It’s Finally Over!
August 18, 2011 § Leave a comment
Yesterday was quite possibly the most stressful day of my whole life. On the 16th, I went to bed at around midnight, hoping to get some rest before the big day. Unfortunately, my attempts at sleep were futile. I tossed and turned while constant thoughts of the day that awaited me ran through my mind again and again. Closing my eyes, I tried to calm myself, breathing heavily in and out. It was completely useless. I was resigned to this worry, this stress. At one point in the night, I became so overwhelmed that I had to wipe away a few tears.
Frustrated, I arose from bed. Now I was aware that sleep was nothing but a faraway dream tonight. I downed 3 glasses of water and opened up the laptop. The rest of the night was spent browsing tumblr, talking to friends on skype and constantly trying to evade my own thoughts.
At about 7:50 I went into the bathroom to get ready to leave the house. I realised then that I was shaking from head to toe. Fear? Yes, I think so. At this point, I was nothing but a nervous wreck. I walked up to the luas stop all the while trying to block out my thoughts. Once at the stop, I met my friend Asma. We tried to joke off the day that was ahead of us, laughing at each other and our inability to sleep the night before. But the laughs were short-lived and soon we descended into a tense silence. I watched as she tapped her fingers nervously against the metal bar on the luas.I, myself, picked at the skin around my nails unconsciously.
Our walk from the luas stop to the school was also filled with silence. At times, I would break it to say something, some nervous thought, that had just then entered my mind. Asma frowned to tell me that she was trying to enjoy the nice walk to the school. She commented on the nice weather. I looked up at the sky and realised that indeed, the weather was nice.
Once we reached school, we realised we were the first ones there. But it wasn’t long before people began arriving. Once a few of us had gathered, we decided to go inside to see if they had arrived yet. Arwa said that she couldn’t wait any longer. We were disappointed by the school secretary who informed us that we wouldn’t be getting our results at 9, as it was supposed to be, but instead at 10. We groaned, annoyed at the half an hour wait.
More people arrived with nervous smiles twitching at the corners of their lips and shaky hands. I hugged almost everyone I saw, if not in an attempt to comfort them than in an attempt to comfort myself. There was nervous chatter as the outside of the school began to fill up. I asked my friend Shauna if we could wait inside. The nerves of everyone around me was only making me more nervous. I took her hand and dragged her inside, giving a nervous smile to our guidance counsellor who also happened to be my history teacher. We stood nervously and I groaned inside when I saw my Japanese teacher run up with a big smile painted on her face. I was getting ready to disappoint them all.
It wasn’t long before our principal came around the corner with a stack of white envelopes clasped in his hands. He smiled but the students gathered around him were near tears. He laid the envelopes on the table and asked us to line up and tell him our name. I was one of the firsts there. “Adiba” I called out and watched as they rustled through the pile and pulled out mine. Grabbing it, I turned around and, pushing past the crowd, ran outside.
Asma followed me out. I watched as she opened up her envelope and burst into fresh tears. I said “You haven’t even seen it yet!” because it was true, she hadn’t. She had merely peeked. I looked at my name neatly typed at the front of my own envelope and my hands shook with fear. I didn’t want to open it. I didn’t want to find out. I didn’t.
But I knew I’d have to.
As soon as I spotted Shauna, I called her up. Together Asma, Shauna and I hurried away from the crowd and to the back of the school. We split into different directions, sitting a fair distance from each other, wanting to respect each other’s privacy. With fumbling fingers, I opened up my envelope and grabbed the page inside. My heart was beating fast and all the thoughts that I had been trying to avoid for the past day ran through my mind. I stared at the sheet, the words barely registering in my mind. I scanned it first for maths, a pass! I could have cried out with joy! Physics next, a pass too! This wasn’t looking so bad.
Then my eyes fell on those two subjects. The ones that I had really worked for. The ones that I adored. And I could have cried when I saw the neatly printed As beside History and English. But I couldn’t let myself be happy yet. There was the matter of my points. I reached to pull out my calculator but Asma handed me her phone, telling me to use her points calculator. My hands shook as I typed in my grades. I had to wipe it out and start over 2 or 3 times before I finally got it right. Heaving a mental sigh of relief, I looked up at Asma and said “470 points”.
Since then I have felt like this huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. My leaving certificate was this stressful that was weighing down on me for the past 2 years. I realised that it hadn’t ended on the 24th of June, when I came home from my Japanese exam. It had ended yesterday when I had typed in those grades into the points calculator. Now the only thing I feel is relief. Pure relief.
I am excited to go to college this coming September. I am doubly excited to go to my English and History classes. But most of all I am relieved that this leaving certificate is finally past me.