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From NIT to IIT to IIM Bangalore - Arpit Agarwal's Inspirational Story

Updated: Jun 29, 2020

Have you ever tried to achieve something, not succeeded and wondered, "Should I even try for it again? Am I going to make it happen this time? What if I don't succeed?" If yes, this post is definitely for you. It takes a lot of courage to pick yourself up and make yourself believe that you can do it. Here is an inspirational story which will show you how goals are set, life is prioritized and dreams are fulfilled.

This is the story of Arpit Agarwal, an alumnus of IIM Bangalore, PGP Batch of 2018-2020. This is his story of deciding to make it to an IIT despite all odds, despite people telling him, "It's nearly impossible". It's the story of his grit, his determination, it's the story of his life.

Arpit Agarwal IIM Bangalore IIT Roorkee
Arpit Agarwal, IIM Bangalore

In His Own Words..

I am lucky to have been able to study in all three best institutes of India - an NIT, an IIT, and an IIM.

I was one among that unlucky batch of 2013 when JEE Mains and Advanced was introduced and class 12 marks were included in the merit list for JEE Mains examination. I had been preparing for the JEE for the last two years but had little idea about colleges and counseling process in general.

I had always dreamt of getting into an IIT but always felt like I could never make it. Among millions of aspirants, it seemed a real difficult task. I gave the JEE Mains and Advanced in 2013 and got a rank of 11000 in JEE Mains and 6384 in JEE Advanced. I was very disappointed with the results. I appeared for the counseling and was allotted Malaviya National Institute of Technology (MNIT), Jaipur. My fears came true. I did not get an IIT. Although I was sad, my family convinced me to get admitted as it was still an achievement getting into NIT. I was getting ceramic engineering in some IIT but I did not take up that seat.

My mother and I reached the NIT campus and frankly I wasn’t impressed at all with the Infrastructure. Long, deserted dusty roads, random trees, construction material lying randomly all around and no clear directions where to report. I was unable to imagine spending the next four years there. The formalities got over and normal classes began. I tried my best to get involved in the day-to-day activities and somehow find normalcy. I studied a lot and secured 9+ CGPA in the first semester, but then something struck me real hard.

I was not able to concentrate on anything. Everything seemed dull and boring. Every day I just googled pictures of IITs and the happening life there. Wherever I saw, whatever I read, the word IIT flashed before me. I just couldn’t spend a day more there. I decided to appear for the JEE again. It was January and the exam was just 5 months away. All my friends at MNIT suggested otherwise and barring a few others, mostly made fun of me. It was a tough call going against everyone and risking an entire semester at MNIT.

“People can’t clear JEE after two years of wholehearted preparation, how will you manage in 5 months along with the semester classes and exams?” Almost everyone said this. But I did not even think about it. I just wanted to take the exam again. I was solving JEE problems in labs, in classes, during fests and every spare second I got. I took a month of medical leave to fine-tune my preparation.

In the second semester at MNIT, I scored 5 CGPA but secured AIR 1816 in the JEE examination securing a seat in IIT Roorkee and living my dreams.

My message for anyone, who has faced a similar situation, is: "Competing is the easiest when you don't know who your rival is. So, give your best without being complacent. I have always loved taking competitive exams because you have a goal in mind, a set timeline, and you don't know who you're competing against. Beat yourself everyday and you'll surely succeed."


So, that was Arpit Agarwal, a perfect example in front of you that if you're not happy with where you are, work hard and change what lies ahead of you. And, don't think for a second that the journey is going to be easy, it's going to hurt. But like Muhammad Ali once said, "I don't count my sit-ups, I only start counting when it starts hurting because they are the only ones that count."

An immense amount of respect for Arpit and tonnes of gratitude for taking out the time to pen down his story and share with the ones who need it the most. To know more about his life and journey, you can follow him on Quora.

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