If you are a woman in business and want to share your business story, then share it with us here and get featured!

Anxious, Mutedly Depressed, and Sleepless: The Journey of NEET Applicants

TW: Mentions of self-harm

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) revealed that student suicides reached a five-year high, with 13,089 students dying by suicide in 2021, compared to 12,526 in 2020. Based on the data, a student committed suicide every forty-two minutes in 2020. 

Mental Health Among NEET Applicants Ignored

Needless to say, the National Eligibility cum Admission Test (NEET) has a lot of candidates each year and is quite competitive. It is one of the most significant admission tests for candidates seeking a medical career in India, for instance, for applicants seeking to enroll in undergraduate MBBS and BDS programs in government or private medical colleges across India. Because of its cutthroat nature and importance for students’ prospective medical careers, studying for the NEET test may be an uphill battle. The expectations from parents, time constraints, extensive curriculum, intense rivalry, and the dread of failure are only a few causes of the stress related to preparation.

According to statistics, counselors estimate that at least sixty to seventy percent of students are more susceptible to depression and anxiety due to repeat tests. The schooling pathway with board exams is as challenging as it is. The addition of an entrance exam needs a lot of effort. The concern of mental health among NEET applicants needs to be considered. The students are under intense tension to perform well on the test. The performance pressure may cause psychological discomfort and consequent self-harm. 

I spoke to two friends to understand their NEET journey. I wished to learn more about their difficulties and triumphs in studying for and taking the test. Today I share their personal narratives with you. 

Aman Sahva

“Successful people say we need to have a vision to achieve. For that, we need to dream, then plan out and execute. Make it happen. I had everything planned. I dreamt. I had an agenda. I tried to accomplish it. But the pandemic was unexpected. I have been preparing for NEET 2022 since 2020. 

But I am currently studying for NEET 2024. I completed 12th grade from school. The first attempt was barely just an attempt. I lost all my confidence and began self-doubting. I was trapped with guilt for more than a year. I was anxious, mutedly depressed, and had numerous sleepless nights. These drove me to self-harm. I punished myself for not attaining my dreams and acing the journey. I decided to give a second attempt this year. That’s when I was down with health issues for five months, some days in the hospital, some at home, some at the hostel. Days of weeping, tears out of pain and weakness with no one to take care of me and clean my frequent vomiting. 

The second attempt at NEET also ended up badly. During all these mental and physical struggles, there are naysayers, criticizing relatives, a judgemental society, and stereotypical ideologies haunting and torturing me to pull me back and get me grounded within their opinions and ideas. But even during these days and hard times of struggle, I didn’t quit. I studied even with more spirit but with no confidence. And I am still gathering myself back on track for the third exam attempt next year. Is this journey easy? Of course NOT. But I try my best to put the best of me for achieving my dream. If not NOW, THEN WHEN?”

Never miss real stories from India's women.

Register Now

Lini Sweet

“Try, try until you succeed.

It is a quote I have heard for as long as I can remember. But trying to succeed is not as easy as everyone thinks it is. Especially if it is a highly competitive exam in which you compete to achieve your dream against 22 lakh students. In such a stressful situation, one begins doubting themselves. The same happened to me. Each day a new question popped up in my mind. Will I be able to do it? Am I wasting my parents’ money? Am I on the right path? Am I wasting my time?

It does not matter how many people I have as a support system. At the end of the day, I am on my own. And only I understand my situation and problems the best. I learned to surround myself with people I trust in my best interest. A daily dose of positive input only does someone good. Also, I realized how to ask for help. As an overthinker myself, I know what it is like to imagine the worst out of any situation in my head. My advice is to know that you are not alone. You may not see the daily battle someone has to fight with themselves every day, but that doesn’t deny its existence. We humans though given the gift of speech, unlike other animals, are probably the ones with the most communication issues amongst ourselves. Such an irony. Communication is the key!” 

In conclusion, a conversation with Aman and Lini provided a window into the challenging route endured by NEET applicants. It is easy to pass judgment but a struggle to live their lives. It is high time parents, stakeholders, including educational institutions and society, recognize the significance of mental health in the journey. The curriculum could benefit from including mental health education and coping skills to equip students with the tools they need to overcome adversities. But alone, it may not be enough to help the struggles the students experience daily. 

Pressure. Socially estranged. Loss of childhood. No hobbies. Health decline. Existential crisis. 

Are you preparing for NEET? Or did you write the exam? How was your experience? Do you think the system should change? 


About the Author

1 Posts | 137 Views

Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!

All Categories