Yesterday I wrote my last high school Final. I am now a high school graduate. At this exact moment, it hasn’t really hit me yet. I’m still thinking that after this I need to start studying for my next final. Except I don’t and for the next few months at least, I don’t have to even consider studying. This feeling is absolutely exhilarating. To know that I don’t have any commitments, responsibilities or deadlines of the school variety is unbelievable. Especially considering the kind of school I went to. Indian schools are not afraid to load the students down with everything and anything. But the wonderful thing about Indian schools is, it’s glorious structure.
I went to an all girl’s school. And while many of you might recoil at the sound of it, it was and still is completely natural sounding to me. I’m not going to lie, school was very easy for me. But what’s painful is that if I had been anywhere else, I would have been in hell. It breaks my heart when I read stories of bullying and of girls and boys suffering for just being who they are. Not once in my school life have I ever felt disliked or lonely or really any negative feeling. I’ve always been a big girl, I have glasses and a lot of times I’m painfully shy. A recipe for disaster. But through it all, my friends and fellow classmates never made me or anyone else feel ostracized even in the slightest way. I’ll always be grateful for that.
But no matter how lovely it was being in an all girl’s school for the last eight years (and it really was lovely as this hilarious post nicely sums up.), it had its disadvantages. I mentioned structure earlier and this was a big part of why school was so easy for me. Everyone knew the invisible rules and everyone had fun. There were no physical fights, no isolation, no rude barbs or comments (unless warranted). We didn’t feel like it was against anything we believed in and we loved it because it provided a comforting cocoon of safety.
But now, all that is over. And that is terrifying.
Frankly this whole prospect is pretty scary. I am hoping to get into med school but the actual process of getting into med school isn’t the scary part because I am applying only in India and if you have the resources, I’m sorry to say but anyone can get into med school. I’ve maintained a pretty good overall CGPA (a 4.0 basically) till tenth grade. My last two years weren’t too bad either. Anyway, that part isn’t worrying me. What’s worrying me is the uncertainty of it all after I’m into a college. I have never been away from my parents and worse I’ve lived for the past thirteen of my seventeen years in Dubai. The difference in lifestyle between the two places is palpable. But the colleges, oh the colleges. A scarier place, I cannot imagine.
It’s called “ragging” in India. It’s basically my nightmares come to life. Seniors can make freshman do whatever they want. Added to the fact that I’m a freshman, I’m chubby, shy and have completely different interests than anyone else there. It’s terrifying to know what might befall me there. Another fear is loneliness. I have always had a big group of friends. It was easy because we all had similar back stories, we were into the same things and laughed at the same jokes. It keeps me up at night, the thought that I won’t be able to make friends.
I’m free now. Free of the confines of school and staying at home and the rules and the structure that came with it. And goddamn it all I’m terrified about it.