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Facing the Challenges

Sumaiyya Fatmi Wednesday, February 1, 2023
Facing the Challenges

The post pandemic me had to start fresh all over again (like most people) last year. The beginning of nothing is easy and neither was it thrilling to me, as I had somehow switched to being comfortable only by myself. Coming out of my screen into the classroom, firstly, I had to convince myself to slip down that mask obscuring my face (relax… it was while maintaining social distance) and soon learn to answer people with something more responsive than just nods and annoying hmms (the person who once wouldn’t keep quite was now struggling to keep a conversation going.) One of the challenges that I guess we all have to face is to be around people who have a very different attitude from ours. Learning how people are, takes you through the best and worst of experiences and at the end of the day, the people around you will change seeing your wins and loss.

It wasn’t easy to catch up on the syllabus either, I had to first solve grade 7 and 8 math in order to figure out that which was in my grade 9 textbook. My basics were unclear! But that was a challenge I accepted. At odds with my absence of mind around my classmates, I was and am the person who interacts with teachers in… well, almost every subject. What I’ve learnt is that answering the questions that are being asked during class is the key to learning and keeping focus, especially in today’s date wherein the mind has a hundred callings.

What came alongside exposure to new activities was the sacrifice of giving up other hobbies that kept me busy, in order to prioritize what was most important at the time. I’m sure I’ve spent more than half my time baking and trying new recipes during the lockdown. Even after school started offline, I woke up planning what I was going to surprise my siblings who loved the treats I was going to prepare, with. Just so you know, it takes 4 hours or more in the kitchen to perfect every flavor, which is a lot of time that you can spend away from your books and jeopardize your academic performance.

Now it was time to convince myself and make the wise decision to let go of such hobbies. Taking off that apron wasn’t easy for me, but I was wearing my school uniform and was certain that this sacrifice would get me where I really wanted to be.

As I mentioned in the beginning how I was not interested in socializing, I did for sure miss the extroverted me and despite the fact that I have in time learnt that it’s always better to be by yourself, however NOT when it involves participating in events and competitions, I participated in almost all the auditions and made it to a few competitions, and today was the first inter school competition that I was sent to represent my school at. The event was known as ‘EXCELLENCIA’ which had students from 10 different Indian schools in tough competition with each other. We were divided into 3 categories based on our classes and I was chosen to represent my school in live reporting for category 2. I must mention how the support and encouragement of my English teachers Mrs. Manju and Mrs. Vishva had brought me there, they didn’t cut me off because of how unexperienced I was, they decided that experience comes with trying. Getting there was itself a dream come true and I am glad that I got to be at such an event and learn a LOT. I got there with only one aim, I wanted to make my teachers, those who showed confidence in me, proud, and my ever supporting parents who were as excited as I was, proud too. But well, Yeah I know, what you’re thinking,so did I win? Umm no, in fact I didn’t perform the way I was hoping to either. But my WONDERFUL, AWESOME, and INSPIRING guides, my beloved teachers still appreciated me and encouraged me and my parents too told me to keep trying and that it was the only key to learn better. Accepting a loss is another challenge, and it could be the most difficult one if it showed you what you lack, I have to accept what’s gone, as I can’t change it. Smart choice, right? I’m hopeful I get a chance to try again, definitely having learnt from my mistakes and experience next time. If I do so, then this loss was definitely a blessing in disguise.

Looking back at where I started in terms of involvement this year, I’ve sure come a long way. But am I close to where I want to be? Not yet. Each new step feels like a huge deal while it’s just new and nothing more. But the will to keep going is leading me.

I promise you when you break through that shell of inertia that surrounds you, you wouldn’t wish to go back, the feeling of accepting challenges is no less than the feeling of being on an adventure in which you often don’t know what’s coming next.

Did I mention how I felt in the moments of turning back without an award? Well… I guess I didn’t, I went back to Dr. A.P.J Abdul kalam’s words on failure. He said that he wants young people to learn how to manage not only success but also how to manage failure, as we’ll come across failure in any task that we do. He said that problems should not become the captain of the individual, the project chief should become the captain of the problems and defeat them. These words kept revolving around my head on my way back to school, but that was for me. I didn’t want to show up at school and in class without having won, especially because I felt like I had betrayed everybody. But it didn’t mean I could go underground or something. So as obvious, I came back alongside the result. On reaching school, I and those who went to represent our school in various categories had to meet our Principal Mr. K.G. Shirsath before heading to our classes. As usual Sir was calm, cheerful and appreciating. This mood of Sir’s, always calms down the tsunami in me. For all reasons he is one of my biggest inspiration.

Sometimes the positive vibes of the people around you become the cure to your negativity, similarly the influence of negativity can deteriorate your position. It’s very important to keep track of what’s been influencing you and for that reason it’s necessary to make sure you’re keeping notice of the changes in your daily activities and thoughts.

Now, coming to something that all students can relate to, yeah, did you guess it? Yup, its examination. I personally am not afraid of preparing for and writing an exam, the challenging part for me is to receive the results which aren’t bearing witness to the sincere efforts that I had put into studying. I’m definitely new to facing this as in grade 9. Previously I’ve always received marks close to my estimation but this time I see wonders. All the stages we go through in order to write an exam, starting from studying> preparing> writing the exam >checking your answers with your friends >receiving the results and of course learning from your mistakes, most of it is fun and gives meaning to school life. But just like me, each of my friends get frustrated on a different stage. Which one is a challenge for you? And how do you think you can overcome that?

Each day has a new challenge for us, sometimes getting out of bed, sometimes sitting in a class, sometimes (in fact many times) being patient with your siblings, yea from silly things like this to solving real problems in life, it all requires patience. The key to it all is patience.

Patience and acceptance. The wait can sometimes feel longer than what would seem acceptable. Many times the progress is unnoticeable and thus we need to carry on if we sincerely want to see the result which once accomplished will leave us proud forever.

I wish you all the best in all that you’re about to face, keep going and remember that you never lose as long as you’re in the process. You only lose once you end the game without accomplishing your mission.

Hoping you felt accompanied. Thanks for reading.
Sumaiyya Fatmi
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