This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Unnati Singh. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

So You’re in XIIth Grade? What a nightmare!

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By Unnati Singh:

They tell us to not get too stressed, to study hard and then all will be well. But really? 12th standard is not a piece of cake and perhaps will never be. I’m not saying the studies are exceptionally hard, but the constant poking noses of my relatives, neighbors and sometimes peers is enough to set me over the edge. The course is tough, but not unmanageable. The problem, in the situation as one might say, is expectations. I’m a science student, and sadly that’s the only perspective I can share with you but it must be more or less the same for all streams.

students

My mathematics teacher tells me to study maths for four hours everyday. My coaching center gives me to learn two modules generally every class (roughly 110 pages) in a span of 2-3 days. On top of that we have school tests whose course does not coincide with our tuition course, and its like I’m studying for two twelfth standards at the same time. As if one was not enough?

There are many people I find who say you can come and talk to me, if you are having any problems, which is pretty nice about them, but the cliched speech given by them has already been drilled into me by my parents. My question here is, cut-offs are going ridiculously high, hardly few scrape through for entrances, and fewer for prestigious JEE, and other such exams. Our relatives are more worried about our marks, and not touching the 95% mark means your child is dumb. Just that simple!

It doesn’t even end here, parents also get caught up in this fuss, expecting there mediocre child to suddenly turn prodigal. And let’s not even talk about the possibility of a child to even think of dropping a year, because oh dear, that’s such a taboo. What will people say? So no pressure there. Really.

This year is said to be a life maker or life breaker. And then the ‘understanding’ acquaintances of mine tell me to not take stress? I’m sorry but if I’m jobless for the rest of my life, are you going to transfer Rs 50,000 in my account every month? No? Then please understand that telling me to not take tension and then being shocked at my getting mediocre marks is double standards. Just that simple!

Please don’t mistake me for being too cynical, I’m just putting forth the real dilemmas of a 12thee. I could go on and on about the defects of our education system but that’s not really gonna help me, this year at least. All I’m saying is, I don’t have a solution for this stress, tension and this never ending anxiety. I’m helpless, as my body does not allow me to sit and study after consecutively attending 7 hours of school and 5 hours of tuition. And god forgive me for not practicing maths for four hours daily and choosing my precious sleep over it. I, as a 12thee, apologize for not following the “Do’s and Don’t’s” of this crucial year of my life, as that just might be the cause of speeding up my emotional breakdown.

In this article, dear reader, I do not seek sympathy. All I want for everyone is to stop expecting, as I myself am wonderfully efficient in that regard, and for everyone to stop telling me what to do. Every child is different and there is no particular way of doing things. I may not score well in these exams but who knows I might be teaching in Harvard someday?

You must be to comment.
  1. G

    Okay. Take a deep breath and research universities overseas and do a GMAT instead.

  2. Uday Kant Naik

    I can see what exactly is the problem with you and most of the students in “Science” stream. You must have scored good marks in your 10th board examination, then your parent or some relative must have said “You are so good in studies, what is your net step, Engineering or Medical”. Even if they hadn’t said that our surrounding keep projecting these as the best option, even not knowing the aptitude and interest of the child. I feel really sad how people forget that there better opportunities beyond Engineering and Medical. We ignore Indian Statistical Institute over IITs, NITs, and IIITs because we think it is better to stick with the stereotype. But actually life is pretty fun over there. We choose them because that is what we see in front of us

    1. Unnati

      I know everyone thinks Science students have taken that stream under family pressure, but that’s really short of becoming another stereotype. I took science because I wanted science. Not because my dad has dreams of my having ‘Dr.’ in front of my name.:)

  3. Diksha

    Even i am a 12thee… I too think the same. We know that our parents do care a lot about our careers. According to me, its totally obvious for them to care for us. But the constant pressure of expectations may lead to depression. I feel instead of thinking of these expectations we should think what exactly we want to do with our lives. In this crucial year all i can think is of shaping my life in the way i want. To score high and be a doctor. Being a science student i feel we should rack our brains n try to remain engrossed in studies.
    Anyways i like your words

    . What will people say? So no pressure there. Really. life maker or life breaker. And
    In this article, dear reader, I do not seek sympathy. All I want for everyone is to stop expecting, as I myself am wonderfully efficient in that regard, and for everyone to stop telling me what to do. Every child is different and there is no particular way of doing things. I may not score well in these exams but who knows I might be teaching in Harvard someday

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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