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'To mess up is not the end of the world'
Sathesh Murthy
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June 19, 2007

Faring badly in an important exam can be traumatic.

With the Class XII results out, and the Class X results scheduled to be declared soon, many students find themselves under tremendous stress, wondering how they have fared.

In case, you have not done as well as expected, do not be disheartened. Failure (or not doing well as expected), as the old adage goes, is just a stepping stone to success.

We asked Get Ahead readers who had not fared well in their exams to share their success stories with us. Here is what Sathesh Murthy had to say: 

I have had my ups and downs in academics.

Till Class VII, I was mediocre. In Class VIII, I was downright pathetic. I had pretty much failed in all my final exam papers (except English). For an unusual reason that year, however, everyone in my grade was automatically promoted. Otherwise, my life could have taken a turn for the worse.

I did exceedingly well in Class X and surprised everyone by coming third or fourth in my school. Since I had not expected to do all that well, I had not applied to any of the top notch colleges.

I did all right in Class XI. Come Class XII, I faced the biggest dilemma of my life. Do I focus on the board exams or prepare for IIT or do both, giving each the importance they required?

Doing the balancing act was never my strength; my decision to give both the board exam and my JEE only proved it once again. I messed up both exams and ended up doing BSc at an evening college.

I don't know whether my family was ashamed of me then because they never let me feel it.

Many of my friends felt I should give IIT another shot the following year. They believed I had a chance.

The fact that I had fared so badly must have affected me in some manner. I did not want to prepare again for JEE and decided to make the most of my BSc instead.

As it turned out, this was not a bad decision. I graduated as a gold medallist, did my MCA and passed out with a gold medal again.

Today, I work for a multinational as a senior manager. When we have our campus hiring drives, the colleges I visit are the ones I would have loved to study in. This gives me immense satisfaction and a great sense of pride.

There is a tried and tested path and no harm in following that. For those who are not so lucky, there is always a different path that leads to success and happiness. The key is to believe in yourself. To keep trying.

To mess up is not the end of the world. To lose hope and confidence is.

Keep that chin up all the time and keep trying.

Sathesh Murthy, 34, is senior manager in a Bangalore-based multinational firm.


'I was 18... and a failure'
'Low marks don't mean you have failed'

We invite readers who have had a successful career despite academic drawbacks to share their stories with us. If you have been successful in a vocation despite not having fared well academically, tell your story and help others in a similar situation turn their lives around.

Mail your contribution to, making sure to include your full name, age, occupation, the name of your city, and a photograph (if possible). We will publish it in the Get Ahead section of

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