Feeling shattered with all the changes happening around me ( Read here) , I made a few determinations to get back in control of my life. My life philosophy slowly changed as I encountered this cross cultural exposure and a a reverse culture shock in my own country. I modified my lifestyle completely to accommodate more productive habits. (Read here).
I made this decision with a vision of reprioritization in my mind. Instead of the way I did things before, with my social life unknowingly being my highest priority, I made a new importance grid in my mind- of studies being my highest priority, then my co-curricular activities and lastly my social life. I hence decreased my interaction with my friends for both academic reasons as well as my inability to forgive them for their narrow mindedness. I often controlled my urge to go out to have fun . I started believing that without stress, one can’t achieve anything. Hence, I deliberately started taking stress. In this sense, my life philosophy drastically changed from what it used to be- from optimism, belief in true happiness, to believing in experiencing stress and anxiety to achieve results.
I focussed all my energies on becoming more intellectual, aware and knowledgeable. I felt that I could achieve anything if I set my intention on it, and hence, I put all my energies in scoring the best marks that I could during that term. I visualized myself achieving my goal daily. I built a new found reverence for time management. I focussed on what was being taught in class, approached teachers during extra hours, did sample papers and made my goal to succeed. To get better at math, I even joined a tuition. I even set new goals in my music (guitar) and dance classes. The following were the considerations under which I made this decision-
- Distraction– I could avoid the mess in my life and immerse myself in a goal. Almost as if to avoid my friends
- Redemption– I was redeeming myself for wasting my time on people who didn’t actually care about me and being “wrong”. Followed by this were the lifestyle changes I made as well. I wanted to punish myself for being so laid back in life and not taking my academics/ career seriously.
- Proving to parents– I could prove to my parents and/or society that one can be good at their passions and studies at the same time (hence emulating the holistic philosophy of the US education system).
- Proving to authorities in school– It was also a way to change the negative impression my teachers and counselor had of me. I had to work on this since they had threatened to call up my parents many times.
- Gaining Credibility– I could gain respect from the environment unfriendly bullies in my bus and influence their thinking and actions through my credibility.
- Being an all rounder- Since I was actively seeking my co-curricular objectives already (but not as passionately), becoming good at studies (even if it was to show others) automatically made me an all rounder. It happened naturally as a result of all that was happening and made me question if being “good at everything” made me a perfectionist. I was definitely inspired by my cousin’s work ethic and dedication to her goals, but it also paved its way into my life.
- Chances of US college admission- Having a holistic profile, needless to say, increased my chances of getting admission into a U.S college which would’ve been my best chance to escape the culture that I found suffocating.
- Personal growth and personality changes– I started valuing and enjoying knowledge. I learnt the skill of achievement which would be beneficial to me my entire life. Knowledge and achievement got added to my list of things that gave me a kick.
Most of these reasons to work hard yielded very positive results in my academics as well as co-curricular passions. I got recognition for the same-From 50’s to 60% I scored in 80s to 90% for which I even received a trophy for marked improvement as well as excellence in Western Music in school. My grade in math shocked me the most because I had almost always struggled with the subject. I got promoted to a higher level in my dance class. I even scored a distinction in my rockschool debut guitar exam. This was a big deal since I had never in my life scored such high marks or gotten awards in school. My whole family was very happy and proud, and I finally learnt the importance of and hard work. I felt very powerful after attaining my goal.
I made a further determination to never be defeated and take challenges in my stride, especially ones that were academic or work related.