In the early morning of spring in 2005, I first walked the corridors of GEMS as a student. We had to wear short pants and I felt very shy in that uniform. The school was big and the route to my class from the gate was very long. I walked timidly towards my classroom. Along the way, I felt people were staring at me. It felt like an eternity to reach the class. I was very nervous.
It was a big transition in my life. I was studying in a small private school with only fifteen classmates. I was the captain of the class and stood first in every exam. But my parents felt I could achieve more and sent me to a big prestigious school. There were more than two thousand students in GEMS and forty of them were in my class. I easily got lost among them. Everybody knew each other and they moved and talked in groups. Often, I found myself alone and staring at my course book even during the recess time.
Three months passed by and we had our first term exams. I stood third among 380 of my batch mates and first in my class. I felt very proud of my achievement. One week later, the school distributed the report cards. The report card was very peculiar to the ones that I had been receiving in my previous school. The front side had academic stats while the back side had remarks from the class teacher. Among the remarks, was a small tick in a checkbox and alongside it was written introvert. That was my first encounter with the word and I couldn’t comprehend its meaning. But, most of my classmates had check marks on extrovert and I felt somewhat disappointed.
To be continued…