I got just 90% in my class 12 board exams.
It took me weeks to get over this disappointment.
Now, before you start rolling out memes of this statement, let me clarify that I was one of the teacher’s favourite student and great expectations were pinned on me. It just seemed like the most obvious thing for everybody who knew me that I would be scoring above 90%, given how much serious I was for my academics.
And this is exactly why I couldn’t stop my tears when I saw the results on the computer screen. It took a serious effort and a whole lot of counselling from my teachers and mother for over a week before I could smile again. Now, I am writing this about what I went through after completing my bachelor’s degree – for all those who might be feeling the same and going through the same phase as now the board results are out.
I am writing about this because I have realised this over the years that there are many people like me who fell short of what was expected from them. There is no dearth of articles on net about how marks are not important in the journey of life and there is no shortage of words of motivation that come from the people who have done well in the same examination. But neither of them soothes the pain of those like me who fell short of expectation. Status of people like me doesn’t fit into either of those two categories. It stands somewhere in the middle as something which is inexplicable. Very few people understood what it was like to be in my position on that day as my percentage was not low. It was just not good enough to satisfy what was expected of me, and most importantly what I expected of myself. It was the latter that was hurting the most.
All my friends were ecstatic about their scores and were putting them up as Facebook statuses. Some had not expected such high percentage and were in excited. And here was I, refreshing the page on my computer screen in utter disbelief. All my exams went well and yet I fell short of expectations in each and every subject by a few marks. I had to smile and talk over the phone while answering to all curious relatives. While I was doing this, I was chocking from inside. A couple of hours later, I couldn’t stop myself and cried my heart out to my mother through the evening and such bouts of tears continued for several days.
Nothing was working out for me as I was trying every bit to get out of this mess. Partly because I didn’t want to reject the importance of marks as a consolation to make myself feel better. After all, I had been working hard the whole year to get myself these marks. And I also knew that at the end of the day, good marks are an epitome of academic achievement. Agreed, there were people who had done worse than me but this was my journey and it was my expectations that I had been falling short of. This was not how I wanted to end my glorious years at school. I was angry, dejected and felt betrayed.
Then, there was light at the end of the tunnel. About a month later, I got to admission into a good college in the course I wanted to get into.
I am not writing this to paint myself as a champion who came out of crisis rather as a piece of advice to all those who are going through the same thing now. It is OK to not meet your expectations just give yourself time to handle these emotions. Cry them out. This experience of going through what it feels like to be bogged down and subsequently come out of that feeling would make you emotionally strong and stable. Board exam results are a combination of hard work and luck. Not let the other half ruin the confidence which first half gave you. Life is full of pleasant and unpleasant surprises. What you learned now, is what life will eventually teach everyone.
Now, finally, the billion dollar question: “Are (Board) marks important?”
My answer would be a very big YES.
They are important for two reasons:
- First, they help you meet the cut off of your dream college.
- Second, you get to learn a lot of life lessons whole year leading up to the final exams.
Either way, it’s your victory because, in the longer run, it is the application of these life lessons that would matter not the ones that you learned from the test books.