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The ISC Time Capsule

Stuti Sharma

This is what I love most about being a senior- giving some majorly unsolicited advice!

I’m Stuti, and I graduated Grade 12 from Scottish this year.

It spins your head, rolls your eyes, infuriates you but ultimately, you love it. That’s how I would define my ISC experience.

It took a lot for me to not scream like a banshee everyday as the workload kept piling up (and sometimes, I failed). But once you live it yourself and understand what ISC wants from you- *cha-ching*. I could preach ample unwanted tips on ‘How to Top’, but I’m going to keep this simple, relatable and most of all- realistic.

Yes, ISC may look invincible, but a systematic breakdown makes it so much easier. If you debunk what is expected in a subject, acquaint yourself with the paper pattern and build a rapport with your teacher, you’ve already won half the battle. In most of my classes, we were asked to note down key-words, mark important sub-parts from textbooks or bookmark online resources treasure-hunted by our teachers. If you just simply listen, you’ll make it out of the storm alive.

Secondly, speak! Take part in discussions! Be a shameless ‘askhole’! Being the girl who always asked questions and answered when no one was, really paid off for me. I still owe Trinculo an apology for my slander on his character in English class! If you engage, analyse and open yourself up to criticism- your teachers will get to know you and also exactly where you stand- a distinct advantage over those who choose to stay silent behind black screens.

I only discovered the artist and free thinker in me when I chose my ISC subjects. Being an average PCMB + Computer’s student before almost made me oblivious to the Humanities subjects that I would excel in! When you choose your subjects, base your choice on research, interest and instinct. Get in touch with me or any senior you’re comfortable with if you have any questions. If you enjoy what you study, you will feel like Einstein, even if it’s Modern Economic theory or Victorian poetry.

After a month into ISC I had unknowingly developed a pattern of studying. It was the first time I regularly engaged in class discussions. Once you find yourself in intellectual conversations with your teachers, you learn and absorb faster. I shamelessly define myself as a perfectionist. My school afterhours included me sitting on my bed (sometimes breaking down because of the amount of work) with a laptop and a few fat textbooks- researching and making answers precisely following the syllabus for each subject. The advantage of being an ‘Arts’ student is that your creativity and thoughts are your biggest weapon, and best of all- there is hardly ever a wrong answer. This helped a lazy-me do well in exams even if I studied for two weeks before they began. All I had to do was refer to and read only those curated notes without the confusion of unlimited resources and about a hundred possibilities for the same answer. In my experience, preparing the study material much earlier helped me remember the essence better, and if I came across a doubt, I clarified it with my teachers almost immediately. This of course, worked for me and you may have a more personally effective way.

And yes, the secret is to chill! As someone who self-studied my syllabus without tuitions, I had a lot of time to waste- and I did, really! (Spoiler alert- procrastination is omnipresent, and sometimes it’s excusable to embrace it) I learned it the hard way by always overwhelming myself and expecting the best outcome every single time. It’s not possible. You have to set an achievable target every week, leaving enough time to take a break, nap, binge-watch something on Netflix, and meet a friend. Taking breaks shall carry thou forth.

The most important part of it all is having ‘your people’. Your friends will be your backbone through this journey, as mine were. To find your comfort group with which you can howl and rant, grow into a better person and make a lifetime of memories should top your ISC bucket list. There’s something magical about reminiscing about this experience with those who lived it with you after it is over.

The only tangible advice I can give is to feel and live it all as it comes. Laugh, cry, fail, succeed. Do it all and be all in, because I already miss it and soon enough, you will too.

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