Sunday, March 16, 2008

Simple plan

-I didn't get full marks in my dictation test!
-Don't worry MG. It doesn't matter.

-I didn't become the Primary School Section head!
-Its ok MG. Nobody will pay attention to these kind of posts down the line

-My rank went down! I have gone from 4th rank to the 10th rank this half-yearly exam!
-Doesn't matter MG. Nobody will ever bother about these school marks of yours later

-I screwed up my 10th board exam!
-Doesn't matter! Won't make a difference to your future!

-I didn't get full marks in Science in my 12th boards!
-Its ok. You got good enough marks to get into a good university. Whether or not you got full marks won't make a difference.

I have found all that to be true. No matter how scary it is at that point of time, when people told me that certain things, like getting full marks in boards, don't matter because they don't make a difference, they were right. Nobody cares now what marks I got and I sure as hell didn't need full marks there to get admission in a good place. It didn't matter that I didn't write IIT-JEE exam like the million others who do it just because someone else wants them to. It didn't matter that I wasn't in the top ranks for the one entrance exam that I did write. Even though I got worked up about such things, I have come to realise that none of those things affect me today and will never affect me in future.

Since then, I have tried to see if any situation in my life that gets me down will affect me in the long run. If the answer is no, then no point worrying about it. And the answer has almost always been, "No, it won't make a difference a few years down the line". Pretty simple. All in black and white.

I always thought my plan was very straightforward - get a bachelor's degree in Science, masters and then Ph.D. Then either start working or on to post doc. Now it doesn't seem that easy. And I can't seem to make things simpler or less stressful by analysing whether it will make a difference down the line. The answer is always a "maybe" or "perhaps" or "I don't know". Nothing is as plain as it used to be

-I didn't get time to go to the career fair to submit my resume for a summer internship. Will it affect my future and my chances at an impressive resume?
-Perhaps

-I had class till such and such time and by the time I went to register for the career fair, all the vacancies were filled! Will it affect anything?
-Perhaps

-I am so swamped with work, be it lab or normal courses, and I don't have time to study for GRE. Will it affect anything?
-Don't know

-I may not get the best recommendation letter from my prof because I didn't get stellar results for my project. Will it affect my admission to graduate school or my job opportunities in a good lab?
-I think so

Shit! When did my simple plan for my simple life become so complex and puzzling? :(

4 comments:

doublehead said...

Simple plans always wotk for even the most complex situations. how do you get to decide whether you have got fantastic results in your UROPS or not? Let the peers decide it? How do you know your prof is not going to give you an excellent reco letter? Let the prof decide. How do you know whether you want MS or Ph.d? That you decide. How do I get into a good graduate school? Let your numbers on CGPA and GRE decide. Simple plans will let to simple solutions even for complex problems. Keep your fingers crossed.

doublehead said...

THE PARADOX OF OUR TIMES

We have bigger houses but smaller families;
more conveniences,but less time;
We have more degrees,but less wisdom;
more knowledge,but less judgement;
more experts,but more problems;
more medicines,but less healthiness;
We've been all the way to the moon and back,
but have trouble in crossing in the road.
We have powerful computers
but have less commmunication;
These are times of fast foods,
but also times of slow digestion;
Steep profits but shallow relationships;
These are times when we know more,
but wish to teach less!

Clueless said...

Oh, I wish life was simple, I really do. Unfortunately, the older you grow, the more complications arise to throw you out of sync. When you solve one problem, there's the next, staring you in the face. *sigh* I guess you just go through life hoping you'll be able to sort through all these problems the way you've sorted things out before.

Ultimately, nothing really matters in the long run. The really long run, I mean. You can take that in a positive way and make sure you don't stay depressed or worried about anything for too long. Just be confident and pray things will work out in the best way possible. :)

soleil said...

I guess Doublehead and Clueless have more or less said it. Life's not as simple as we'd like it to be but if it was, then it'd be boring with nothing to challenge us, to push us to our limits. What matters at the end of the day is how you feel about what you have done/achieved. If you're content then there isn't anyone who can make you feel otherwise. And if something doesn't seem to go your way, it may not always be a bad thing.