I was about to crash out one night last week when I saw an unread email in my inbox. I wanted to postpone its checking to the following day when I spotted the sender’s name. I clicked on the mail immediately and in a few minutes had sent out a reply. Quite expectedly, I got another reply and it all felt just like old times. That was Meera ma’am and Shivani ma’am mailing from their joint email account. The outcome of our exchange was that I stood in the conference room of SFS last Thursday (16/7/2015) doing what was expected of me as an ex-Summerite. I gave a pep talk.  

Dear Summerite,
I am writing this letter to you because I had promised to pen everything down in a coherent form.
I don’t know what I told you in that room that day. Because I have a tendency to ramble and digress when I am speaking, not to mention forget and lose thread. Still I hope it was all good and useful. Since I am more balanced when I write or rather I’m a different person when my trap is shut, I would like you to hear out both my selves. You met one last Thursday. You meet the other one today.
This post is mostly addressed to the XIIthees, since I had a chat with the XII batch when I was in school and since it is the final year of their school life and kind of a defining moment, after which they will be beset with mainly two questions- ‘what was your percentage’ and ‘where did you secure admission’. For the sole aim of preparing satisfactory answers to these two questions, the students (at least some of them) leave no stone unturned in putting up their best, studying more this year than in any of their previous years combined.
I will try and combine all my experiences and ‘wisdom’ (more like lessons) in as concise a manner as possible ‘cause the ones for whom this post is meant for hardly have time to listen to ramblings.
How to study
I won’t tell you how to study. Because I really don’t know. I told you how my study cycle used to begin with working at my desk for a meagre 10-15 minutes and end at the bed with the book lying flat on my face. Clearly, I’m no study guru. But I have some don’ts for you. You know enough ‘Do’s to actually want to ‘do’ them. So, here goes:

> refrain from asking if you don’t understand. You have a right to ask. That’s why we have RTI. That’s why we have teachers and that’s why you are paying tuition fees.

expect teachers to feed the knowledge directly into your brain. That technology hasn’t been invented yet. Maybe you could invent it? As of now, it’s a two-way process. Much like ‘God gives every bird its food but does not throw it into its nest’.

>  compare. Even twins turn out differently. So, if one (or more) of your classmates gets into IIT or St. Stephens, don’t beat yourself up.

>  tell yourself to study. You never will. It’s a human tendency to do things averse to those someone tells you to do. Use reverse psychology.

>  live ‘half lives’. By half lives, I mean half of you is studying while the other half doing everything to keep the first half from doing so.

>  be aware of the posture you are in while studying. For if that happens, you are not as much into it as you would like to be.

>  let the past bog you down. Whether you have been a bum student or a star performer in the past, it really doesn’t matter. Simply because the past is, sadly or gladly, over.

>  let the others drag you down. Whether it’s their expectations from you or disenchantment with you, let the ‘others’ (whoever they are, for God’s sake! I never seem to find them!) go to Mars for all you care. Ignorance is bliss sometimes.

>  worship each and every rule people tell you to follow (including my DON’Ts). One person’s food is another person’s poison. So, if something doesn’t work for you, don’t do it. Listen to yourself and carve out a path accordingly. It’s a lot like praying. The destination is the same but we have different ways of reaching it. As long as it works for you, nothing matters.

>  let the stress of it all bog you down. Easy to say, hard to put it into practice. Well, I am still trying! All the best to you too!
There are some myths that people come up with and readily swear by. Sorry guys, but I am here to burst your bubbles and bust your myths.

>  This myth is exclusively for Science students-
Myth: Stuff that is taught in my coaching class and whatever is taught at the school are poles apart.
Truth: Newton’s laws of gravitation are universal. So they work as well in the Milky Way galaxy as much as in the Andromeda galaxy. Your coaching classes are in this very galaxy right?
Myth busted.

>  Myth: I just never seem to score marks. Since I landed in XIth, my life just took a U- turn.’
Truth: Don’t despair fellow humans! I was there too. All I have for you is ‘this too shall pass’.

>  Myth: There are multitudinous books, endless tests, a million xeroxes and zero time to prepare.
Truth: All you need to solve questions is understanding of the concept and a little pressure on your gray cells. Whether you solve one assignment or a hundred, study one hour or a ten, if you can get those questions right, if you know how physics, chem, bio and math run the world (including IT, English, Eco or any other subject you may have), you are good to go.
Guru Gyaan
These are some questions that are often asked in interviews. I never knew they were so important to one’s life. Ask yourself these. You will be amazed to find that these will be the hardest questions to answer. But once you answer them, your life will assume a much rosier tint than it had before.
Q1. What made you take up this subject?
Q2. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Q3. What is that which you will be happy doing for the next 40 years of your life?
There is a concept called Maslow’s laws of hierarchy. It says that once you have fulfilled your basic needs of food, clothing and shelter; you start looking for self-actualization. In our words, once your career can be called a career and once you have a steady job, you will start looking for meaning. In essence, the above three questions are the keys to unlocking your life’s meaning. All the best for finding your calling, people!

Despair not, worry not; you will pass +2 with flying colors. Believe you me, give yourself a year and you will be capable of taking such a session as I did, all geared up with positivity ammo and study weapons. Keep calm and conquer +2. May the Force be with you!  
Yours truly
:If I came out of it alive and kicking, you too will:

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