It was May 26, 2018. Like every other 12th grader, I was glued to my laptop, hitting refresh on my browser every 30 seconds. Why? To get ahold of my CBSE results, of course.

At 12:19 PM, the results went live. CBSE had lifted the veil.

Logging in, I was eager, anxious and a little relaxed. Eager, because I am a twelfth grader who intends to do whis once and just once; Anxious, because I'm an Indian twelfth grader, and relaxed, because I don't identify with most twelfth graders who believe that a great score in this exam sticks around for life. Like, seriously - if you wrote your twelfth grade exams anytime before the last five years, do you remember how much you scored in each subject?

My aggregate (on an applied best-of-four logic) turned out to be a decent 82.75%, not bad for a first (and only!) attempt. But then again, my innate Indian-ness took the wheel for a minute and I wondered if I'd make it to a good college with this score. I didn't make the cut to 90, the unwritten gold standard, and that stayed with me for some time, until I learnt to calm myself down and absorb the whole 'this is alright' and 'so what?' aspects of my plight.

Besides, the score thing is probably going to decide what kind of college I'll get into, but it is not going to decide what kind of life I will have.


An overhead short of a woman writing in a journal at a busy table with a cup of coffee
Photo by Thought Catalog / Unsplash


This score is so powerless, it can't even tell me what to do with my dreams. It cannot make my decisions for me, it won't fight my battles for me, it won't tell me that it's time to sit up and be strong when I feel like crying, and it won't be 'there' when I need to sit back and reflect on my happy memories.

I don't claim to be unique, but I really do believe that every child is unique. And I think my signature might just be a way with words, which doesn't really die out just because I fell short of a few marks, awarded arbitrarily by a group of teachers histherto unknown to me. I don't think I've ever learnt to lose, and an objective score is no match for that grit.

But the real reason why I'm writing this, is because I want everyone out there to know that you're going to be okay.

In a few months, people will forget how much you scored. They will forget their seemingly unstoppable desire to ask you how much you scored. They will forget this because it doesn't really matter, and they will forget it just like they have forgotten about things that actually mattered.

They will forget what college you end up at. They will forget to ask you which college you made it to. They will forget everything that's worth forgetting and it's totally up to you to do something now, which is not (worth forgetting).

Who's "they"? Everyone.

Who are you? That's the question you will begin to answer, starting now.

All the best!