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By you desk
Tue, 10, 19

I am a 20-year-old girl. I'm studying engineering, and to become an engineer has been my passion and my goal....

Dear Nadine,

I am a 20-year-old girl. I'm studying engineering, and to become an engineer has been my passion and my goal. While doing F. Sc, I knew I had to score high and worked extremely hard throughout the year. Just a day before my exam papers started, I was struck by a random fear: I would not get the required scores for getting admission into the engineering university. I became so depressed and panicked that my parents took me to a doctor. He gave me some pill to relax and sleep. While taking my exams, I kept on having this fear again and again. Somehow, I managed to get the required scores and cleared the university's entrance test. I even managed to get the field I wanted. After that, I was fine for some time and did well in class and projects. But, in my semester exam, I had the same fears and did badly. Even my teachers were surprised because I did well throughout in class but failed to get good grades.

My friends, my class fellows and teachers think that I am intelligent but erratic and careless. But they are wrong: I am not careless or erratic. I am just pathetic, and am tired of the way I feel sick during exams.

At times I feel Allah Almighty is not happy with me, that's why all this is happening to me. I feel like killing myself, because I can end my life but cannot quit engineering. It's my passion. All my friends are getting great degrees. My siblings are doing great in their respective fields. What should I do? At least say something to encourage me.

Despondent Student

Dear Despondent Student,

You are an intelligent girl, and I believe you have a great future ahead in your chosen field. Despite not being well, you managed to get good grades, and passed the entry test. This shows that you are an intelligent and strong person. You just have a fear of taking exam, and because of this you get yourself all worked up before and during exams.

My dear, you are a bit depressed, which is why you are feeling you are 'pathetic'. Pathetic people don't get in engineering universities. You were so passionate about getting into the engineering university, that you had an anxiety attack. First of all, you need to take a semester break and consult a psychologist. If it works out for you, go back to studies otherwise see a psychiatrist. I am sure your problem will be taken care of.

As for saying Allah Almighty is not happy with you, think who helped you to get in the university when you were sick? And please don't talk about suicide; it's not the answer to any problem. Think about your parents who have stood by you since you developed this exam fear. Life is the most precious gift of the Almighty; don't talk about ending it just because you have a problem. Try your best to relax and get the help you need, and you will make up for the lost time in terms of achievement. Don't give up on your dream and work hard. You are young and smart, and all you need is a little help to get you through this rough patch. You will endure! Good luck!

Problems that need a solution? You can e mail

Prof. Nadine Khan at [email protected]

Write to Prof. Nadine Khan, ­c/o Editor ‘You!’ magazine, The News, Al-Rehman Building (4th Floor) I.I. Chundrigar Road, Karachi.