It was busy week, but the Scholar Badge I received yesterday made up for all the hours of completing schoolwork and uninspired writing. The Scholar Badge is awarded to all the students who score more than 85% in all subjects in the final examinations (I scored 91.6%). It’s not really a very extraordinary achievement; there were at least sixty to eighty students who received the Scholar Badge this year. Some have as many as four stars on their badges for performing so well four years in a row. The previous year was my first year at this school, so I had begun from zero and now I have one star on my badge. This year’s my last year at school, so my eyes are set only on achieving a good percentage in the Board Exams. My grandmother wants me to be among the top ten students in the country, just like her father had been during his time. I cannot say if I will make it that far, but I want to, just for her. I don’t remember the last time she’d asked something of me.
A surprise I received along with our class XI results was that I’d topped all sections of class XI – my marks were the highest among all students’ from the medical, non-medical, commerce and humanities streams – and that I’ll be receiving a gold Proficiency Award along with a huge scholarship on our school’s Annual Day program. Earning the Scholar Badge was a goal but this was completely unexpected. This is the first time I’ve received something tangible for studying hard. Before that, all it meant was a number on my report card.
I’m definitely encouraged; I wish all schools had this system. Right now, all my focus is on studying for our Unit Tests and upcoming Test Series after the summer break. Marks of these exams would not factor into our final Board’s results, but I’m not going to let that affect my performance. Working hard now will only prepare me better for the Board Exams. I’m making sure all my work is complete and keeping up with what is going ion class. However, I’ve not been able to give my writing as much as time as I’d have liked to; I just need to manage my time better. Hopefully, I will adjust into a new, more productive routine soon.
Our juniors started their new session this week and our teacher got me to interact with the students who’d taken Psychology this year, to tell them what kind of a subject it was, how they should study for it and how was my experience in the last year. Only one-fourth of the class was occupied and our teacher was not even in the room when I started talking to the students, but I couldn’t maintain eye contact and my voice was trembling horribly, although my classmate, whose sister was there too, told me that she’d thought I was a good speaker. I was quite surprised to hear this since I always falter whenever I have to speak in front of an audience, be it a class presentation, a debate, or a simple interaction with a dozen junior, despite enjoying the interaction. I’ve been pushing myself because I want to overcome this fear, but every time I get jittery and almost mess up my sentences, ruining the entire thing.
I say I’ve tried to push myself, but there have been times that I’ve also avoided such situations and let others do the talking. I wish, that like in all other matters of life, I was completely independent and confident while speaking publicly. I wish to go to another country with a strange new culture, all alone, so I need to eliminate any and every fear that I have. When I step out of this country, I want to do so with self-confidence, because, as my mother said, that’s what is going to help me survive in the world: not my marks, not my badges, not my trophies, not my credentials – only my confidence in myself.
Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.- Theodore Roosevelt