The Longest batch of Grade 12
Being a student of class XII is not a cakewalk in our country. All previous years of school life go in the preparation and anticipation of passing out of grade 12, stepping into a new world
Between applying to colleges, keeping up with the syllabus, and the overwhelming feeling of knowing this is your last year in a place you have known all your life, being a student in Class 12 is never a cakewalk.
Pair all that with the uncertainty one feels amid a pandemic, and the result will be overly skeptical students, who wrack their brains thinking of possible alternatives in case a new plan is adopted to fit the changing situations- Board exams or no exams, the direct implication of which is on college admissions for our undergraduate studies.
From the start of high school, we hear how important and monumental our final year of school will be. The education system is such that grade 12 exams decide the first big step of life outside the comfort zone of home and school.
The ambiguity of the next step
Currently, I can think of numerous students, including myself, whose plans for the future stand compromised due to this situation. A vast array of anxieties regarding college admissions has come up, such as dates of entrance exams, criteria for deferred decisions, conditional offers, merit-based scholarships, and scope of admission in Indian colleges in case Board exams stand canceled. The same ambiguity piles on colleges that are to open admissions for undergraduate courses. Due to which several acceptance and application deadlines stand extended. Many universities have modified their admission process to fit the changing circumstances that caused additional tension to students. Things are anything but certain, especially if one is trying for admission to Indian colleges.
With so much obscurity surrounding the next step, it often gets challenging to focus one’s attention and energy on one task. Currently, there are two things I can say with the utmost certainty- 1) most of us are trying our level best to study for Boards, and 2) and we are failing to be productive because of the confusion and stress circling us.
However, what stings the most more than the current state of ambiguity is our grade students missing out on all the school rituals of the outgoing class which we had been looking forward to our entire school lives. Missing out on our farewell, which is our chance to say goodbye and prepare ourselves to start a new chapter in our lives, to the small milestones every senior batch has, like scribble day, last MUN, school trip, and many more.
The most valuable in my eyes are the times we lost that we could have spent embracing our friendships, strengthening our bonds with our teachers, and making conversation with the support staff in school, who has always been by our side.
Little did we know the memories we would take with us of our final year would be of classes and discussions on Microsoft Teams and Zoom instead of our classrooms and hallways.
We never thought we would learn about the unexpected nature of life and the fragility of expectations along with our designed curriculum. However, perhaps this entire situation led us to be mentally strong. Everything we learned through this year and the last is the real-life lessons that will help us stay strong in the future. Learnings never go waste is I had always heard, now I believe too.
Whether it is to learn how to be by yourself, persevere and stick to your goals during adversity, or find new hobbies to keep yourself engaged, we all gained significant experiences that will stay with us throughout our lives.
I had always dreamt of making best of my last year in school, not knowing on the day when I went to school last I was in grade XI.
About the author: Muskaan Grover is in the Batch of 2021 and has been a class 12 student for over a year now. Her batch is facing all possible ambiguities given the current situation. She graduated from Shikshantar School and wishes to pursue psychology in the future.