How I Lost Faith In The Academic System

Posted by Manmitha Deepthi in Campus Watch, Education
April 26, 2018

I’ve always been a major procrastinator when it comes to meeting deadlines and completing my assignments. I end up writing articles instead of writing my research papers. Trust me, it’s an instinct that I can’t subdue or control.

Some say try meditation or yoga, others say go for a walk, connect with nature, listen to songs, in short, find a creative outlet. I do half of those things on a regular basis and yet end up finding zero inspiration to work on my projects.

Especially after changing countries, I’ve realized that I was habituated to a system that fed answers to their pupils through rote learning methods. India, a country where a girl becomes a doctor and boy an engineer. One only hears clouded judgments when it comes to exploring a new field of interest. “Oh, your son is a chef? What does he do for a living?” The hypocrisy is so innate that despite wanting to accept new areas like journalism, painting, pottery, travelling or Vlogging, there is always doubt and uncertainty among parents and sometimes even peers.

In my case, I was adamant on becoming a doctor as a child – the job of healing people and treating their wounds appealed to me a lot. Later in grade 10, I realized the trauma a student endures to become a doctor and life was traumatic enough for me as it is. Thereby, I ended up taking Arts and fell under the stereotyped “losers who are good for nothing”. But my batch was one of the most intellectual class ever, I was lucky to be a part of it. Despite the differences, we had the one thing all of us shared – Passion.

Each student (we were only 12 Humanities student), had their own goal in life and despite being ‘intelligent’ enough to be a doctor we chose to tread upon the path not taken. This was troublesome in the beginning – free classes and less interest from the teachers to educate us was a huge demotivation for half of my classmates. But we found our own doses of relief in sports, psychology, law, painting, fashion designing, cooking, reading or writing. I could see different futures for all of us which ended in success. When I saw the other classes, I merely visualized cows and sheep herded together memorizing formulas, grinding with definitions blended with calculations that ended up giving stress rather than satisfaction.

By the end of my schooling, I was clear about what I wanted to do for a living. I’m doing it right now as my fingers go on a typing spree. But life is not simple and jobs can’t come running to you without experience. That’s the folly in our educational system. We can’t help the intellectuals rise without being reared as a sheep.

A recent experience of mine taught me that time-management is an important skill and taking things lightly would only affect you in the long run. I see people around me cheating on their exams for the fear of failure and believe that they are not smart enough. I, on the other hand, being a “crazy” person (as most of my friends call me), ended up going unprepared for a test not once not twice but every time. I ended up failing that subject – despite the confidence of clearing it.

I wanted to share my thoughts, raise questions and demands. I can’t be the only one suffering from this dilemma of arbitrary academia. I lost respect for my instructor because he put grades above morals but life goes on and failure is best accepted (not whined on) to bring peace to oneself.

In the end the moral I learned was: Cheating can help you succeed on tests;
Instructors actually don’t give a damn about your well being;
You have to be selfish to survive in this world.

But the biggest truth that I realized was that the folly in the educational system is universal.

Thanks for taking time to read my thoughts. I should probably go and complete my English Final Exam due 5 days ago and French Assignments due within the next two days. I’ll try not to die of frustration (being metaphoric here not literally).