MUMBIA, India – Aren’t
we in a race? High school years are a watershed in the history we write of our
lives. The formative years spent here lay a foundation for our tryst with real
A host of
coming-of-age syndromes and other challenges bedevil the high school years.
Adopting the right approach
is crucial to our quest for success, which is in itself a highly contentious
term. Doesn’t that sound mumbo-jumbo?
The narrative for high school
years boils down to a simple analogy of a horse race. The very first day we
embark on a race which ends with the start of the journey of life.
There are various creatures
running in this race. You will find stallions neighing and galloping around in
their stomping ground. On the other hand, we have mares who preen and pout with
a vanity of their own. With both of them more than willing to mingle, the saga
of high school is scripted.
Oh wait – how can we forget
the depression-susceptible ponies that canter around hysterically? On the other
end of the spectrum, we have the academic racehorses – the ostrich-like
contenders who stick their heads in the books. In it to win it, huh?
And finally, importantly, not
to forget, we have the donkeys. Some call them bullies.
Donkeys in a horse race! It
is very likely that you will be confronted with one of these. Many of you, too,
might transform into ‘sage donkeys’ with time.
So, how can we tackle these
donkeys? Well, my solution is, to take them by their horns. Simply put, remain
stoic in response to their tantrums and see how their donkey spirit fades.
This race is a complex one,
and the track is full of twists and turns. Let’s delve deep into the nature of
this micro-race of our macro-life.
Why are our high school years
significant? It is because they are
the confluence of the peak of adolescence and the birth of individuality.
These are the years when we
come to our own.
At the same time, we find it
hard to let go of the utopia and fantasies of pre-teen years. This internal
turbulence is manifested in sullen moods, temperamental behavior and
susceptibility to depression and addiction, among other vague syndromes.
This emotional and behavioral
baggage that we carry with our books can be taxing. We feel lonely and seek
refuge in things which speak our language. We remain holed up in our comfort
zone until we realize the reality. I suggest that people who seek real refuge in
this virtual high school world should fall back on spirituality.
The fallacious perception of
spirituality being one with religion might bog you down, though. The
truth is that these two are distinct.
Spirituality, by way of
meditation and introspection, makes you look within. It endows you with
discerning wisdom or the ability to judge what to do and what not to do. It’s
about time you broke the paradigm and embrace spirituality as an integral part
of your life and a solution to your problems. Remember, the race is always
Another problem students face
is discord with their parents and teachers, which is often attributed to the
generation gap or a lack of understanding. Half of our problems would be over if
we could step into the shoes of our parents and teachers. Actually, we fail to
acknowledge their apprehensions, and so we are unable to quell them.
The most important question
looming over this race is, “What are you running for?”
If you don’t know what your
aim is, then you are running in a rat race.
It is important to recognize
our talents and fathom our abilities. High school is where you get to do this.
You must involve yourself in
all the activities so as to find that one ability that makes you stand out.
However, it is easier said than done.
It is very important to cling
to the slightest whiff of optimism. High school is usually full people who will
say, “You can’t do it.”
The true joy lies in proving
them wrong. Have an ambition and strive hard for it.
The challenges associated
with performance at high school can sometimes be immense. Remember, there is no
substitute to meticulous efforts.
And do cling to optimism.
Make yourself believe that you can do it!
Reams can be written on how
to ‘survive’ high school, but the panacea for your problems lie inside of you.
No expert or counselor or
soothsayer can decipher your feelings. Just savor your high school years and
make them memorable.