How many people would have screwed their lives up by giving UPSC
I am very much qualified to answer this question.
I have exhausted all my attempts which obviously means that my UPSC journey went on for 7–8 long years.
Did it screw me ??
YES. BIG TIME.
I was a journalist by profession. And then UPSC happened to me ! At first, I decided to pursue it side by side. But my work demanded a lot of attention and hence I decided to quit. I began my UPSC preparations immediately.
First prelims- FAILED.
Second prelims : FAILED
Third prelims: FAILED
By then I had turned a little crazy because of three years of failure. During my Fourth prelims UPSC changed the paper pattern. It was a little risky for students like me, who were well versed with the old syllabus and notes. I decided to change my location and went to Pune. Going to Delhi, at that point of time, did not make any sense to me, because everybody was equally confused about the change.
Fourth Prelims: FAILED again..
Being in open category, we were allowed only four attempts. I was filled with sense of emptiness. One day i just broke down. Sensing the pressure, my parents tried hard to explain me that this exam was not an end to everything. Nevertheless I felt very hopeless and under-confident.
In the meantime, I started doing my Masters in political science. I appeared for State PSC (Maharashtra) and cleared their prelims too. But I was not happy. I appeared for STAFF SELECTION and cleared Tier 1, but that did not satisfy me as well.
After a year UPSC decided to extend the number of attempts for all categories. And the hope returned ! I still remember that day when the motivation had peaked at its highest. It was like breathing life again. When I look back, I feel like an idiot to consider this exam larger than life. Anyway!
Fifth prelims: FAILED.
The same year I decided to pursue law as I really had interest in it. I took addmisson in a reputed college. But the thought of UPSC made me withdraw my admission. I decided to try my luck once again wholeheartedly.
Sixth Prelims: FAILED.
And… it had ended…disastrously! I tried everything I could but had hit rock bottom. In all these years, I had given up on my social life, weekend trips, family functions, weddings, birthday parties, festivals. Most of my friends gave up on me assuming that I didn’t want to be in touch with them. This is what happens with every serious UPSC candidate. Why ? Because we don’t want to waste our time and more than that we hate it when we see our relatives and the only thing they want to know is “HOW MUCH TIME MORE IS IT GOING TO TAKE TO COMPLETE I.A.S STUDIES?” . Seriously! We don’t have any answers to your question and are already quite irritated by our own failures. Nobody is interested to know how much hardwork we put into in. So please! Leave us alone!
After spending some time in isolation, I took charge of my life. I gave law entrance and got into a reputed college. I had a liking for this field and saw it as my second best option.
Did UPSC ‘really’ screw me ?
When I gathered senses, I realised that UPSC had put me on a pedestal. I had gained general knowledge about everything, be it History, Geography, Economics, Science, Mathematics, logical reasoning, social issues, Indian Polity, etc. Lets face it. Nobody would want to read these books otherwise.
Staying updated with current affairs has become a habit now. I simply cant let it go.
My analytical skills have developed.
I lost many friends and I have no regrets about it. The true ones stayed and I am glad to have them in my life.
It was because of UPSC preparation that I secured decent marks in law entrance got admitted into a good college.
Above everything, these failures have taught me to be patient, stay grounded, and have a disciplined life.
My focus in life has changed. I have realised that there are many ways in which you can help people. UPSC was just one of them.
Today I am successfully pursuing Law and a lot of UPSC knowledge comes in handy. In the meantime I also met the love of my life and happily got married. I am thankful to him for supporting me in my career.
At the end I would like to say ‘Failure is not the opposite of success, it is a part of success. Let it not stop you.’
Thank you for reading.
Over and out.