Today is the first day of my summer vacation. And no, I'm not feeling euphoric, joyful or excited. I think I'm feeling a bit lost.
I officially started in 11th class after the last board exam on the 31st of march. On one of the earlier exam days, I had made a trip to school to check out the list put up in front of our Principal's office. The list showed us the sections we would have in 11th class, based on results from the pre-boards (Science students were in A and B, commerce and humanities in C and D). As I ran a finger down the list, I'll admit I was a bit disappointed. Not only was I practically alone in taking Humanities (barring my friends Nil and Remya, I didn't know anyone taking Humanities), but my class had many kids to whom I'd hardly ever spoken. And to spend two years with them all...somehow I didn't feel confident at all. I had already known that most of my former class was taking Science and wouldn't be with me this time, but somehow seeing it in paper seemed to set an official seal on the fact.
My first week was not very cheery. As a Humanities student, I was constantly subject to the funny looks and questions that go with making an unconventional choice. "Ummm, so why have you taken Humanities?", " Why the hell didn't you take Science?!", "You'll have it easier than us", "Enjoy yourself...as if", "Dry stuff, why didn't you go for science?" , rolled eyes, confused looks with an "Oh, but I thought...you'll take science" on the side. I was fairly prepared for that, but I wasn't ready for the wave of self doubt that was to follow.
When I was a kid, in irritation with everyone around me telling me the benefits and popularity of the Science stream, I proclaimed that I would choose Humanities just to prove them all wrong. But there's a great difference between something you say as a kid and what you spend months on end deciding on. I had no intention of making my choice hastily or with incomplete information. I had done my research, but I found it difficult to choose because I liked all my subjects and was reluctant to give up one to pursue the other. And even after fixing my mind on one choice, I couldn't help thinking, rethinking, questioning and doubting that I was making the biggest mistake of my life (Yeah, I was getting a bit melodramatic with worry). Eventually of course, I decided that no matter how much I liked Science, I wouldn't score in it so there was no point. And I'd always enjoyed Humanities subjects. The way forward seemed clear, but a load of kids questioning your choice doesn't make the thing any easier.
My classmates and teachers were my redeeming points for the first few weeks (Check out my friend Remya's article here). I didn't get the Maths teacher I wanted to avoid so I was glad of that. And my Political Science and Geography ones were the same from last year so I was pretty happy. On the other hand, my English teacher was the one whom I'd felt blessed to be rid off the last year(Guess shadows come back to haunt you). Lastly, I had two economics teachers who were as different as possible. The lady was hot tempered and seemed to determined to trip us up with our limited knowledge. The other one (our principal) seemed confused but self satisfied and bored me to sleep with his every class.
As for my classmates, like I said, I hardly knew most of them. So I was pretty nervous that first day. I could almost feel them thinking, "Here's another padaku (studious)" (But then again, I was probably being paranoid) I didn't even know the names of many of them. Luckily, I found I was being a lot more communicative (I have no idea why) so I soon found out all their names at least.
I was still pretty sad the first week. Emotions ranged from self doubt to missing my former class. 11th felt like a huge step, a total change. One of the things that kept up my spirits at this time was regularly meeting with my old classmates. Hearing them complain about their teachers, timetables, classrooms and classmates had quite a calming effect and helped me not feel too isolated.
The next couple weeks were pretty unique. Slowly, I learned to adjust to the new surroundings and feel more comfortable. I learned to establish fresh connections while retaining my old ones. I was finally doing all the things I'd planned for 11th class. Reading new books, listening to new and old songs, blogging, chatting in school, calling friends on the telephone, watching new movies all helped me calm down and go with the flow.
The last few weeks were pretty exciting. I'd made many new friends in my class. Studies were getting more and more interesting. And there were loads of funny incidents in class too. The latest one was this: In geography class, someone decided to ask why tsunamis don't hit a particular area. On cross examination (I think our teacher decided to test how much he knew first), he said that they were caused by water pollution. On further questioning, he revealed that water pollution was caused by global warming. And this having only the faintest idea what global warming was. 20 mins of scolding and lecturing by our teacher and a week's worth of laughs. Priceless :)
We also had two competitions in school: Solo singing, and On-the-spot solo dancing. Originally, I wasn't going to participate in either of them. But on the mornings themselves, I impulsively decided otherwise. In the music competition, I was the last performer and I didn't have a background track. When I started out, my hands were shaking pretty badly. So badly in fact, that my whole mike was shaking, making a very annoying tik tik tik sound. The other mike was malfunctioning, so I sang my song, constantly thinking, "Damn. I sound like crap". In the dance competition, I picked up a song I didn't even remember. I have no idea what I did, but I was pretty sure I'd embarrassed myself permanently. Later, everyone I met complimented me for both (but it's only now I'm believing them; I was quite convinced to the contrary). Bless them.
In this last week, I began observing all the changes that had taken place. I've made plenty of new friends, the new students have settled in, I'm doing well with my teachers, I enjoy my subjects, I now feel more comfortable in my choice and I'm able to pursue many of my extra curricular pursuits. Looking back, I'm glad I gave myself time. Time to adjust, to accept and to enjoy. And now abruptly it's all over. A whole summer away from school.
Summer holidays are here.
Lost, bewildered, confused....what now???!!!
A whole summer of reading, writing, singing, listening, talking, studying and a chance to make the most of it that I can. A fresh blank page for me to write on. What more can I ask for?
Will there be memories worth treasuring?
P.S. Recent information says that the results for the tenth class CBSE board will be released in a few days. All I can say is, "Eeeeeeeeeeep!"