“Back in school, I was always criticized by my teachers, for my academics! It got to a point where I couldn’t care less about what they thought! And the worst of all the irony was my principal forcing me to take science stream in my 11th std just to make me fail my exams. The thing about me is I am someone who studies in the last minute. I can’t force myself through academics but I can score high in exams. Very few teachers stood by me and one remarkable teacher of a person Mrs Annie Deborah, helped me cross through the phase. I think my childhood was the most scarred episode of my life till date and I still carry terrible memories of it with me. It so happened one time that in a debate competition, I was denied the medal because of my poor academics when I was British Council India for the best youngest debater in my 7th grade. I have always been someone who shined brighter in extracurricular activities but sadly, those were not projected much!
But the tables turned when I entered college. This is the place where I found my lost self. I was selected to be a part of the UNICEF youth advocate. I won the votes of the students by contesting for myself and I eventually bagged the role of the UNICEF youth advocate for children. Here, I am taking classes on Saturdays in government schools and I may even go on to say that, having been rejected by teachers, I am proud to say that I am a teacher now to students who open their hearts and minds to me! I believe that true power lies in the ability to refuse the beliefs that society shoves in us and working on one’s own terms. I learnt to find my path by experimenting and making mistakes because primarily, I am a person who can’t follow rules. Standing out comes naturally to me because I’ve never fit in. I’ve always been a risk-taker, a wild card, and I’ve always marched to the beat of my own drum, sometimes making my own tune. I now understand how those hard days of schooling have actually helped me learn a thing or two about myself. I was denied opportunities, but something even better awaited me. In fact, I would even like to add a note of gratitude for all those who criticized me and my beloved Deborah mam and my parents! I still remember the days I cried and prayed for the things that I’ve now. People always told me that I was a tough person and my reply would be always be that it is people like them who inspire me to move forward. And the journey has just begun!”
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