The plan was to study really hard for the first 2 semesters and
then opt for a branch change after the second semester.
I knew a couple of papers did not go well. Result time…
Wait…..what? Is it my number? Is it my name? Is it some sort of
a mistake? Mom’s in shock, tears. Re-evaluation it will be !! Blah
Blah Blah …
Slowly, I came to terms with the fact that I had 4 backs in my
I was always a mediocre student barring my class 10 heroics,
but this was a new low.
I study hard, or so I think. Now I had to write 6 subjects from
semester 2 and 4 from semester 1, totalling the number of
subjects to 10. This meant I had some papers on consecutive
Result time.. Cleared 2 from first semester, failed 2 from first
semester again and failed 2 more from second semester. Hey, I
got 4 backs again!
Forget thinking of branch change, I had barely scraped through
to 3rd semester. One more back would mean I would have lost a
By this time, I had got accustomed to failure and I guess my
parents too. They had started lying to my probing relatives
about my results. Only a few knew the truth. I used to lie to my
friends and I wouldn’t remember the exact lie if I met them
again. It was all shady.
As you would have guessed by now, semesters 3 and 4 got
tougher and I could never cope up with the backlogs. I did not
know what to study and what to skip.
In 4th semester, I had to do a few morning-matinee sessions.
Yes, imagine giving two papers on the same day! Things went
from bad to worse and I used to win bets with like-minded
friends during exams.
The bet was simple – Who comes out of the exam hall first? – I
personally consider this as one of the stupidest things I have
done in my life. 😛
So, finally, it happened. I lost a year. At the end of semester 4, I
had those 4 friends from my 1st and 2nd semesters who
wouldn’t get rid of me, 1 from semester 3 and 6 from semester
4. Totally I had 11, yes eleven backs after semester 4. (Isn’t this
question just about 5? :P)
So eleven backlogs and one year to make impossible possible.
After the initial few days of reality setting in, I gradually slipped
into depression. Typically, I stopped talking much and doing
anything at all. My life was pointless and direction-less. My
parents did not know whether to scold me or support me. They
were scared that I would try to kill myself if they scolded me.
They tried to take me to those family functions where the topic
of how I was free on weekdays was carefully avoided. I realized,
with great surprise and shock, that out of hundreds of friends I
had, less than 10 of them were in touch with me. Out of that,
only 3 really supported me.
One day, I was standing in front of another college, with a BSc
application in my hand. I had decided to quit engineering. I had
decided I am not competent enough to finish it. My mom and
dad spoke to me on the phone and convinced me to come back
They sat with me, advised me, encouraged me, reminded me of
my good days. Days where I used to be a confident, young guy.
Days where I was a guy liked by so many people. My dad shared
some of his failures in life, treated me as a friend. Most
importantly, they hid all their anger, frustration and
disappointment and LOVED me.
I gradually started studying again. I was in such a bad situation
that I had to read a line and write it to keep my concentration
intact. I gave up many times or went in to an unknown day-
dreaming session many times. But my mother sat next to me as
if I was a 3 year-old kid starting to read and write.
With hours and days and months of hard work I started
regaining my concentration. I started to organize my thoughts
and learnt to strategize. I kept smaller targets. I decided to take
5 of the 11 subjects for the first attempt. I did not study to pass
any more. I studied to score well. With great embarrassment I
went to college to write my exams and met my friends. They
were writing exams too but the subjects were of next year.
At last, I had cleared 5 out of the 11 backlogs I had. I had not
only just passed, but done so convincingly and with respectable
One of these 5 papers, I gave alone. Just me and the invigilator
in the entire darn classroom. Probably one of the shittiest
moments of my life.
But now, I had regained my confidence. I had learnt how to be
organized, how to plan and strategize. I had a technique to study
and I could study things faster than before. It was all new found.
In the next attempt of my one year hibernation, I cleared the
remaining 6 subjects.
So in the one year gap, I had cleared 5+6 subjects and I was
ready to go back to college with no weight on my back and with
a fresh mind. I was more nervous than ever before. Thoughts of
sitting in a new class, making new friends, being looked down
upon by my friends and lecturers created havoc in my mind. But
I somehow managed.
Now, the focus was to keep the momentum going and study
well. I always knew that the final degree certificate from VTU will
consider semesters 5,6,7,8 to declare the score of my BE. So I
focussed on scoring well.
In semester 5, I worked hard and scored a very respectable 66%.
When my results came, I jumped with joy!
Semester 6, I had a new goal. I wanted to score a distinction
(70%) at any cost. I worked my ass off. For some reason, the
papers were very tough, even for the usual top scorers. The
overall result was lower than normal and I could manage only
67%. I was so disappointed that my mother had to remind me of
my situation a year ago to make me feel better. 😛
Semester 7, my determination was higher than ever. I studied
hard from the beginning and maintained very good marks in
internal assessments, with the aim of scoring a distinction.
When I got my results, I could not believe my own eyes. I had
scored 79% and TOPPED my class. Messages started pouring in
on my cell phone. The usual topper of the class called and
congratulated me and I could just not believe what was
happening. My mother was in tears again, these were happy
Next day, I was called onto the dais by our lecturer. He knew my
history. He announced me as the topper. He even jokingly
wondered aloud if it was the same guy who’s been doing BE
from semester 1, or if the failure twin is sitting at home. Some
students in my “new” class who hadn’t noticed me till then
wondered if I dropped down a year due to attendance shortage.
From here onwards, there’s been no looking back. I work with
an MNC now and I am reasonably happy. I have seen some
major failures and the smaller, usual ones can’t set me back.
What did I learn from all this?
I am glad I learnt failure at a young age. I see many
guys who were successful academically, grapple with
I learnt who my friends are and I learnt to value
I learnt how to be an organized, calm and composed
individual in all situations. I learnt self-control.
I learnt that, no matter what, it is my parents who will
always be there for me. Others will judge me and put
me down. My parents never will.
No matter what, hard work pays. If not now, then
Have no regrets. Whatever happens, happens for a
reason. This failure was meant to happen to change
me as an individual. I grew up from a boy to be a
Taking responsibility for success is easy and comes
naturally. One needs titanium jewels to accept
responsibility for failure.
Looking for motivation from other sources is not bad,
but will help to only a certain extent. The best source
of motivation is yourself and your own thoughts.
Finally, I would like to say “You are who you want to be.” So go
out there and get what you want. Don’t let small and temporary
failures set you back. Cheers!
Thank you for reading this
have a good day!
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