Every year the headlines flash myriad versions of “CBSE XII Board Results Tomorrow”, producing infinite anxiety and suspense. Today, another lot got their own dose of shock, reward, and disappointment. My only wish is to congratulate them, out of empathy for the system we survive in.

From birth until the very end, we succumb to the pressures of competition. While some pass with flying colours, yet most us settle with the not so great marksheet. Today, numerous posts will shout— “YOUR PERCENTAGE DOESN’T MATTER”, and, from personal experience, I must attest to this. From being a ‘straight A student‘  to barely entering the golden 90+ range, my journey has been one of depression, introspection, and strength.

In 2017, out of over 10 lakh students, only 10,091 students scored over 95 percent and 63,247 students scored over 90 percent. While these high bracket percentages grant the privilege of getting into top universities, a forgotten side of the story is of those who don’t get their choice of college due to an even higher cut-off. “[It] felt like failing all over again, but I didn’t have the luxury to complain or whine about it”, as Vineeta Rana, the former Editor of DU Beat, aptly puts it.

While the hype around the country, state, and city toppers top the charts, somewhere in a discreet corner of newspaper lies one column news about student suicides that occur around the country. The reality is that parents and society pressure the child into an expectation of outperforming everyone. Given the unpredictability of CBSE, such expectations prove damaging to one’s mental health. If you are having suicidal thoughts or know someone who is, please get in touch with the required intervention. For assistance, here is a document compiling the dos and don’ts for parents and teachers.

In the face of the result before you, I want every student to realise that — favourable or unfavourable — your marks do not reflect your talent, personality, or your intellect. These numbers will only decide the college that you’ll be placed into and nothing beyond that. Yes, it is easier to have a head-start in your professional journey but, success will dawn upon those who will climb up the ladder, no matter where they have landed, and reach the goals they have set out to achieve.

I could give numerous examples of people who weren’t academically bright, yet have reached a sense of success in their lives. But, not only does this condone a traditional definition of success, associated with wealth and power, but I also realise how little this consoling can help you. The ‘pissing my pants’ feeling to the shattering effect of punching your details on the CBSE website will last for a while. Though I assure you it won’t last long. Maybe, three years from now you can give a TEDx talk on your journey. The idea is to just take this moment and live in it, not what you could have done in the past to make it better or what will happen in the future. Look for alternatives, if your Plan A (getting great grades and qualifying the cut off) has failed then formulate Plan B. There are more than one way to enter in Delhi University. You can still study for the 12 entrance based courses. Remember: When the going gets tough, keep going. You can do it. 

All the best! Brave through!

Feature Image Credits: Kartik Kakkar for DU Beat


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Sleepless nights, daily bouts of anxiety, and a fearful anticipation of what is to come: remember what the month of March meant back in your 12th grade?

If I were a time lord from Gallifrey and possessed the ability to cross the barriers of space and time, in no universe would I choose to relive the daunting experience the Central Board of Secondary Education nefariously termed as the Board examinations (assuming other worlds had this system). All students undergo the privilege of viewing these examinations in precisely three lenses: the early stages of 12th grade where the idea of taking the ‘most important’ examinations in one’s life is spiced up in all shades of worry, undergoing the boards in real time, and reflecting back on the turbulent period with retrospection.

The beginning of the last year of high school sets the anticipation for the next twelve months, structured with incessant study warnings and cycles of mock tests. As months’ pass, the degree of nostalgia and affinity harboured towards the school premises begins to grow, for the latter has been the platform of a million memories. This fusion of fond remembrances and anxious forebodings forms the crux of the second half of the academic session. Enter phase two, when the month of March brings with itself an endearing spring and a haunting set of examinations. This period may be looked in different ways; for some may approach the Boards with a sense of stoicism and ‘come what may happen’ attitude, and some may enter the halls with trepidation and uneasiness. A trend which has been observed by batches alike is the relative directness in the way questions are framed in Boards. Our preparation often conditions us to try diverse questions to become accustomed to handling a variety, so the real question paper might not seem all that difficult. Five/six examinations and innumerable panic attacks later, there comes a brief period of relief before the college hunt begins (days of relaxation and nothingness must wait!) where their culmination would be absorbed, and a final farewell to the portals of the school must be bid. School farewell and scribble days are two pillars which sustain one’s sanity amidst the chaos, don’t they?

Months and semester later, when we’re engulfed in a life of SGPAs, attendance issues, society frolic, and celebrating with friends new and old, the events of our respective Board years are fresh in our memories as another batch prepares to take the exams this week. All the anxious fears of the heart which believed that a month would define their futures now stand in question; for the results, do have a slight bearing on where one goes to college. But what one chooses to make out of the opportunities is individually-tailored. After receiving abundant advice on the dos and don’t(s) for this season, here’s a reality check for the soon to be pass outs: There must be a feeling which is spilling across your body, mind, and soul right now. I remember the waves of anxiety and incessant worry cycles which shall overturn you till the very end of this examination cycle. I remember the restlessness, the expectations, and the fear of failing. Days and hours later, you shall be beginning the journey you have been preparing for the past year. Wrapped up in a veil of terror and overhyped anticipation, the reality is far less scary. This month will end before you know, and each examination will be a success story if you don’t let the fear grip your heart.

Be prepared, be brave, and be ready!

Image Credits: Outlook India

Saumya Kalia

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