I wondered what everybody was talking about when they used to talk about marks in school. I wondered why my friends were scolded by their parents and teachers. I was never a brilliant student, but well, I was never that person. My parents never had to ask me to work harder because I did, all by myself. But, quite frankly, I wondered always that what am I gaining! Who am I trying to be? Those days were about topping the school, or the stream or the state or the nation. It was always about beating expectations by scoring more of those numbers that kill us every living moment of our student life.!
And somewhere, I got lost in the crowd too. I admit today, as a student of a reputed institution, that I failed. I looked for diversions, all my life. I was insincere, and not dedicated. Today, as I have achieved what people call excellence, I am dying to cry out and say, that I have fallen short of it; because all my life, I have worked and admired to become successful, rich and famous (all of which, by the way, works on numbers). I have idolized and been made to worship others. And I am ashamed to admit, that I gave in.
I, like so many others, am in a system of chasing scores. And I hate it, like almost everyone in it. School pretty much laid the foundation to an incessant chase of scores, followed by Boards and the scare of a career. I was worried and scared and quite frankly, too timid to change the system. I couldn’t have, realistically! After all, the merciless suicides could not change it, my breathing life could have?
Apparently, what I heard all those school years,about 12th grade marks mattering for a career took no time to be conveniently replaced by “Nobody will ask your 12th grade marks”. Let me give you a heads-up- they do matter! They matter because somebody is scoring high, and you are humanly bound to compare. They matter because the system is so conveniently able to judge you on a three hour test. That is how brilliant human brains are! They matter because even a certain entrance test requires you to have a minimum percentage, of which some percentage is added additionally to your performance in the entrance test. They matter because this is the system telling you that you are not worth it and should give up or die trying.
College will always be that first flight at independence. The moment a young bird learns to fly, exposed to the wideness and eternity of the sky. And well, it will throw on you some pebbles. But, just when you are learning to be confident, it struck you with lightning. Now, you either die or injure yourself or you learn to duck! Who are you then, the one who got injured or the one who escaped? Marks matter! Marks matter because you are trying to gain an opportunity to sustain your livelihood, and if you don’t score well, the lightning strikes you.
Sit for placements or await that degree after the finals, and you will find everybody encouraging you by saying ‘marks do not matter’. Well, actually they do! But then why do they say that? Because they now know, they could not be Einsteins! There is no formula to being an Einstein! Your reality is different, you must have a certain percentage, no matter how difficult your course is, or you won’t get a job! Is it because jobs have exams too, and surely you are incapable of topping that? Or is it because your trajectory of marks decides how intelligent you are, whatever be your skills?
There is no one track method to be synonymous to another human being’s name. There is, however, a formula for being YOU. Stop believing you don’t matter. Nobody in your life will ever refer to you as ‘the one who scored 100%’, because nobody will remember! Your partner, your boss, your client, your educator or your parents! It will be just you, and nobody will hear you say that!
So, who are you trying to be? Mark Zuckerberg, Indra Nooyi, Sundar Pichai, or Brad Pitt?
Do you really want to be a copy on your screen that is edited?
You are trying to be somebody else, and you think marks will make you that? Are you sure?
Have you ran enough and not yet tired? Well, I am!
But am I ready to give up on my marks? Certainly not! I found a better way, I found diversions.
So, this last semester, you did not score well! Is it YOUR fault? Are you ready to succumb or just like me you also are running away with distractions?
Give yourself a chance, think about what would you say to that dying bird; was he doing well? Was it his fault?
Marks do matter, but they have a timeline. How long? A while!
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