Dear Students, It Gets Way Harder From Here, But Know That You’ll Get Through This

Posted by Aitijya Sarkar in Education
May 30, 2017

If you’re reading this, I need to state two very important things first:

1. I am no Tanmay Bhat or CarryMinati – basically no one worth knowing, yet.

2. Like most things these days, you’re not going to remember this for too long.

Hence, I am writing this so that something makes sense, even if it is for a fleeting moment only.

Know that this letter comes from a good place. I genuinely care about you and your well-being. You will get through this and you’ll all emerge stronger.

Do realise that I am writing this because I was once in the position where you are, today. Therefore, I precisely know where you are now.

Dear CBSE and ISC students,

Every year, board exams happen. Every year, thousands scramble to check their results online. And every other year, their servers crash!

Everyone checks their results. So, I am going to assume that you’ve checked yours.

At the moment, you belong to any one of the following categories:

1. You don’t think that you did well.

2. You did well.

3. You did well, but ‘Sharmaji ka beta’ did better.

4. You didn’t do well.

Good. Now that’s out of the way.

If you’re nodding right now – perfect. This letter is for you.

I am going to break down exactly what’s going to happen now. However, before I do this, you need to know my story.

I am Aitijya Sarkar. I gave my ISC exams about three years back (if I remember correctly). I passed with 90.6% and a perfect score in mathematics.

Since then, a lot has happened. I’ve changed and grown. If I amount to anything someday (along with my brainchild The Wall and Us), you should know that my ISC results had nothing to do with it.

I wish I could tell you like all those uber-successful people – Hey! Marks don’t matter. Marks don’t decide your future – blah, blah, blah!

Alas, who are we kidding here? The reason their advice does not hold is simple – we are in India, after all. Marks do matter. You need to get admitted to a good, reputed college. You need to decide on a career. Besides, your parents are always on your back, and your over-achieving siblings don’t forget to give you a disapproving look.

So, I am going to try a different approach.

Taking a less-trodden path is not as impossible as you might believe. If you have already done so, then good – congratulations! If you haven’t, know that the journey ahead is going to be a little less easy.

You are not going to able to forget this for a while now. Your parents will make sure you remember this. And if you’re someone like me, you’ll bottle it all up and shut everyone out for quite some time.

So, I am with you, here. Take as much time as you need.

But, tell me this – what are these results for? They just push you into a good college, right? And a good college=better prospects and a better future, right?


Whether you’re in a good college or a bad one, the journey ahead is going to be equally challenging and frustrating. If you do not do well in your board exams, you only take a step back. The race isn’t over yet. Heck – it hasn’t even started!

So, as I see it, you have two options in front of you now:

1. Resign to your fate and accept a graceless fall.

2. Understand that you are about to start on this journey of life on the wrong foot.

If you chose option two – fine. The next section is for you.

What Happens Now?

Over the next two months, you’re going to run, toil, scream and fight. But, you’re going to get through this. And then, college life will embrace you.

I give you my word that you’ll see right through the first six months – and the class 12 results that you cared so deeply about will slowly fade away.

You’ll go to college and meet a host of new challenges –  fitting in, intoxication, laziness, some sex and a ton of things that you never thought would be at the forefront of your life.

When you’re under 20, all you want to do is fit in! When you’re in your 20s all you want is to find yourself!

Your priorities will change.

You’ll miss home – the home you couldn’t wait to get away from. You’ll miss the four walls of your room. Every three months, you’ll miss your mom’s cooking.

Now, my friend, it all comes down to this moment. This moment will decide your future. You’ll either have to refuse to settle and work hard, or become one of the countless millennials who don’t know who they are.

When you’re about to lose your way, try and remember how you felt, around six months back. It will be very, very hard, indeed!

Lastly, you’re going to question your own identity, a lot. You see, college life has a way of making you forget what makes you so special.

Once you’re there, you’ll constantly try to question whether what you’re doing is what you were meant to do. You’ll ask yourself, ” Is this what I want?” – again and again.

So, if you’re reading this, know that it gets way harder from here on. Also, do realise that you’ll get through this. It will only be a little bit harder for you.

Do understand that the friend who scored above 95% marks only starts on a better foot. This just means that you have to work that much harder. Instead of following the tide, you have to create your own!

But, the journey will be worth it – trust me! I was there, one day – today, I am much better.


Image used for representative purposes only.

Image Source: Parveen Negi/India Today Group/Getty Images