I am Medha Bhushan and i have secured rank 185 in UPSC CSE 2018.This was my 5th attempt and i cleared it with History as my optional.I am a student of the humanities,having completed my graduation in history(honours).I am writing this blog to share my UPSC journey with all of you.
So,when did i think about becoming a civil servant? I do not remember a particular time when i decided.When i was growing up i wanted to be various things- doctor,singer and even an astronaut.But by the time i reached in class 11,civil service as a career was ingrained in my mind.This was the result of a careful analysis of my abilities as by now i had come to realise that my interest lay in the humanities.And civil services seemed to be the logical next step for me.Also,my parents and my extended family was very keen on my pursuing civil services and as such there was no conflict of interest there.
LIVING AWAY FROM HOME
It was a decided fact that it would be difficult to stay in Patna(my home town) and prepare for this exam because back in 2013 when i started preparing for UPSC seriously,there was lack of ample guidance here.Also, there was no background of civil services in my family.Therefore, i decided to go to New Delhi to prepare for the examination.
After a few initial hiccups, i got used to the hostel life in Delhi.
1ST ATTEMPT 2014
I gave this attempt just because of one reason-“ek baar exam me baith ke to dekho”. This is an often repeated quote in competitive exam circles.It was not that i had not studied,just that i knew that i had not studied enough.As was expected,i couldn’t even qualify the prelims.This was the first time i had ever failed in an exam.I am saying this because i had always been an academically good student,having secured 1st rank in class 10,12 and being among the toppers in my University.
2nd ATTEMPT 2015
I didn’t let the failure bog me down. I did everything right in my second attempt ,but still wasn’t able to clear the prelims.Often in failure we tend to doubt our abilities. Am i good enough? But i had such a strong support system in my family and my friends that even if i wanted to doubt myself,i couldn’t .I couldn’t give up so just to keep my studies in a flow i sat for a number of other exams like RBI Grade B, LIC AAO, NABARD, Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha,etc . Of course i was unable to make it to the final list of any of these exams.
3rd ATTEMPT 2016
Motivation….how to sustain it after 2 failed attempts in UPSC and half a dozen other failures? In my first two attempts ,motivation had never been an issue,because i was full of zeal and energy for this exam.Fresh out of college,i thought i would be able to crack civil services in a couple of years.But,as things turned out,this was not to be.The struggle in this attempt and the next 2 attempts was to keep myself highly motivated in going through the same routine again.Living alone in Delhi was hard enough,add to that the exam stress.
This is an age of distractions and i intended to avoid any. In my 5 years of staying away,i visited home only 5 times,once every year.I missed the weddings of my cousins.I have a lot of relatives in Delhi,but i rarely visited them.I was not on social media.All these personal sacrifices were to ensure just one thing-success.
Finally,it paid off.I went till the interview stage in this attempt.But ,the worst was yet to come.I couldn’t make it to the final list.I was broken ,shattered, i do not have words to describe that feeling of utter emptiness.
4TH ATTEMPT 2017
I shouldn’t have given this attempt at all.Result of UPSC interview came out on 30th may 2017 and the next prelims was on 18th june 2017.I studied for just 18 days in a depressed mental state and gave the exam.After failing in this prelims too, i had decided to give one last attempt of 2018 and then come out of this circle of UPSC and do something else with my life.
5TH ATTEMPT 2018
My fear had always been prelims,as is evident from my journey.In this prelims too,i did not do well and sadly exclaimed to my parents that Upsc journey over for me.This was the only time when i had given up all hopes for a positive result.Also , this year my father was retiring from his service ,so i needed a job badly.
Someone had told me once that when you reach a particular level in your life,things start turning out your way.
On june 26 2018 ,i got selected into the Intelligence Bureau as an ACIO.This came as a huge relief to my family,who needed this good news.I did not fail any exam from then onwards.I cleared prelims by a margin of 2 marks.The UPSC mains exam fell during the retirement week of my father. Since i had given Patna as my exam centre, I had to live one block away from my home to avoid any distraction.
I reached the interview stage and finally got my name in the coveted list.
EVERYTHING WILL BE WORTH IT
One of my friends,who had already succeeded in this exam, had once told me that everything ,all your hardwork,all your patience,all your perseverance,all your sacrifices will be worth it in the end ,because you will get to serve your Nation.
And these words rang in my ears when i finally saw my name in the list.