Candid Conversations: Why I absolutely hated school?
This is probably the third or maybe the fourth article of my "Candid Conversations" series; previously, I have avoided talking about "very" personal experiences, but something inside me wanted me to write this piece today. The whole school experience hasn't been very pleasant for me, I'll be graduating college in a few months and as I trace my growth path from high school to graduation, a few questions arise in my mind.
When I was in school, I always felt a little different, I was a little outspoken and I did not blend in so easily, I used to question everything a lot and cared very less about the opinions that floated around me. This one time, when I was in 9th standard, I debated/argued with the social science teacher about some "political sciencey" thing that was remotely related to the course, the teacher did not feel very good about it, the next day, she entered the class and told that she wouldn't start teaching till I was present there because I would "disrupt" her teaching. Long story short, I had to stand outside the class in every social science slot for more than a month. Forty minutes every day I would stand outside and wonder why was I punished, for having an opinion, for expressing an opinion or because the school system does not welcome original thoughts and only cares about completing the syllabus.
Originality of thought is hardly welcomed in our school system. They would want you to write a "creative" story but they would tell you the rules, they would want you to be creative in art class but would give you the picture they want you to draw, they would want to you to change the world but they haven't changed the colour of their walls in decades. It's actually funny, throughout your school life people want you to blend in and suddenly when you are out of school, they want you to be a unique individual, your ideas should be "out of the box" and you should "stand out". Academically, I was very good at school. Perfect grades, always; yet Parent Teacher Meetings used to be the most awful day of the term. I started to believe that something was really wrong with me or maybe I wasn't "likable" enough, so in 11th standard I changed my school just to see if things change for me. A new school, a whole new crowd and I could make a few friends. This time, I acted "very normal", atleast I believe I did. I didn't ask any questions, did the task assigned, wore a longer skirt and tied my hair in the best possible way. In my previous school I used to get picked by teachers alot for my hairstyle, it wasn't outrageous, just the good old bangs. One fine day, I got the "bangs" done after watching some TV show and the next day I was standing in the "defaulters line" for the bangs?! School was weird or maybe just my school was weird. It got weirder, because I got picked for those bangs almost every other day all I could do was pray that my bangs grow faster :P
So, the new school was okayish but I was the new kid in school and adjusting was hard for obvious reasons. In 11th standard, summer vacation time, I decided to start my own small venture/business/ startup. My city didn't have any sort of library or a book rental service so I decided to start my own. At 15, I started my book renting venture, with an inventory of 30 books and within 4 months, we had an inventory of more than 200 books and a team of 7 students, we called this small venture "Bibliophile", I tied up with a few publishers and we also started selling new books, buying old used books from customers and it became a good thing and I was getting good revenue and contacts.
To be honest,it was fun and I never thought it was actually possible to run a business like this while I was in school. At 8 AM, we used to go the Daryaganj book market and search for good books. The Sunday Daryaganj market was a book lover spot but mostly a wholesale spot, the owners of the stall emptied huge boris of books and there were at least 15 people who were trying to get the best possible books from the lot, that's a lot of hands-on experience.
While I was having fun with this little venture, I made my first lakh with Bibliophile.
When my little venture completed it's first year, we celebrated the day.
Now I started getting noticed in this new school due to this business because of this venture, I was told numerous times why I shouldn't do it and why a school kid shouldn't care about making money and focus on studies. The same old usual stuff. I vividly remember my accountancy teacher telling me that I wouldn't be able to score if I don't mend my ways. I was a good student and I genuinely loved studying but still I was getting rebuked left and right in PTM's and eventually at home, Long story short, I ended up securing 97 percent with 99 in Accountancy which were the highest marks in accountancy in our school and I am currently in an IIM, so well, luckily things went smooth. Thanks to the confidence I gained from running my small venture when I was 15, I now run a digital marketing agency called CyberArt wherein we work with Indian and International clients, deal with more than 25 influencers and numerous startups. A few months ago, an old teacher even texted me on Facebook asking me how I was. I am not a fan of irony.
If someone gives me a billion dollars to attend school for a month, I still wouldn't. Now, at least I can wake up and not feel like I have to blend in. I am free to get "bangs", wear a skirt of any length, no teacher would voluntarily predict my future and I can actually be "creative" with my art and writing.
If you are reading this and you don't agree with my opinions or experience, Congratulations, you aren't scarred.