Killing the Innocence

Burning the midnight oil – this is one phrase we must have heard a million times but always tried to shove it in the backburner. Our parents relentlessly kept on reminding us, but in this day and age the above phrase perfectly fits into the bill. Awaken guys and welcome to the ‘land of pressure and stress’. This could easily be our trademark.

Our country is so obsessed with academics that an average student in our country goes unnoticed. In turn, he develops an inferiority complex and lack of self-confidence, which could easily reflect in his future. The atmosphere is so heavy and stressful and comparisons are as common as a ‘neighborhood paan shop’. The favorite topic of everyone would definitely be the endless discussions on “studies” and the comparisons are as tasteful as fish and chips.

If we try to visualize a twelve year old, we get an image of a boy wearing round glasses, has a humongous bag to carry the load on his shoulders and the stress dripping all over his face. Is this what we really want? The pressure of academics has increased by such leaps and bounds that the students get no time to participate in outdoor play but are struggling either to study or complete their homework in the stipulated time. This is an obstruction to the overall development of the child.

Due to so much workload, the students lead a sedentary lifestyle and are eventually turning obese by the day. The percentage of obesity has drastically shot up thanks to this current frenzy. The children have no time to indulge in exercise or sports related activities and thus, the fat just adds on.

The students who have to give their boards are the most troubled lot. The constant pestering from teachers and parents, competition amongst peers and expectations of even the most far-flung relatives adds to all the tension. Students of class 12 have to make the biggest decision of their lives as they mark their foray into their respective careers as well as the world of adult responsibility. The high cut offs every year in universities disappoint many students and in turn, they opt for courses other than their own choice. Is it that marks are the only benchmark to measure one’s capabilities?

In India, marks definitely play a pivotal role in deciding one’s future. But, isn’t it unfair to prefer a student who has a high percentage over someone who might have a natural aptitude for the field in question but does not have such high marks? The other students generally get left far behind in the race to success. While there are many vocational courses such as stenography and hospitality which are as yet untapped in terms of their career options, many students do not even consider them as a choice because they are looked down upon as the last alternative. This is a mindset which ought to be changed, but is so strongly imbibed in our culture that it might take a while to undermine it.

I personally believe that every person has some quality or the other which should be enhanced to maximize their productivity and contribution to society, and putting unnecessary pressure reduces their confidence and faith in themselves. As students, we should be able to open our minds to new career opportunities, for every cloud, however dark, has a silver lining.

Geetika Sachdev

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