MISPLACED PRIORITY

- Post Report

Apr 9, 2019-

Dear Aunt,

I’m a 16-year-old girl, currently studying in grade 11, and I’m appearing for my pre-boards at the moment. I have been one of the brightest students in my school and have scored the highest GPA too. When I entered my college, I was and still am recognised as the name ‘4 GPA’ girl. I took Science after my SEE as I am a science enthusiast. But, because of depression and anxiety, I am slowly losing focus.

A few months ago when I saw my friend, who is also good at studies, in a

 relationship with a guy who is equally good at school, I felt that it is something I need too. When I started hanging out with them a lot, I felt that I too need a partner with whom I can share all my feelings. And finally my wish came true.

I met a guy who I thought was perfect for me. We shared our problems with each other and I found myself constantly talking to him, even past midnight. I loved our long conversations and felt like he really understands me. But it came with a price. As we would be up all night talking, I couldn’t pay attention to my studies, and as a result, I started performing badly on my unit tests. I haven’t been satisfied with how I have doing on the current pre-boards either.

I know that I have been distracted. I know that everyone will point their finger at me and will tell me that I have misplaced priorities in life. Even I feel reckless for letting go of my dreams. However, I still feel that I have it in me to perform better in school. But whenever I think about it, I feel like I’m already a failure. I get really anxious.

Is there no way to get back to how I was? Am I putting my reputation at stake by failing my lessons? Is my life ruined? What should I do? Please help me.

—Aasha

Dear Aasha,

Don’t panic over issues that possibly aren’t even a big deal if you think them through with a calm mind. From your letter, I’m assuming that education has been your foremost priority from a very young age. It’s true that education is important but nothing is more valuable in your life than your well-being. You have vaguely expressed that you’re going through depression and anxiety. But it makes me wonder if that’s really the case, because sometimes we tend to overuse those terms without proper medical diagnosis.

Let’s start by affirming that your life is not ruined. It is normal for people in your age to stress over schoolwork, exam scores and at the same time over a boyfriend. It is nothing out of ordinary so stop panicking. But you also need to put things into perspective and prioritise your time and your life accordingly. Don’t make life choices based on other people’s experience. If you solely had a boyfriend because your friend had one, then it’s time to re-think that decision. It is wonderful to have someone to share your emotions but it is equally if not more important to understand yourself and be comfortable in own company.

Moreover, there will be ups and downs in your life. You will encounter situations that you had never anticipated. But it doesn’t mean that you have failed in life.

In your situation, you know what has caused you to slack in your studies and you want to overcome your struggles. It is a very good start. You don’t need to feel guilty for having a boyfriend but you need to learn to train your thoughts and manage your time. When you want to pour your feelings, it is necessary that you

talk to your boyfriend, especially if as you say he understands you the most. But you need to self-police yourself and end the conversation to focus on other things—in your case, your education.

But rather than worrying that your low scores will tarnish your reputation, it should be something meaningful for you. About the scores, even if you’re good at things, there might be someone better than you and that doesn’t mean that you’re bad, it just means that you still have room for more growth. Now that you have realised that you need to focus somewhere else, you now need to focus on managing your time so that you can learn about the things that interests and intellectually stimulates you. Strive for your goals but don’t discourage yourself over your failure, instead take them to be the reason behind your next achievement. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

Don’t worry about the future and give your best in your pre-boards. Even if it is not going as you had expected, think of a broader picture and try to learn from your mistakes. If you feel that your mental health is deteriorating, then talk to your parents first. Good luck!

Published: 09-04-2019 11:06

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