Perhaps the gravity of the situation has not hit me yet. Here I am, poised in front of this wide white screen with rows of words forming its centrepiece. Words of pressing importance, words that must be ingested and later regurgitated upon less white sheets of paper. This night is like any other night. But this night involves studying for possibly the last college-level, instutionalised exam I might ever write.
I was always inclined to place exams and academics as top priority. Whether it was because of the rigorous competitive education I had in school, or my parents' emphasis on excellence in whatever you do, especially studies. Or maybe it's just because I live in India and especially Madras. It's just that I've gotten used to studying for so long (12 school years + 5 years of college) that I can't imagine putting anything else on top of that list. Health and fitness takes a backseat during exams (as my recent rapid consumption of fiery, poky tapioca chips confirms). I've taken a break from my beloved gym for almost three weeks, provoking admonishing messages from my gym-mate and self-proclaimed trainer/health advisor. I've cut off from friends for the longest time, becoming invisible and unreachable to them even in moments of crisis. Bad friend, me, bad.
And now I'm on the brink of the literally unknown. I faced this moment before, before I commenced to study again. But now there's not much left I want to study in this city, in terms of college enrollment and hitting books, writing tests-that kind of study. I've experienced the best of Chennai academic life. And I'm pretty sure I want to break free for a while. Not be tied down by schedules (oh, but I do want to work), not have to quit extracurriculars or health priorities because I find something else more all-important and stress-inducing.
I have enjoyed studying. I would like to do it again. But I'd like to see what it's like to have new priorities and even let the older ones, pushed to the backburner, take centrestage again.
(Title courtesy: K)