Beyond Grades

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What's the purpose of education? Why are millions of rupees spent each year on the schooling of a child? The answer to this lies in the expectations of the parents. The purpose is the growth of the child into a responsible human being who is financially independent, mentally strengthened and morally empowered. In shorter words, to ensure the all-round development of a student.

This has been the very essence of my school life as well.

Now, this type of growth has a plethora of aspects. One such aspect is academics, which is very essential, though overrated. Having been a rank-holder always, I know that academic success comes with a price. It is sheer hard work, hustle, sleepless nights and hours of studying. So, titles like "nerds" with a negative connotation to it are unjustified. Besides other things, academics has taught me discipline in life. It cannot be neglected. Thus, it is a field where winning should always be cherished.

In saying this, I also believe that Academics is not the end-all of things. It is probably just a fraction of what my school life has offered me.

It is rightly said that the best teachings are not there in books. They are encapsulated in experiences. Those lunch break conversations have enriched my communication skills. That detention for coming late to school has taught me discipline. The morning prayers offered to the supreme power has led to my spiritual growth. The on-field strategies to score goals on football has promoted strategic thinking, humility and teamwork. Teachers become a symbol of respect and friends, a destination for solace and support. The memories that I have collected are going to stay with me forever, the marks won't. This environment has provided me the real values that I take back with me.

It does not stop there. The real fun and learning lies in the co-curricular activities. These open doors to exciting possibilities, mind-bending situations and growth-oriented environments. I love to take part in different events because it helps me to develop a spirit of experimentation and exploration. It stimulates my mind and compels me to have a broader perspective.

Debating encourages out of box thinking. Declamations enhance my presentation skills. Music renders peace and transcendence. Technology unleashes my creativity. The soft skills that I develop are relevant to the present times. The most interesting part of these is the butterflies I get in my stomach before such events. It has taught me how to handle your physical and mental well-being in tough situations. It is this sort of learning that helps me widen my mental horizon and look beyond the visible.

I am a staunch believer of the notion that career (or academic success at school level) is just an aspect of life. The real purpose of life is to explore each and every aspect of life itself. Academics cannot provide me that alone. Nor can co-curricular activities. It is the delicious combination of the two, in a regulated environment like that of a school, that fills my dopamine void and keeps me going each day. The result is, I get happiness and fulfillment from my inner self and not an external source. The realization of this thought in its complete spirit is what I always wish to look forward to, in school and after school.

Krishna Agarwal scored 98.4% in ICSE 2020 Examinations. He is a brilliant violinist who has participated in events such as 'Celesta International'. He has won several debates and declamations and was awarded the 'Excellence in Hindi Elocution' award in 2019. His interest in the field of technology has led him to participate in related competitions. He is currently the Co-President of a school club started to train his juniors in skills like debating and creative-writing.

The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the article belong solely to the author.

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