A lot of free time tends to lead to a lot of self reflection, I remember this time last year, while preparing for an entrance that I thought was the most important exam of my life, I got a call from my best friend’s little sister. She was very stressed, wondering what subjects to take up in class 11. A few days later, when the board results were out, I tried to console her over the phone, because she didn’t think she’d done very well. I tried to explain to her that it wasn’t the end of the world, though a part of me knew she wouldn’t believe it.
Cut to two months later, and I had failed to clear the exam I had been killing myself over. Needless to say, it felt like a punch in the stomach. Everyone thought it would be a piece of cake, and I was already ‘in’. But as I scanned that list over and over again for my name, I felt like I was dying inside. I couldn’t believe this was happening to me, that someone like me didn’t have anything to do for the next year. My friends were all going to places I had dreamt of studying in, and I felt like I was stuck in the same place.
I can’t really claim to know anything about life, but having survived last year, I feel like I could have something useful to say. To everyone who succeeded at something this year, I just want to say, congratulations. But if you haven’t, it’s definitely not the end of the world. The results of anything unless they are of life and death importance, will stop mattering in a year and you will soon realize that this race never really ends.
You always think you can “enjoy yourself” after your class 10 exams, but then in the blink of an eye, class 12 rolls along. And then comes college-and then entrances. And then a job- and you realise that in waiting to enjoy yourself, you’d forgotten that there’s more to life than just success.
So if you are in college and fretting about success and failure, remember this. You will never be this young again; you will never again be in the place you are in now, where, to use a cliché, the world is your oyster. Now, you can be whatever you want to be. Here friends are just a phone call away, there to greet you when you walk through the gates of your second home. Where you don’t have to wonder what the hell you’ll be doing in six months, or a year-because you know that the next day you’re going to wake up and go to a place with familiar faces, who are there to share your happiness, your grief, and just to get you through the day.
When you’re 22 and nowhere close to being a Victoria’s Secret model, or to living in New York or London, it’s tough not to get a little jaded. You realise that maybe you won’t get that job as a BBC anchor, where you get to read out the news with the London skyline behind you. Maybe you won’t be a millionaire by the time you’re 30. Guys will come and go and maybe you won’t end up with the one you want. And when you have access to something like Facebook, where everyone else seems to be living an impossibly glamorous life, it can be hard to get up and face the day. But here’s the thing-it’ll all be okay. You will end up somewhere great-maybe not where you wanted to be, but somewhere even better.
It’s taken me a while myself to realise this, but there is so much more to life than exams and jobs, success and failure. There are so many wonderful things just waiting to happen. There are so many experiences yet to be had, there are so many places yet to be seen, and so many amazing people you are yet to meet.
So please, savour this time. It won’t come back. Soon cynicism won’t be just a word anymore but even then, know that grades and jobs and success and failure don’t define you.Most importantly, hold on to your sense of wonder.
— blogs at bicyclewithoutafish.wordpress.com