Illustration by Sumbul
Illustration by Sumbul

Eidul Fitr passed and it was now the time of the most dreaded days of the year — final exams. Sara was a promising student and had been studying hard for her exams. But, like every student, she would have ‘exam pangs’ —sleepless nights, loss of appetite, sweating, etc.

The timetable for the end-of-year examination arrived and Sara started having bouts of nervousness.

“Sara, why do you worry too much about your exams? You are a good student,” her mum said.

“Mama, I am worried about my grades.”

“So what if you don’t get all As?” asked dad.

“Papa, that would be a nightmare and I would feel low in front of my classmates,” answered Sara.

“No dear, that’s where you have to change your thinking. You should study hard and stay positive, and don’t let exams get on your nerves,” dad tried to reason with her.

Days passed by and the exams began. Sara attempted all her papers with full confidence and the theory papers ended well. Then the viva exams started, but, due to her nervousness, she got confused and mumbled up in her answers. Tension was clearly written on her face.

One of the examiners, an experienced teacher, realised that Sara was very nervous so he calmed her by saying, “Calm down, Sara. Take it easy, you can do it. I will give you a few minutes to compose yourself. Take a break and come back in five minutes.”

Sara went back to her seat and drank water. She then took some deep breaths and said a few prayers. This helped and soon she felt better. So this time when she faced the examiner, she managed to answer effortlessly and flawlessly. She came out from the examination room and took a sigh of relief.

After a few days, it was time for the results. Sara’s parents were also invited to the annual prize distribution ceremony at the school. On the report day, everyone seemed nervous. Sara also felt uneasy, but she tried to remain composed.

The names of the toppers and high achievers were announced on the stage and suddenly Sara heard her name being called. Sara was one of the top students in the school. Excitedly, she walked up to the stage slowly. Her hard work paid off, and she realised that there was no use in panicking and getting stressed. The only thing one needs is to be patient and have a positive mindset.

Published in Dawn, Young World, May 25th, 2024

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