My Story: The High School Trauma

(This post is a continuation of my story from the earlier post  
This happened a generation ago. I have tried very hard not to repeat my parents’ mistakes. But I am sure; I have made plenty of different ones. I just hope that my daughters deal with them in a better way than I did. )

Mummy meant well. Being a teacher, she  was well-informed about the benefits of CBSE over the archaic state board syllabus and so she changed my school in 11th standard. Yes she also wanted me to be away from the strong peer pressure, my existing group of friends, and begin again as a focused student.

I did not want to be a focused student. Getting better marks on subjects I anyway didn’t want to study didn’t make much sense. As a teenager who drew on the company of her friends for oxygen, it felt like the end of life to be forced to cope without them.

(My imagination and my emotions were always dramatic (rather melodramatic) as per conventional norms. But that’s how I think and feel. Yeah, even now J.)

I did try to fit in. I made a few friends, kept up with my studies, tried to do all the right things, but it was tough.

I missed my friends from the last ten years, practically my entire lifetime. I missed the old familiar school where each room, each corner was full of memories of growing together. I hated the new routines, the new uniform, just the feeling of going to this new school every morning.

I also felt harassed. I was the new girl in class. A class half-filled with hormonal boys, nurtured on bollywood notions which generally told youngsters that girls fall in love with you if you keep irritating them. I couldn’t discuss these nuisances at home. I had learnt that my parents’ way of protecting me was imprisoning me. There would be more questions, more restrictions more tension.

If I had friends to share the Archies greeting cards with the long, complicated proclamations or the torn slips of notebook with ‘shaayari’ sneaked into my bag, I might have seen the romantic or the comic side to things. But I was alone. And I felt hunted and miserable.

I called my friend and poured out all the angst. She agreed that I needed to take some drastic action.

We decided to change the school-back!

What followed after that phone call with my friend is coming up in the next post but the questions still remain:

The state board/CBSE/ICSE variances remain along with differences in their syllabi, their grading patterns, the different criteria colleges use to score these grades are still painful and so unnecessary. Why can't we have a uniform system?

We need the variances where they matter more-in the subjects a student wants to study.
We need variances in the way students with special needs are taught.

The world has changed in the last quarter of a century.
Why has nothing changed in this area?


  1. Hello. This post was a real good read. I think most of the teenagers of that time can identify with the dilemma and confusions you faced. Please keep on writing more ....

    1. Thank. Teenagers today seem to be be far more sorted and well-informed. Thank God! What is upsetiing the the mainstream system is still the same-after decades.


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