A Mediocre Student Trapped in the Façade of Perfection #59

I come from a middle-class Indian family. My mom was always at the top of her class, while my dad did okay in school. Both had difficult childhoods with financial problems and too many responsibilities for their age. As parents, they made sure I didn’t have to go through what they went through. I never had to worry about buying books or getting private tuition, which is something I’m grateful for. However, with privilege comes responsibility – not that anyone directly asked me for it, but it’s implicit. Who wouldn’t want to make their parents proud? Seeing them happy because of my achievements would be the best feeling in the world!

As I understand it, my mom always wanted me to be the top student in class. Ironically, I was always second best and never a true “topper”. Some may say, “Don’t be a snob! Second place is not bad!” or “What matters most is how much you’ve learned.” While I agree with these sentiments, I still value my mom’s wish for me to excel academically. Looking back now, I realize just how much effort she put into helping me succeed. My dad never once touched my textbooks – unlike Yemini’s (the top student) parents who proactively monitored and assisted her studies. This may sound like an excuse but trust me, I’m done with making lame excuses.

I’ve been caught up in a rat race, pressured by family and teachers alike. Their expectations weighed heavily on me day after day. I lived to please everyone but myself, never considering the possibility of failure. While not pessimistic, I wasn’t particularly realistic either. Though I excelled in middle and high school, my performance faltered during the engineering entrance exam – a competition that felt meaningless to me because I was only doing what others told me to do. In hindsight, it’s clear that I failed to identify my passion; instead, society dictated that I become either a doctor or an engineer without any real reason why. My social skills were lacking too – speaking out made me nervous while forging my own path seemed daunting so instead, like many others before me, I simply followed the crowd.

My math tutor asked me on the first day of school why kids go to school. I replied, “Because everybody else goes.” At the time, I didn’t realize how much that simple answer reflected my own thoughts. My mom had her own reasons for wanting me to succeed in school, but I didn’t pay much attention to them. Despite some family problems that sometimes hindered my studies, I knew I was good at math – although my friends often reminded me that Yemini was even better.

As I grew up, I realized why and how Yemini was better than me. She was jolly, talkative, playful, outspoken, hardworking and talented. Her focus on her goal made her swift and smart. Meanwhile, there was me: not cool or confident with a low level of confidence and no say of my own. Though I toiled to reach where I am now, it definitely wasn’t the smartest way.

All of the pointless competition and certain circumstances caused some tension in my friendship with Yemini, but I will always value her. She is a genius with a great job, adventurous life, and proud parents. In my opinion, not everyone needs to be the best or perfect; perhaps some people are meant to be average – like me going to an office from 9-5 every day and feeling frustrated by the monotony, uncertainty, and mediocrity. Sorry for this long confession; thank you for your patience. Much love XO

Check out another boring blog here-

Post Author: Molten Cookie Dough

A typical Pisces person.

1 thought on “A Mediocre Student Trapped in the Façade of Perfection #59

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.