What do you say to a 12th standard student who didn’t take 12th “seriously” enough; went for parties and sleepovers, wasted time in college, took part in extracurricular activities and just had a good time; and ended up with a mediocre 75%? Most people would be shocked, some even scandalised, to hear of such an atrocity. Bangles would dramatically break, the wind would howl with fury and the Gods would make their disdain known by telepathically putting out all the house diyas and candles.
But this tale of The Indifferent 12th Standard Student doesn’t end with the judgemental sneers of society. This is his/her side of the story. And for starters, The Indifferent 12th Standard Student would like you to know that they are in fact, very, very happy with their “mediocre 75%”.
It’s not easy being a 12th standard student in India. Everybody and their long-lost relatives wants to know what you are studying, whether you’re going for tuitions, how your preparation is coming along, how many sample papers you’ve solved and if you’ve donated a kidney to the Gods of Exams yet.
The trick is to know yourself. The Indifferent 12th Standard Student knew that practical life lessons were more valuable to them than the theoretical education they were getting in school. So they decided to divide their time evenly between studying and learning. The Indifferent 12th Standard Student didn’t give up on the simpler pleasures of life in order to live up to society’s expectations of a 12th standard student: they read lots of books, watched movies and TV shows, attended plays, took part in extra-curricular activities, listened to music, learnt a second language. Alongside all this, The Indifferent 12th Standard Student studied.
In retrospect, 12th has taught The Indifferent 12th Standard Student how to be independent and live on their own terms. It is because of all those parties, sleepovers, college festivals, and every last “waste of time”, that The Indifferent 12th Standard Student has learned how to take care of themselves and to value their independence. Currently, The Indifferent 12th Standard Student has earned admission to a good, reputed college, on the back of his/her 75% (with a little help from entrance exams) having made a lifetime of memories, the best friends they’ve ever had and learnt a lot more about life than what their textbooks might have taught them.
In the end, it comes down to the fact that a 90+ percentage won’t come to your rescue in a crisis, it’s your 4AM friends who will. And in the case of The Indifferent 12th Standard Student, the choice of pursuing either of those, always tipped in favour of the friendships and good times. The lasting thing that can be said of him/her and what I hope will resonate with some of you, is that The Indifferent 12th Standard Student has absolutely no regrets.
Janhavi has taken admission to the 4 year liberal arts course at Symbiosis Pune