This day reminds me of the day I wrote the EAMCET examination. It was after the second year of intermediate that we had to give that exam to get an entrance into the engineering colleges in Andhra Pradesh.
Those two years of my intermediate are the toughest years of my life so far! I stayed in hostel in a corporate college in Vijayawada. It was for the first time that I stayed away from home and that too in hostel. Hostel life is a different topic which I will mention in a separate post. The preparation for the intermediate board exam and the EAMCET exam used to go on back to back, first intermediate syllabus and then the other one's. Classes used to start at 6 am in the morning. With a glass of milk we used to enter the class room early in the morning. At times, when there was time I along with some friends used to stare at the greenery around before entering the class, as we had been told by someone that looking at greenery in the morning would reduce the drowsiness. To complete the punishing syllabus we could not go to bed on time and avoiding the drowsiness was obvious!
I must say that the early morning classes were the easy ones to concentrate. Lectures used to find it difficult at times as some of the students used to sleep a lot in between. May be, the greenery did not have it's impact on them! Sipping the milk from glass used to be my favourite thing apart from writing down the notes. After breakfast, the classes used to go on until the lunch hour unless there was some lecturer absent. Actually, even if the lecturer was absent, the mentor of the respective subject used to enter the class to answer or doubts if any! How the students of other sections used to treat them was known to me only through my roommates, as I personally always had been in section A, the toppers' one. In our section, the students never used to let the mentor paid for free! Every mentor used to be seen surrounded by students with doubts. I did not wonder about it then, but if I recollect it now, I truly feel it was a wonder indeed.
During the lunch hour, we were allowed to go to our rooms, to do our own tasks for a duration of 2 hours which included the lunch. After the lunch break and until the snacks break in the evening, there used to be study hours. After the snacks break and until 11'o clock in the night the study hours would continue. Again, it did not appear ridiculous then, but now I feel so about it. No time for our personal interests at all, it feels good that I did not do blogging then! We were always told one thing for sure that those were the two years we had to study and just study and later on it would be easier! This did not appear funny then, rather it appeared true! Exams at the end of every week and sometimes after holidays ensured the college administration know whom to be concentrated upon more so that the college would secure top ranks in the state in various exams.
With this routine for almost two years, we were made ready for the final exams. After the state board exams, the EAMCET was scheduled. It was in the mid summer, in the horrible month of May! Parents were informed that they should come and take their kids for the respective exam centres. College administration used to arrange busses for all centres during the board exams, but for the EAMCET, parents were to do that. Till date, I do not get any idea why! My parents came a day before. They met me in the campus and left. At that time the pressure was so high that I did not know how to express it! How to convey it! I still remember, my mom told me that I was appearing cool with no pressure. She said that I was so probably because we were made used to the pressure times with the whopping number of exams conducted every week continuously. For that moment I said yes, because I too thought it was so! The actual scene started on the next day morning, on the day of the exam.
Parents started coming in the morning to take their children to the exam centres. My parents came too. We friends exchanged best wishes and started to the exam centres. Some friends still had books in their hands while wishing others. It was not an open book exam, so they had to leave the books before entering the exam hall. So, they took the books along with them to the centres. My centre was probably a school as I remember it now. We reached the centre well before the start time of the exam. I did not take any books with me. My parents being teachers themselves understood it, unlike the parents of some of my friends who insisted to carry books. The school was open first to all so that the exam room could be searched! We went inside and confirmed the room and came back. All the students entered the exam centre while the parents stayed outside, when the first bell rang.
What happened inside the exam room was nothing different from that of what used to happen in the other mock tests we wrote. But the fact that it was the final exam did hit me. The fact that there would be no second chance did impact me psychologically. But all that was only until the time I involved myself in answering the questions and of course, in between for a short while every time. As usual, the time was short to answer the physics questions so went ahead by marking some 2's and some 3's just to finish it off. Fortunately, there was no negative marking and I don't think its implemented still. Exam was over and the overall idea I had was that I did not do well, and that the paper was relatively tough. I came out along with all other students. Met my parents outside, who had been waiting along with other parents. I nodded quickly indicating that the exam was not too bad and not good too! We took an auto to cone back to the college campus. In the auto I remember crying a bit outside and a lot inside. A feeling that I probably did not do well pinched me very hard! Anyway, I managed it.
After reaching the hostel, many of the friends kept saying that the paper had appeared tough for them too and that they did not do well too. Amidst all this I remember a parent saying that we must simply say that the exam was OK and just should move on. Those words had a deep impact on me. From then onwards I started saying that it was OK and immediately I noticed the change in my emotions. I started feeling better. I went to pack my luggage, and my parents went to meet our principal to convey thanks for joining me with a huge concession, of course because of my good performance in SSC exam, but still thanking the college management was imporant since they joined me for almost free and took good care of me all throughout two years. Probably, my parents were the only ones to meet the principal on that last day of ours. I remember my dad saying later that our principal sir felt happy when my parents thanked him and conveyed best wishes. I felt good that my parents met him although I had no expectation of that sort. The only regret I have today about that incident is that I did not go along with my parents to meet principal sir. Anyway, that's fine. It's a learning rather.
So, that's my experience with the day I wrote EAMCET exam. Whatever and however it felt then, it still feels good to write about it. May be that's why they say that past is always good!