It’s been almost a decade since my 12th exams. But every year when I read about the exam dates or about the results being declared, I’m gripped by a sense of fear. I would then have to wait for my mind to register the fact that I’ve successfully (I’d like to say so), completed my 12th and I’m far away from schools and exams.
The 12th standard exams are the most hyped-affair throughout our childhood. Even if our parents are cool about it, those around us ensure we are constantly reminded of how “life-altering” they are similar to the become-a-millionaire-in-one-song phenomenon. At school, anything and everything you do (even if your white canvas shoes aren’t that white on a Monday morning) is somehow linked to the final exams. I do agree that these exams are important as the right scores are necessary, in many cases, for us to proceed with our choice of course in a college. But I wouldn't agree that this is a make-or-break event, which if not carefully tackled would meddle with our lives forever.
There is a popular saying that people around the world decide what they want to do in high school, whereas in India people finish their high school and college (mostly engineering) and then decide what to do. I guess people who opt for other streams at college are pretty much focussed on what they want to do. I, like thousand others, did follow the School-> Engineering College-> IT routine, but 2 years after spending days and nights furiously typing code, one fine day I just decided to throw it all away and I told myself I would never touch a piece of code again. I thought I’d have to take my words after a week or so, but then thanks to a few good samaritans, I found work that was remotely related to what I liked doing and what started as, I-will-do-anything-but-coding turned into something more than just a temporary escape route. Luckily for me, it wasn't that difficult to start all over again and I knew that in the long run, the two years spent following a boring routine wouldn't matter. But for many streams one has to start very early because switching midway might not be a viable option.