Archive | November 2014

A Thousand Splendid Suns

“I know you’re still young, but I want you to understand and learn this now, he said. Marriage can wait, education cannot. You’re a very, very bright girl. Truly, you are. You can be anything you want, Laila. I know this about you. And I also know that when this war is over, Afghanistan is going to need you as much as its men, maybe even more. Because a society has no chance of success if its women are uneducated, Laila. No chance.”

~K.H, A Thousand Splendid Suns

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A Rush Of Blood

once you walk through a storm

Finally, time to update this godforsaken blog. I’ve neglected this bloggy of mine so, so much, because of burdensome A levels which sucked my time and my energy out of me, to the point that I can only think of homework, tests, schoolwork and studying, leaving no time to tend to anything else, such as blogging.

I remembered writing a post here, a year ago, spilling my dread on the start of As. I dreaded the year that was coming ahead because I know what was to come, I know that it would be a very difficult and gruelling journey, yet a journey I must make, because, well, I chose the JC path, and it is inevitable that I would have to face the big A someday. But, I also know that it is a journey I have to make, a hurdle I have to overcome, because that’s the only way I can ever progress and be better, academia wise. I have to overcome this, I have to go through this, it’s the only way.

It’s just that, while I knew that it would be tough, I didn’t expect it to be so damn difficult.

I studied 10-12 hours every single day. Every single day after I come home from school, I did not sit down in front of the television and rested the night away or took the night off. (I could count with one hand the number of nights off I took). I stayed back in school to study, till 9pm/8pm on some days and when I got home, I CONTINUED. My weekends were spent on homework/tests/revision till I had no time for anything else, because when I was finally done or when I finally forced myself to stop because my brain couldn’t take it any longer, I was so tired, mentally tired till I couldn’t be bothered doing anything else. I made sacrifices, LOADS OF THEM. I remembered having to sacrifice family outings, friend outings, cuzzie outings, forced them to reschedule till I finish this journey so that I will be free to do the things that I really wanted. Heck, I sacrificed doing the thing I enjoyed most – reading and writing – because of A levels. 

Now that wasn’t so bad.

The expectations that came with each test/examination were worse. I had my fair share of happiness and I had my fair share of depressions. But both, were equally bad. Because with each A/B/C I got, teachers start to expect. They would pin hopes on me. They would see the potential in me, they would see that I can do well, that I can make them proud. But no, because with each expectation comes fear. You see, to me, screwing up your exams/tests gives you the drive to move on, to get up, to figure out what is wrong and get better so you won’t face that feeling of uselessness and powerlessness anymore. But the feeling of maintaining what you had excelled in, maintaining your A/B/C, that is so very difficult. You cannot screw up, you cannot make mistakes because when you make mistakes, teachers start to get worried, you will get worried and you might just lose faith in yourself because you could do it then, but you couldn’t do it now, so what happened to you?

And then there was the pain of disappointment, the pain of feeling hopeless, the pain that all your hardwork was for nothing. I was a hardworking student, I was very hardworking. So I put my 101% in each subject, I was too scared to neglect even one subject. But I wasn’t smart, so it was possible that I failed in a certain exam. And that feeling that comes, I would remember it: the feeling that you screwed up, despite working so hard, the feeling of “well it’s all for nothing”, that feeling is oh so overwhelmingly painful and depressing. (and I pray with all my hard that I will never face that pain on my A level result day because it will break me).

But the scariest of all was the anxiety attacks. I worried constantly that I wasn’t living up to my standards, because the pressure from my teachers, oh you can feel it alright. The pressure from myself? I exerted that on myself, hence the anxiety attacks. The panic pangs you get before exams, such that I had to force myself to calm down. The over thinking was the worst. I would over think so many things, and my mind would sometimes drift off to a far away place, such that I thought I might lose myself.

You may think, A levels was so drastic for you??? Honestly, I didn’t know it myself, I thought well, I just had to study 24/7 non-stop. I too don’t know why it was so tough for me, so difficult for me. Not everyone would have gone through exactly the same things as I did because well, no 2 people are alike and our situations may have been completely different. Of course, I know that I had a difficulty handling stress, I always do. So maybe that’s why my experience was so drastic. But I do know other people too faced problems, maybe I don’t know exactly what those problems were, or if they could handle it well, but I am sure they had them as well. I’m just sharing this on my blog to get it out of my system. If you just happen to read this and you’re sitting for As next year, or any other year, or even considering the JC path altogether and you get terrified, don’t be. This was my experience, it doesn’t necessarily have to be yours if you know how to deal with. And as with every storm that passes by, it will pass. It is always darkest before the dawn, but you will get through it. You always do.

I used to think, how did all my sisters, cousins and seniors get through this gruelling journey? But after getting past it, I learned one important thing, you just do. Day by day you keep on doing what you’re doing, and it’ll be over, eventually. No matter how long or tiring this journey gets, you will survive, you will finish it and you will overcome this hurdle, like how I did mine. I’m a survivor because I finished my A levels. I started my A level examination when the examiner said “you can begin now” on my first ever paper which was on 3rd November 2014 and I ended it when the examiner said “stop writing” on my very last paper on the 20th November 2014.

Will I ever forget this journey? Will I ever forget the stress, the anxiety, the sleepless nights? I don’t think all these will ever leave me, and I don’t think stress, panic attacks, nervous pangs will ever leave me either, because it’s embedded in my nature (face it I’m not a yolo, heck care, take it easy kind of person). But I do know this; when stress and anxiety attacks comes knocking on my door, I can face them better now, I can manage them better now, because A levels taught me how to. A levels may have been an academic examination, but it has taught me life lessons, important life lessons, essential ones.

And if you’d ask me, is this journey worth making, did I regret it? I would’ve replied you, with the utmost conviction that no I did not regret it, at all. The rush of blood you’ll feel after the end of the last paper that makes you a tad bit light-headed, the euphoria you’ll feel, the state of shock, “is this really over?”, is unforgettable.

A levels was difficult; yet I survived it, I can make it through anything now. 

xoxo,

ShabiraBasheer 🙂