It’s March. And the Board Exams are in full swing. Teens all over India are gearing up for one of the most important coming of age “rituals” in India. So here are a few things that we all did during the boards which prove why they’re the most harrowing yet rewarding experience that an Indian student ever has.

1. Checking the exam schedule every 15 minutes

No matter how sure you were, you didn’t want to show up for a Math exam prepared for English.

2. The last minute mugging blitzkrieg

No one gets much sleep the night before the first board. You stay up till 5 drinking a cup of coffee every half an hour with 3 books open in front of you, rocking back and forth trying to cram in as much as you can.

3. The nerve racking ride to the centre

This was undoubtedly one of the longest rides you would ever take. Your biggest fear, “What if I end up at the wrong place?”

4. “Where’s my Admit Card!?”

You reach into your pocket and jump in horror when you realize you’ve forgotten your admit card at home. Then you reach into your other pocket and realize you’re an idiot.

5. Scoping out the Invigilator

One of the first things you did on getting to the centre was find out who was going to be invigilating in your class. Is he a softy? Is she really strict? It could mean the difference between passing and failing.

6. Think of cheating and then chicken out

“Maybe I should cheat. Maybe I should, yeah.” * Stern look from invigilator* “Nope. Nope. Big bucket of nope.”

7. Throwing dirty looks at the toppers

You knew they had come prepared. You knew they had had a good night’s sleep. And you could see it in their smug faces.

8. Freak out while filling out the giant form on the answer sheet

“What is this? An application for a passport?”

9. Praying to God before the question paper arrived

You pray like you’ve never prayed before. You swear to let go of all worldly things if only the paper’s easy. You even tried to bribe him. “Hey bhagwaan, please paper easy ho, mandir mein 5 nariyal todunga.”

10. Throwing looks at your friends after you see the question paper

If it’s easy, everyone looks at each other like they won a million dollars. Silent high fives and thumbs up everywhere. If it’s tough, everyone starts going “Oh shit,” “Ye kya hai?” and “Ma’am/Sir, out of syllabus!”

11. Getting shocked when “parchis” get caught

You look at the drama, thank your lucky stars you dropped that idea and think just one thing, “Man, am I glad I’m not him/her.”

12. Getting pissed off when someone kept asking for extra sheets

“What is he/she writing? The Lord of the Rings?”

13. Writing like a maniac in the last 15 minutes

You wrote so fast that Superman would be put to shame. You wrote so fast that the answer sheet could have spontaneously combusted. You wrote like your life depended on it and still you looked up at the invigilator and said, “Ma’am/Sir, 10 minutes more.”

14. Walking out like a boss after the bell rung

No matter how you fared, you walked out of the examination hall like you’d just won the ICC World Cup, Nobel Prize and Oscars in one go.

15. Waiting for the last one. And partying like hell afterwards