I was worried, anxious and irritated. My sweaty palms touched my forehead again and again to soothe myself. My mind was running like a horse, trying to remember any related formula, devise any trick, any new approach. I tried and tried, but I couldn't. I knew that I had seen these questions before, but back then I deliberately ignored them thinking how easy they were. My overconfidence got the best of me. Hopelessly, I put down my pen and waited for the bell to ring.
Later, I came out of the classroom and heard my friends discussing how well they did. Their expression is completely different than mine. I don't know why but when I felt down; all I see are happy faces. It didn' t help but intensified the dreaded feeling. It was over now, not as I expected but yes I was done with it. My final maths exam of 10th board.
Sounds over exaggerating, doesn't it! It does to me now. But during that exam, it felt like my whole life was hanging on a thread. That exam felt like - it was a "life deciding moment",or so I thought.
I was better at maths as compared to other subjects, so naturally, my mind was set to nail that exam. Sudden extra pressure from teachers and parents had made this exam more massive. Unable to do as expected, I was thinking about all kinds of worst possibilities. What if my other answers were wrong too or if I am not able to perform my best even in maths, my favorite subject back then (now it's kind of a pain in the ass), what am I suppose to do in other exams. What if I get supplementary, What if my overall result gets sabotaged? What if I fail? Sounds silly, doesn't it!
Well, I have a bad habit of overthinking things, easily engulfed by emotions, especially by negative ones.
Anyways I passed with 10 CGPA with the help up gradation in Maths and Hindi (another pain in the ass subject). I was excited and took admission in the fiitjee. My confidence was over the seventh heaven, and why it wouldn’t, I had just cleared my "life deciding moment" with flying colors, and now there will be nothing but happiness or so I thought. Contrary to my unrealistic beliefs, nobody gives a shit about your CGPA. My so thought "life deciding moment" became insignificant.
2 years later, while giving my JEE main, those dreaded feelings came back to me which I felt during 10th boards. Logically, JEE main is much important than 10th but what I felt inside the exam room was the same, maybe a little intensified. But after the exam, if at that moment someone would have asked me, how did I feel during my 10th board, I would have said fantastic as compared to what I just experienced. My "life deciding moment" lost more of its significance.
And a few months later, I was at NIT Bhopal for my counseling. It was the last date for counseling and I wasn't sure if I had the required documents or not. After a few moments of concentrated observation of students who were being irritatingly gazed by a counselor because they didn't have all documents, I found out that I too was short of few things. Terrified about the situation, I followed the counselor's instructions and somehow arranged the documents. One of the documents, as you might have guessed, was my 10th class mark sheet. When it was my turn, I asked the counselor
"Sir why is our 10th class mark sheet being submitted? Because I thought the only criteria is above 75% marks in 12th."
While continuing verification of my documents and without even looking at me he said,
"It's just for verification of your birth date".
Maybe it was the stress due to sudden disclosure that I hadn't brought all documents or because it was the last date for counseling but I didn't give it much of a thought at that time. It was when I was done with the process and while returning home that I realized my "life deciding moment" was one of the least significant things I could think of. I started recollecting all my past initially-massive-looking-not-so-significant-now problems, there were a lot. And I know now, that a lot is yet to come. But mor importantly,
I realized that my reactions to the problems cost me more than the problem itself.
And with each memory, the question arised