Success is the best revenge
I was academically a very strong student till 7th standard. Every year, every semester, every exam- I was always the topper in the batch. I even participated in a couple of national-level quizzes/tests and had above 90 percentile.
As I entered 8th standard, I was made captain of my house even though I was athletically challenged. I was touted to be the next ‘Head boy’. Things were all rosy and amazing till then, and I was enjoying every moment of it; especially the attention I was getting from the opposite sex. This made me overconfident and cocky and that’s when my cocoon started to break.
I started hanging out with the people who were considered a bad influence. I was caught in a couple of mischievous incidents and my image took a hit. I was suddenly the ‘bad boy’. Even, though I didn’t mind the new tag and image, it somehow affected my studies and for the first time in my life, I stood ‘second’ in my class/batch. I didn’t mind it either (although my parents did that’s another topic).
Anyway, after that things just started going downhill. Even though I tried picking up things, I was now looked down on by my teachers and it further affected my studies.
For the next one and half years, till 9th standard ended, I remained above average performer academically (always among the top 10) but never the eye candy for the teachers. Meanwhile, I didn’t give up on my friends who were considered a bad influence on me.
10th standard began and as any Indian student will tell you, it's supposed to be the first true test and deciding factor of your future life. I was completely ignored while selecting the head boy and for the first time, I felt bad. I truly felt that I deserved that position. But I couldn’t do anything about it. Things remained the same for me in 10th standard as well; in fact, they got a bit worse.
Not many teachers will accept this but they always have few favorite students whom they favor more as compared to others. Maths was my favorite subject (still is) and thus I always had many doubts about it. My principal was also my geometry teacher and whenever I asked doubts or questions she had a look in her eyes as if she wants to say “why do you even bother asking things when you are not going to succeed anyway”. This hurt me badly. I felt worse than what I felt for not being selected as the head boy. Again I gathered myself and started preparing for the final board exams. I helped my friends (the same people who were considered as a bad influences) study as I have always believed that teaching is the best way of relearning something.
In the prelims before board exams, I underperformed but was again 7th/8th in the whole batch. This led to a lot of open discussions among teachers and students alike about who will be the topper that year and well my name wasn’t spoken by a single soul.