Here’s the response to the challenge to me by StephJ from https://scalesimple.wordpress.com/
1. Being yourself is the best solution
A situation where I had to choose between being myself and being who the people around me expected me to be was when I changed school in my 8th grade. I’m quite a quiet person in nature. It does take a bit of time for me to adjust to a new place. And the conclusion was made by the students that the new girl was snooty and thought was a know-it-all.
The nights of endless crying are infinite. The solace was a friend who seemed to be the only person who understood me. It was hard for me to approach the others due to the fear of being misjudged. I even contemplated about being more like them – gossiping about each other, talking openly about personal stuff including petty matters like ‘I slept with my Mom yesterday’, making up stories…. But that just wasn’t me. All I did during the 1st year there was help anyone who asked me for saying no straight to the face is something I find difficult to do. Then, wish them in the morning – they felt it weird at first but soon I was getting wishes back. And basically remain the same as I was.
And by the end of that year one of them confessed that they didn’t like me at first but then realized they had a wrong idea about me and now they LIKED me!
2. A few words of encouragement, support and love can make a huge difference in one’s life
This is an incident I can never forget. In India, 10th grade is considered the most important year in one’s schooling. The year of board exams. It is that one year when you, your parents, teachers, before and basically everyone wishes and prays to go well without any hindrances. But unfortunately for me everything seemed to get oppressive.
It was depression taking its toll. In the first term, I somehow managed to get through even after missing quite a lot of classes. But second term it went out of my hands. I missed classes for two whole months of the five months in the term at the starting itself during which a huge chunk of the syllabus was completed. It came to a situation where I decided to skip that year and write the exams the following year. My parents broached this thought with my teachers who weren’t ready to give up on me. Three of my teachers (one of them had taught me only once and wasn’t teaching me any longer) came to my house. Another teacher talked to me at school in the most supportive manner. They talked to me and I don’t know what really happened but those words of encouragement did give me the courage to go back to school. And their constant encouragement and love, though not conspicuous, helped me get A1 in all subjects.
3. One true friend is more than enough than hundred friends
This is a fact every person who has moved a place, at least once, would genuinely have realized. As mentioned above, I have moved places two times after I reached the age of understanding things, I guess. At both the places I made a lot of friends. A lot means lot. I was friendly with everyone; everyone seemed to like spending time with me. Altogether, friendship was stronger when present in person. And most of my close friends know I don’t feel comfortable talking on the phone. But does that mean you don’t care about them? And in the shifting process I lost the phone nos. too.
Two places. 17 years. 700+ friends on FB. From a huge number of friends I only have contact with two. But those two girls are my life. They make my life worth living. My belief that having a lot of friends is what gives one happiness was proved wrong by these two. They know me very well. And they obviously don’t mind not having frequent phone calls!
4. Respect and love is earned and not forcefully taken
So I had this teacher in 9th and 10th grade who was pretty rude. Her scolding was always unbearable, even to the ones who just happen to be there at that moment. No one actually liked her behavior. Even though her teaching was good, she wasn’t always there in the favorites list. And this particular teacher for some reasons I still have no clue on hated me. She always acted like I was never there even at times I was right beside her. She avoided me all the time. It hurt like hell. But nothing could be done. Once I couldn’t submit my book for correction as I was absent (again depression). I was all jitters and when I told her it came out as “my book isn’t corrected’. She became furious and told I was blaming her. “I didn’t blame you” I replied flatly. I think my voice was a little bit raised. And the flames just blew into a wild fire. I cried, more because of my anger than sadness. Then it lead into a talk between both of us, immediately joined by other teachers.
After that incident we both acted like things were smooth between us but we both knew it just a show. We couldn’t earn others love and respect and the fault lies in both of us.
5. Marks and grades are not the most important things in life
If one peeps into Indian education system, the aim of education is to get good marks. I’m not kidding. It’s a true fact. Getting A1 in all subjects in 10th CBSE board exams my happiness knew no bounds. But at that time I didn’t know my life was going to take a different turn. 11th grade, even before the end of the second month I had to miss classes due to mood swings. Again depression! 11th and 12th in regular school without proper attendance is surely just gonna make me stressed out. So I had to choose NIOS (National Institute of Open Schooling), which is almost like formal version of home schooling. The worst thing is that there is a prejudice in Indian society that open schooling is for people who are less capable of studying and are looked down upon. But now I know it isn’t true. It’s circumstances that determine a lot in our life. And whatever be my marks, I chose to study, to learn.