I was leisurely meandering around the house, taking frequent glances at the television, waiting for the uncertainty to end when suddenly, the headlines blared, “CBSE Class 10 Board Exams cancelled.”
A very unorthodox and slightly oxymoronic feeling took over me. It was as though I had been running a marathon this entire year and right when it was my time to sprint across the last 100 m, everyone was halted. I did feel a little relieved, but also felt strange for so much preparation leading up to nothing. On the one hand, we didn’t have to take the examinations like most of us wanted, but Class 10 came to an abrupt end, leaving me with a feeling of aimlessness. Dragging this weight to the end was my biggest goal this year, and suddenly the weight was removed moments before the finish line. This sense of liberation was accompanied by mixed emotions.
The sudden end of Grade 10 exams has made me realise that we’re growing up too fast. (Photo: PTI)
After working hard through the year, a good result would have surely provided validation and a sense of achievement over conquering this unfamiliar arena. These examinations also kindle a sense of healthy competition, and third-party assessment would have helped analyse where one stands beyond the four walls of school. But looking at the surge in Covid cases, I do feel that cancellation was the right step forward instead of postponement and repeated rescheduling, which would have prolonged our stress.
Some people heaved a sigh of relief at the news because they were underprepared and did not want to take another set of exams, but this was not the case for me. My anxiety came into play when I thought about questions like “What if I got Covid after one exam, would I not be able to take the rest?”, “What would I do if a family member got it?”, “What if I passed it on to my grandparents staying with me, would I be able to deal with that guilt?” The cancellation helped put an end to this continuous buzz that went on in my brain as I was preparing for the exams.
Though I am a little scared of the fact that I have no experience in sitting for competitive examinations before the major ones at the end of Class 12, I am trying to be grateful about the small blessing we have received for now. School grades being considered is a little frightening because there is a difference in the marks as compared to possibilities in the board examinations. But I am hopeful that the entire run did not go waste and that the objective criteria will benefit all those who worked hard through the year.
Meanwhile, I am trying to make use of this time to unwind and resume my other hobbies that hit a pause during board preparations. The sudden end of Grade 10 exams has made me realise that we’re growing up too fast. I’m trying to enjoy whatever I can of the last few “best years of my life”, and will continue to strive for excellence in deed.