Don’t you get tired of springing back from the dead each semester?

So, it’s exam season. Again.

And I can’t even express how glad I am to not be among the students who are alternating between praying and studying; in hopes that the next few days will pass as smoothly as possible.

Although, I’m not part of this category of students who are being bombarded with formal but oh-so-needed ‘Good Luck’ phone calls, I do belong to the pack which is dreading their results of the previous semester.

And let me tell you, that is even more annoying than working day and night to pass those exams.

Because, haven’t you ever noticed that the number of ‘How were your results?” phone calls is always slightly higher than that of the ‘Good luck’ ones? Interesting, right?

How do you justify the relatives who are more worried about your class ranking than the past three generations of your family combined?

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I didn’t even think I knew so many old people who cared about my future. How touching!

I wonder what happened to their existence when I was looking for a summer internship or someone to coach me in a particular subject.

So, maybe I can reason with their apparent ‘concern’ or even lack of small talk. But how do you justify the relatives who are more worried about your class ranking than the past three generations of your family combined?

Now, I know that it’s not nice to generalize or even be judgemental of anyone and everyone. But I’m not even talking about those people who have grown up with their uncles, aunts and other fifty members of their distant family. ‘How were your results?’ phone calls barely exist for such students! Lucky, right?

On the other end of the spectrum you have tortured souls like mine who have to put on an act every three or four months.

I’m not even kidding on this one.

So, what happens after every result declaration – or let’s just say, every important result declaration – is a series of events filled with formalities and pretentiousness.

These adults will discuss my academic life like it’s some sort of weather forecast.

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First, extremely distant cousins of unknown aunts will call up the parents.

Next, these adults will discuss my academic life like it’s some sort of weather forecast; where you not only express mindless comments on temperatures but also compare the numbers with that of other distant lands.

And after hours of excruciating observation, they will come to a conclusion which says that my report card is a holy offering of the internet, offered to me via my phone and sometimes, the laptop. As if that wasn’t enough, comparisons between today’s generation and that of our parents follow suit.

And we all know how those end, don’t we?

So, after all of this has subsided, what my once-believed-to-be-nonexistent relatives get, is pure peace of mind and new topics to gossip about. And what do I get? Another semester of being pressurized to fall in love with reference books, projects and exam papers till this whole cycle can start all over again.

Yay life.

I’ll try to lessen the sarcasm as I end this letter, so that the message crosses over to those it’s actually intended for.

So, dear relatives, is it possible to have a decent conversation without you interrogating me on my exam results? I’m not saying that those conversations will be any less awkward. They will be filled with unnecessary weather forecast and questions about what’s cooking for dinner. But at least they’ll make me dread my results a bit lesser, if not make me immune to their stress.

Also, I might just end up not hating you for the rest of my existence.

Don’t expect me to be the class topper,
An extremely distant relative who wishes to remain distant.



Author: Alisha Jamshed Syed

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