Tuesday, 23 July 2013

"Youth comes but once in a lifetime." - Henry .W. Longfellow

Have you ever noticed  that some people have changed so much , or rather our impression of them has changed so much , since we knew them from their youth?

During  school and college days, (especially during  the graduate courses ),  students are  classified  in so many different ways.
1) There are the ‘bold’ – the ones who can sweet –talk , impress-talk , just about anything and everyone and can easily go and win debates and extempore inter – college  competitions .

2) There are the ‘ back –benchers’ – ones who literally race you down the hallways to get to the coveted rows in the back of the class . They mistakenly assume that it’s the safest haven to dream , text on mobiles, play ‘desk cricket’ , without falling under the beady eye of the lecturer. But experience has taught that the last row is always the first under attack.:)

3) There are the ‘drifters’ – Students who drift in and out of classes aimlessly . They are only attending  lectures because they have no other better place to be. They will stare at all lecturers glassy eyed and they seem to be in deep stupor , so that lecturers will mistakenly assume that they are  paying close attention to the classes

4) There are the ‘ invisible  ‘ ones . They refuse to answer  direct questions ,or  bunk classes or engage in any activity which reminds other people they exist or  cause any  attention to be focused on them

5)There are the ‘ geeks ‘ or ‘nerds’ who are usually found on the first benches .They are the only ones paying attention all lectures and taking down all the lecture notes . Without  the help of the geeks’ notes during exam time, categories 1-4 ,would never have passed exams or received their ‘Course Completion  Certificate ‘ :)

So everyone , including  parents, neighbours, lecturers assume during college days that certain kids will definitely make it to the top ,without a doubt . They also assume that certain categories are doomed for a lifetime of mundane existence.

Oh , XYZ , he is so bold and smart . When he passes out of college, he will be so rich and successful “ says one lady to another , while selecting vegetables at the bazaar.

But look at ABC , she is so quiet , hardly speaks a word to anyone. Her poor parents, what will happen to them ? How will they get her married” whispers the other lady to her friend.

So this gossiping, predicting continues all through college, putting enormous pressure on some kids. But a few years later, most people are astonished , amazed at the changes that take place in some kids.

Remember that invisible kid ‘A’ from your class? You may hardly ever remember her saying a single word during the entire duration of the course, and here she is on facebook , animatedly expressing her opinions and dissent at the state of political affairs in our country ! I can’t help but cheer , go girl! You deserve to have your voice heard and I’m so glad you found yours !

Or remember that class topper? Everyone had great expectations from her  but somehow in the real world ,academic marks rarely take you further than your first job . So it might be shocking to see her working in a mediocre job like everyone else.

Or take for eg a drifter from your batch . Who would have thought that he could  plant his feet so firmly and his street smartness would  prove to be so successful in networking and building his business?

Each of us have our fifty shades . Each of us  have so many different skill sets and unique traits.  Some may blossom during college days , while others are late bloomers . For some , it could be a loving partner that has bought out the best in them . For others, it’s motherhood that has totally transformed them from a quiet meek one into an independent and fierce tigress. For some others, it could be a lucky break in their career .

So this is for all those who are   miserable and homesick and lonely and depressed and feel out of place and ‘uncool’ and  dowdy and ugly and stupid  and are bullied during your youth . This phase too shall pass, no doubt .

Tom Petty , the famous musician from the band ‘ Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ said  about college “I've learned one thing, and that's to quit worrying about stupid things. You have four years to be irresponsible here, relax. Work is for people with jobs. You'll never remember class time, but you'll remember the time you wasted hanging out with your friends. So stay out late. Go out with your friends on a Tuesday when you have a paper due on Wednesday. Spend money you don't have. The work never ends, but college does...”

So don’t whine about the lost one mark  , don't shed tears over whom you thought was the 'one' , don't be paranoid about a career and making money  ,  don’t go into depression over a failed term paper , failed job interview , or  worse still , DON'T EVER CONSIDER TAKING YOUR OWN LIFE.

If you or someone you know , is going through a tough time , here are a few resources

Stay safe and enjoy your youth for it definitely comes once in a lifetime !