India’s obsession with marks even in a changing world

We as students share an experience that has made us judge ourselves and feel little about ourselves in one way or another whether that’s what we really felt or not. Remember the 12th board result declaration? When we all gave ourselves a hard time with the guilt of not having done enough? And yes, you too, the toppers!

The reason this happened to us is that we’re taught to do that to ourselves. By the expectations of the parents, judgment of the society, and our image among our friends. Everyone expects a 10.0 CGPA even from a student that’s average. And when these reckonings are proven to be wrong, the blame game begins. The student goes through the utter torment of listening to how they didn’t work hard enough and being compared to other children and having to listen to the examples of the toppers.

What needs to be understood here is that perfection is a myth and trying to mold every child, in the same manner, would not do any good to society regardless of the perfect CGPA. The flaws and mistakes are what make us human and our mistakes eventually make us learn and grow above them, making us a better version of what we are.

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Photo by jaikishan patel on Unsplash

Regardless, Indian parents and society are completely obsessed with their children’s scores. So much so, that they tend to say and do things that they don’t realize might leave a scar on their child’s mental health. Because the higher the score their kid is able to score, the more capable and intelligent they’re considered to be. It’s a competition in the society and a thing to be very proud of, score. This isn’t all bad but the obsession and the lack of space for making mistakes are what causes problems. Parents think that a good score goes a long way; a good score in 12th means admission in a reputed college which means better job opportunities. And it’s not entirely false, in their times this is how things used to be. Also, the money parents spend on children for tuition fees, and extra coaching is almost half their savings, so the parents expect the result to come in the form of good marks and students have the burden to repay the same through marks.

But the times have changed, it’s not just about the highest CGPA anymore. In today’s world, skills matter, work ethic matters, soft skills matter. They can take you higher than the best marks. With the developing world, innovation, imagination, and communication skills are of much more weight than the perfect CPGA. And the reason is that these skills are life skills which come with experiences and not books. Books are supposed to be informative but experiences are the true teachers of life.

This year, the result was declared in the middle of a pandemic, and our sources of communicating and sharing our thoughts lead us to social media. After the result was announced, almost everyone took to social media to share their success stories, how they almost got the perfect score and rest saying how they regret not working harder. This led a few successful people to share their not-so-perfect score in the hope of encouraging students not to stress over something that’s just numbers. Clearing 12th standard, appearing for boards, while prepping for college entrance is an experience that comes once a lifetime. Which also means that it’s one milestone less to achieve. But to go through it with all the will and passion is what will make us not regret, not the lack of a perfect score.

Not having a perfect score that looks shiny isn’t the end of the world. Life still goes on and new challenges await. It doesn’t make you any less successful either. As a matter of fact, success has nothing to do with your score. There are many people who never went to college, are billionaires and leaders of the world, yet there are many people who had absolutely perfect scores and are stuck in a job they dread secretly. Success isn’t determined by the marks or salary for that matter. Success means to be the best version of yourself. Which is something no textbook in the world can teach you. So, get out there, live, fall down seven times, rise up eight, and follow your passion. Create what you desire and have no regrets. There are endless possibilities of what the world could offer you and yet another million of what you can offer to the world. And the perfect and imperfect score isn’t one of those.

For those of you, who scored the perfect score, kudos on the hard work. And for those who aren’t satisfied, cheer up, you did great. Time to look ahead.

Contributed by Manisha Chalia Content writer at Mitti Ke Rang

At Mitti Ke Rang, we started with a COVID-19 community support fundraising, as an emergency response to provide a safety net to families. This will help them survive in the lockdown period. We aim to directly support these families by providing a minimum wage, through transferring the same into their accounts or partner with local NGO, Organisation, Fellow or a Volunteer, and support them with groceries.

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