It is saddening to see how our society’s extreme focus on ‘Marks’ can cause not only mental stress among our kids but also push them into depression. One such story of becoming the victim of society’s obsession with marks is this brave girl, who opened up about her struggle recently.
While opening up how her initial performance at school pushed her into depression, this brave courageous soul shared with HOB:
“I hated every moment of school. I was a slow learner who scored below average in most subjects. My teachers constantly complained and my diary would be filled with negative remarks. I was known as the ‘slow kid’ and my classmates never spoke to me and were rude if they did. Once, my group leader asked everyone for suggestions, but when I tried to give mine she snapped, ‘You shut up, no one asked you!’
If ever I couldn’t hear my teachers, or asked them to repeat something — they would tell me to ‘go see a doctor’; some of them even started calling me a ‘special’ child. I was only in the 2nd grade then.
The constant humiliation led to anxiety — I would feel breathless. My self-esteem was so low that I couldn’t go to school anymore. I would lock myself in my room, turn off the lights and replay their comments.
I had no one to talk to — I had no friends and things weren’t good at home either. This went on for 5 years. Then, after my 7th grade finals, my professor handed me a chit. It said, ‘If you fail any subject, you’ll have to repeat the entire year.’
My anxiety shot up — I cried to my parents for hours. I was so devastated that I told them I’d kill myself if I had to keep going to this school. Finally, my parents saw how much I was suffering and changed my school. I was still mocked for being a slow learner there, but I started reading and journaling a lot, which helped.
Things finally changed in college — I made a friend, Dhruv. At the time, I used to laugh a lot, even when nothing was funny and he noticed it. Often, people suffering from depression laugh to hide their real emotions and he saw the sign. He started checking up on me everyday, sometimes just asking, ‘Are you okay?’ I finally recognised that I was depressed and that it was okay.
Slowly, I opened up and spoke to my college professors and classmates. Their reaction surprised me; I was expecting humiliation, but received love and understanding. If I needed help with notes or had an anxiety attack, they helped me and made me feel better. They’ve been my support system since the past 3 years and have helped me so much that I’m now at 80%! I’m even feeling brave enough to start therapy — the inner me wants to see Priyamdavee get badass, just like Freddie Mercury!
I finally realize that I hated school because I couldn’t relate to the teaching methods — especially since my self-worth was reduced to numbers and grades.
I don’t want anyone else to go through what I did, and hope to open a school that offers creative learning. The other day, I told Dhruv about my dream and he said, ‘Go for it! You got this!’ so now that’s what I tell myself all the time, ‘You’ve got this, you can do anything!’”
It is that time of the year when many parents and teachers, with the best intentions at heart, would be pushing students to achieve higher marks.
While you encourage your kid to score well, we just have one humble request: please don’t break their soul while you push them to do well in the exams. Because in the end, marks are not as important as our kids’ spirit.