“Why CH401 was the most moving course I undertook” – Harshvardhan Nigam

11 out of 30. Yes, that is what I scored in my mid-term. I was gravely taken back. You may ask what’s the big deal?. Let me give you a little back story.

Why it bothered me so much?

After doing exceedingly well in my sophomore year in terms of academics, not being able to manage this course was getting on my nerves. My seniors had already warned me about this course as to how most B.S students struggled to meet the rigor this course demands. However, I felt helpless as I was now experiencing the exact same tussle which my seniors cautioned me of.

In case you are wondering that I did not study for the exam, let me make it  clear that I did, but the results of which bore no fruit to me quite evidently.

After my Quiz 1 marks (3/10), I was already alerted . It had given me the flavor as to what was in store for me ahead. To my utter disbelief, even after working hard for my mid-term, I couldn’t gain the results that I expected. 

The Road Not Taken Made All The Difference

That moment was when I had to make a choice. With two options lying ahead of me, I thought. The first being, I could blame my dislike for organic chemistry, how it’s not my problem but instead the subject in itself. The second being, I change my study strategy and confront the problems upfront. 

Now I won’t be writing this article had I chosen the first choice. Choosing the second option wasn’t an MCQ question I was facing, I had to reorient my study pattern altogether, which isn’t as easy as it sounds.

I pinged some batchmates because I knew I couldn’t get through this alone. As I expected, many of them felt the same agony I was going through. I roped in a few and got together to form our own study group. We decided we would start studying together in a group. Believe it or not the process became much simpler. We were accountable to each other and social pressure helped us sail through. We taught the topic we had learned to each other. 

Slowly and gradually my quiz 2 performance showed recovery but I still had a long way ahead. 

Endsem carried a bulky 50% and to ace that was a mammoth task which we had to take head-on. We went all out, right before the end sem exam, we did a night out at the LCH. Had I been alone I would have given up long back and slept, but my new friends gave me hope and we never gave up until we had finished the syllabus thoroughly.

I was so relieved after taking the exam that I almost forgot about it and focussed on the remaining exams.

Result Time

However, when the professor announced the answer sheet showing the session, I was a little scared and planned not to go. I had always scored much less than what I had expected in organic chemistry every time so I thought this time would be no exception.

Days passed and I was anxious because I did not know how my new strategy worked. 

Finally I went to meet the professor personally and the first question he asked me was, how many marks I expected to get.  Now I have had a bad experience in the past to not be ambitious about my organic chemistry marks, so I told the professor that I was looking at 20-25. He then handed me the answer sheet and I was left shocked by seeing my marks. They were 40/50. It was way beyond my expectations. I left his office with a big grin and texted my study gang.

One of my friends in the study group had passed with a CC(6) grade. I was happier for him. Before you judge his grade, let me tell you that he was on the verge of failing in the course and even had stopped attending the lectures. The friend who taught us all topped our B.S batch and did exceedingly well for himself.

Not only did I earn a grade beyond my expectations, but I also earned some really good friends in this process. This was truly a win-win journey we got onto. I shall forever be grateful to CH401 for teaching me something more than organic chemistry.

This picture was taken at 5 am after preparing for our exam all night long 

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