I don’t care if you scored a 100, a 90 or a 70 or even a 40, congratulations anyway. You have lived through 12 years of school life and I cannot wait to see you taste the best phase of your life. A good college is only as good as you make it. Being there on the other side of the fence, I can place my bet on it.
I remember the eventful morning of late summer in 2011 when my stomach couldn’t stop churning and the CBSE website wouldn’t start loading.
My phone kept buzzing and my Facebook feed started overflowing with incessant statuses of show-offs pretending to be humble, successful students. I will be honest. I expected to score somewhere in the 80s. Yet, when my friends started calling me up exclaiming how shocked and appalled they were on scoring in the 90s, my expectations upped unreasonably.
So finally when the results did load, my heart sank.
In spite of scoring exactly what I thought I would, I was disappointed.
I had scored 85. Was it bad? I don’t think so.
Yet I was heart-broken.
I was anxious and horrified as I saw my future loom in darkness. The unified clan of relative, neighbors and competing students mocked my conscience as DU cut-offs reached sky high and my Facebook college profile remained pretty much empty till my entrance results were announced.
There were some of my friends who would call me nuts for sulking on 85. Then there were few who looked much more disappointed on hearing 85 than my own parents were. And then I saw those scoring even 90s settling for mediocre colleges when their reasonable expectations wanted elite north campus colleges – such is life. Which is when I realized, no matter how hard you work, how much you score, the shining glory of other people will always make you feel less.
Five years later, I can assure you, comparison sucks and will always do so.
Life happened, as it would have anyway, and I am more than fine today. So are the others. And if there is any regret, not scoring much in Class 12 is definitely not one of them.
I can quote several people I have met from the time I started working:
”Sometimes I wish I hadn’t scored as much as I did. Maybe I would have spared a thought in the profession I’d want to be in for the rest of my life, rather than the fancy course or college I’d spend my three years in.”
I am indeed one of those. Life brought me to listen to my calling of being a writer eventually. Perhaps, I would have landed here sooner if ‘life-as-it-should-be’ wouldn’t have distracted me. But who knows, life could have still taken a full circle to get me where I am today.
Let not a piece of paper you wrote rote-ing the previous night be the reason to define YOU. Let not those five subjects define your interest or passion for something you’ve not even tried your hands on. Let not your distant cousins results affect you. They are really boarded on a completely different train.
Because when we, the people on the other side, tell you it doesn’t matter, trust us that it won’t.
Not you, your kids or even your parents would remember your board exam results. Your career should find its passion eventually somewhere in your life – irrespective of the college you pass out from.
Please do not choose a course for its dazzling college life or its ‘safety net’ – because this is definitely something you will regret once you pass out after three years and then slog to give eight hours to something you’ve got no passion for.
You might just realize it sooner when you’d study for your exams and get a trailer during one of those internships. Ask yourself, ”Am I ready to do this every day for the coming years?” ”Am I feeling excited while doing it?” I did and thank god I had an answer for it.
Life will give you many opportunities to make it and break it. This was just the first one.
Don’t take it so seriously yet. Be excited for your college. It will give you memories you’ll cherish for years to come. Live them!
Welcome to the real world.
Lessons here will not come in printed textbooks. You will have fun – no matter which college you are in. You will make some new friends, lose some old ones, find some summer love, have your heart broken, but more importantly, you will learn to pick yourself every time you fall – the only lesson school never taught us.
And then, your board mark sheet will just be that – a sheet of paper you’ll proudly read announcing your lowest denomination of marks to tell the world how it really doesn’t matter in the end.