Hi lovelies! How are you all?
Today’s blog is going to be a little different from all the other blogs on my page. And I’ve been wanting to write this piece since forever now. So, here it goes.
I am from India (for my international readers) and there’s this one really, really anxiety-provoking thing that happens in my country. 12th class final examination. Now, almost 99% of the Indian teenagers are told one thing from the beginning of time, and that is, “Beta, boards mei ache se mehnat karna, 97% se upar marks laane ki koshish karna. SRCC/Stephen’s/Hindu mei tabhi hopaayega.” I’ll translate this to English, “Dear, work very hard for your boards (a popular name for the 12th class final examination). Try and achieve a score of higher than 97%. It will only be then that you’ll be able to get into SRCC/Stephen’s/Hindu.”
Now, these are some very popular and top class colleges which come under Delhi University (DU), India’s number 1 institute for under-graduate program. And mind you, this is only for the general category (or unreserved category) students. The amazing reservation system in India creates a lot of disparities between people of reserved and unreserved classes. But, that is a whole other topic. However, even people of the reserved classes need about 92% and above to make it in any of the ‘best’ DU colleges.
There is also another set of students in 12th grade. These ones are the candidates aspiring to become doctors and engineers by cracking IIT and NEET (we’re still doubtful about this one). There is nothing different about these ones except of added pressure and expectations.
Now that I have addressed the problem, let me write what I really wanted to write.
ALL OF THE PRESSURE, IT IS WORTHLESS. No matter if it’s due to the Indian education system, or any other system in any part of the world. I’m just going to take the example of something that I have faced.
Many of you might have heard this line in capital and bold from many people around you and you just didn’t care to pay attention to it because you thought they probably are through with their piece of headache and they got through it pretty amazingly. But honestly guys, the pressure’s not worth it. I gave my boards this year and I got an 88.75%. I worked hard, really hard. All my exams went way too smoothly and I was expecting a 95% at least. When I saw my result, I was devastated. Like any other child of India, I wanted DU. But seeing the marks I got, in that instant, all my dreams were shattered and seemed over. I kept getting flashbacks of how my parents were expecting a 95% above from me and how I let them down. I was getting calls from my friends and I didn’t answer any. I was busy crying and cursing myself for what I had done to my career. 88.75% was like failing to me. And let me tell you, I was being a complete idiot. I started hearing about other people’s results and I was in a state of total shock (after recovering from the previous one I had). Children, who studied with me, same class, for two years, were getting their scores in 90s and 80s. Now, why this was shocking was because they literally failed in the terms we just had a month before our boards. I saw around 150 results, marks of many children in every subject and then it hit me, it’s another government handled thing that had been done. I knew, to be very frank, deserved more marks. And after realizing many things, I slowly started coming back to my senses and talked it all out with my parents. I started feeling a little better. A day later, I went to my school, the teachers congratulated me, said that they were expecting more but what I had achieved, was also good. And then, one teacher told me, “Prakriti, boards marks are all a fluke.” This relaxed me the most.
I started doing my research about the courses and what I could do to get into DU. I got to know that the university holds sports and extracurricular activities (ECA) trials and auditions, and students who qualify them can get into DU. One door opened for me because I’m a pretty decent dancer. Then, I came across the course of philosophy honors. I chose the course and started waiting for the cut-offs. The cut-off lists came for all the DU colleges. In the first list, I didn’t qualify for philosophy honors in any college. I was short by 1 mark for the course in the college I wanted. However, I got through for BA programme in one of the finest colleges of DU, Kamala Nehru College. However, I wasn’t satisfied. I was eagerly waiting for the second list, hoping that philosophy honors would remain open in the college I wanted as there were only 16 seats in total for the general category. The second list came, and I got through for philosophy honors in Gargi College, the college I wanted from the beginning. I was elated. I still am. I didn’t have to give the ECA trials and I got in through with the percentage I had. I earlier wanted to pursue honors in journalism from DU, but you know I was 17 and not sure of anything. After getting my result, I looked up for more courses that I could get with the percentage I had and I found philosophy. Now, this isn’t something that I did because I had no other option (I still had a chance through ECA), I went for the course because I really liked its syllabus and content. It seemed very interesting to me and trust me, I am so looking forward to study it.
Now, I know many of you will think that I’m just cribbing unnecessarily; I had a pretty decent percentage and stuff. But if you know about DU, then it really isn’t. And there’s a lot of worrying that comes with such a score. But my point is not that. I know people with a 70% who got into Stephen’s, SRCC and Hindu through ECA and Sports quota. My point is, don’t get stressed. You might not be good in academics, but everyone has a talent. Hold on to that talent, and work towards it. It’ll help you more than you think it will. My point is, you might be good in academics but due to some reason you would not be able to perform well in your exams, but don’t stress out. Life is much more than one exam, be it boards or any entrance. Life is more than 95%, 97%or DU. It is all just some really over-hyped stuff. I’m not saying this because I got through; I’m saying this because it is true. We all know about the suicide rate among teenagers, especially during their board’s exams and results. Your life is way too precious than a few numbers and a degree. Discover your talent. Work on it. It can be science, history, mathematics, dancing, music, acting or designing. Work hard. Don’t be disappointed if you don’t get the result immediately. One day, you will get it. And, don’t stress over anything in life. You’re just creating an anxiety disorder for yourself. It won’t help. Think of the solution to the problem. Think of ways to achieve something that you badly want (legal ways). Keep working and keep creating your own path. Life will definitely become easy.