Entire State of a Final Year Student’s Mind
The delay in the UGC’s decision on conducting Final Year Examinations in multiple states hasn’t been easy on the lives of Final Year students in India.
This case started earlier this year in March, with the Supreme court ordering in June that the Final Year exams were to be conducted by the end of September, 2020. It was repealed in July after students and parents said it was unsafe to do so given the Coronavirus pandemic and has since been getting extended, most recently on the 14th of August.
Feels like a decade ago when I sat in the corner late in the night; a table scattered with books and notes, under a small, bright lampshade, repeatedly murmuring an answer. Yet it baffles me to think it’s ONLY been half a year! If you didn’t read the sarcasm there, I can confidently say, you, the one reading this article, are not a (to be) graduate from the batch of 2020. And no, this doesn't apply to the Delhi University folk; trust me; I’d rather be doing what they are.
For the third year students, the constant indecisiveness of the education authorities is a mixed bag of emotions in a not at all good context. Six months is enough time for a final year student to completely lose touch of the subjects taught, let alone write a final exam. To put it in perspective, imagine yourself in a purgatory of sorts with no sign of a certain future at arguably the most crucial stage of your adult life. Add to this the constant hopes of a final decision by the Supreme Court, only ending in disappointment with every extension of the hearing. And to top it all off, the anxious and skittish nature of a young adult confined to their home for an extended period of time. Not so pleasant now, is it?
I can already hear the parents reading this going, “This generation has gone completely off the rails”. And to you I say, YES! Yes they have. Put yourself in a Final Year student’s shoes and you will see a world full of uncertainty. Let me break their current state down for you. On surface level, these students are confused; confused as to what is in store for their education which, in the best case, would’ve been over by this point. Confused as to what has to be their future course of action from a career standpoint. Confused as to whether to keep revising the ton of portion the exams cover, or move on to other interests. And given the current situation, confused as to whose duty is it to do the dishes!
“No one has played with my feelings as much as the UGC and it is not stopping”,
said Varnika Raheja, a third year Mass Media student from Delhi.
Then comes the constant societal pressure on a newly graduate that can best be explained in it’s two distinct forms: “Kaam shuru ho gaya?” (Have you started working?) and “Aage ki padhai ka kuch socha hai?” (Have you started considering further education?). I sometimes consider myself lucky not to be allowed to leave home; I’d take staying home over answering those two questions ANY DAY! Albeit, those are the two most logical questions; it is necessary for one to leave the past behind to move on to the future. But with the ghost of their pending exams haunting their degree less present, those questions to a Final year are like garlic to a vampire. In the words of Yamini Char, a Third Year BA student from Mumbai,
“It's irresponsible, inconsiderate and unfair that we're stuck waiting. Everyone is stuck in a very weird world with the pandemic, and the added stress of exams is not healthy... It's like the decision makers are playing a game of "he loves me, he loves me not", except that it's with exams.”
At the bottom of it all, it is a true loss. A loss of time that could have been used to build oneself at the very beginning of their professional life. A loss of company with friends, some of whom they’ll probably never be seeing again. A loss of memories that would have been made if the world hadn’t shut down like this. A loss of probably the best day in a student’s life when they take off their hats and throw them to the sky in celebration of the life they’ve had as a student- Their graduation.
It is about time the UGC cut the uncertainty and gave these students the nod they’re desperately waiting for. To the parents; if you didn’t know the state of mind your child is in, now you have an idea. Being supportive and encouraging is the best course of action for you. And most importantly, to the final year students; Hang in there and keep yourself productive. Hopefully, it’ll all be over soon.