March is an extremely crucial month for lakhs of our young friends as they appear for the Class X and Class XII board examinations. Many students across Gujarat have their exams commencing tomorrow, exams of many are already underway and lot of students' exams start in the days to come. I would like to wish all my young friends the very best for the examinations! Months of preparation, hardwork, and occasional apprehension will boil down to the few hours in the exam hall.
The best way to tackle all issues and anxieties related to these exams is to treat the board exams as a game. ‘Play the exam' instead of appearing for the same in a stressed frame of mind. Take it as an opportunity of self-growth and that is when the stress will instantly disappear! Your must remember what Swami Vivekananda said, ‘Have faith in yourself first', that's the way. Have faith in yourself - all power is in you - be conscious and bring it out. Say, ‘I can do everything.' Even the poison of a snake is powerless if you can firmly deny it. Rise above any iota of negativity or self-doubt.
All of us have our own experiences of appearing for examinations. It brings back to the mind several anecdotes, both pleasant and some not so pleasant. Back in our time, examinations were not as competitive as they are today. The pressures of exams were even much less. Back in the day, if one got above 70 percent it was a matter of great joy but these days even if a student gets 90 percent he or she wonders, ‘where could I have done better!' Truly, times have changed...
Young friends, in between the grueling daily academic routine, it is very important to take some time off to unwind. It can be simple things like hearing your favourite music, spending time with family-friends or catching up on a favourite television show. Performing Surya Namaskar and Pranayama during these times can enhance concentration and add much needed efficiency during exam time.
The Board Examinations are not only about the journey of the student. Behind every student appearing for the exams lie the sacrifices and travails of countless number of individuals, both known and unknown to the student.
Young friends, as you enter a crucial stretch of your academic journey, remember your parents who sacrificed their time, energy and showered their affection on you when you were studying till late at night. Remember your little sibling who did not watch television because it would distract your preparation, remember your teachers who worked hard and patiently guided you when you needed them the most. I am sure their blessings will inspire you to work even harder and shine in the examinations and by doing well in the exams you will honor those who worked hard for you in your times of need.
The Board Examinations mark not an end but a new beginning for the students! The students appearing for the board exams will now make some of the most important choices, which will impact their future. I am sure you will make wise choices, keeping in mind your talents as well as interests.
Though those days may seem years away right now, I would ask my young friends to make the most of the time they get after the board examinations. Go out and do things that fascinate you- travel, read; do things that you have not been able to do in the last one year. I would strongly urge youngsters to give time towards community service. This can truly expand the focus of your education. After all, the sole purpose of your studies is not to have a mark sheet that reads ‘A+, A+, A+' but to have the confidence that your education will give back something to society. Swam Vivekananda rightly said, "I call him a traitor, who having been educated at the cost of society pays least heed to it."
Once again, wishing my student friends the very best for the exams!