In light of the recent board exam results, here’s my take on what’s next. Remember- this is not the end, no matter what. It’s just the beginning 🙂
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Another academic year has drawn to an end, and millions of teenagers across the country have received the fruit of their hard-work and tireless striving- their board exam results.
This period of time is particularly stressful for parents and children alike. We’re all on the edge of our seats, eager to know what destiny holds in store for us. We’ve all spent sleepless nights studying and worrying about our exams. We’ve had roadblocks in our journey, times when we felt giving up was much easier than moving on. But, here we are- we lived through it all, and we’ve emerged stronger, and smarter.
Ever since I was a child, countless acquaintances have asked me this question- ‘What would you like to be, when you grow up?’
My answer was different each time. How I miss my halcyon days! My mind was eager to figure everything out, eager to learn. I longed to be something different each day. I wanted to be an author, a pilot, a cardiologist, a speaker, an astronaut- my fickle mind couldn’t stick to one profession.
‘I want to be everything at once!’ I’d exclaim, not knowing that it would be impossible to be everything I wanted.
And then, ever so suddenly. I grew up.
The child in me was lost somewhere, or so I think. I didn’t have answers to questions anymore. I didn’t know where I was going, and what I wanted to do.
I felt bogged down, and defeated, by the education system. Somehow, the pressure became too much to handle.
One by one, I let go of all the ambitions I’d been holding so close to my heart. Suddenly, I didn’t want to go to space anymore, and feel the stars. I didn’t want to fly an airplane either. I stopped working on story ideas- just because people asked me to pick something different.
My parents stood by me through it all, reaffirming my belief in the fact that I could be whatever I wanted- as long as I was happy. 🙂
But people around me thought otherwise. I was encouraged to abandon my ‘unrealistic’ dreams, and pick something more common, better perceived by society.
Suddenly, the opinions of relatives who didn’t matter started meaning a lot to me. I was frustrated, because I was pressurised by them to make a decision; and to make one quickly.
I was encouraged to pick a stream that they thought I should.
‘But your grades are so good!’ they’d justify their claim. ‘Don’t waste your intelligence doing something mediocre.’
Today, I’m proud to say, that I’ve let go of their opinions. My parents have supported me in every way, and that’s what has made all the difference.
My message to parents across the country would be- ‘Don’t crush your child’s dream.’
Your children are afraid of the future too. They might not have the answers to all your questions. Let them learn, let them grow. They’ll find their way.
Not every child is meant to be a doctor or an engineer. Sure, they might be smart enough to crack the exams, in your opinion. But ask them if that’s really what they want to do with their lives.
Is that where they see themselves, in the next ten years? Above all- will being an engineer make them happy?
My purpose in staking a claim is not to demean any profession. Each profession is respectable in it’s own way. What I mean to say is- let your child make this decision.
Support them in every way- mentally and emotionally. Your support is more valuable to them than anybody else’s.
The never-ending race for good grades is frustrating too. Let your child know, that your love them, regardless of their grades.
The time before results is stressful for everyone. Let your child not lose his/her way, amidst expectations pitted against him/her, by others.
Each child is unique and special. Each child has a purpose, a true calling they long to answer to. Let your child know how proud you are, no matter what. A report-card is not a true reflection of a person’s character. Your child is much, much more than the grades tagged along with him/her.
The world is waiting to see what each child has, to offer. Empower your kids, support their decisions. They will stumble and fall along their path, struggling to make their way. But what they’ll never forget is that you gave them a privilege of making a decision, allowing them to do what they wanted to. And they’ll be grateful to you for that, forever. 🙂