After finishing with the class XII Board examinations, or your college degree, students in India and their parents spend a significant amount of time deciding which stream they want to pursue further. After speaking to several such students and their parents, I realized that we tend to spend a lot of time taking advice and doing research. However, the choice is more personal than anything else.
Instead of agonizing over what is the “right” choice, it’s more important to reflect on who you are, and what you want from life! First, focus on the following 3 things. The choices will follow.
- Self Awareness:
Take the time to think about what your interests are. Which subjects do you truly enjoy studying? What do you like to read about in your free time? What kinds of people do you admire and what news do you actively try to keep up with? Any path requires hard-work, so if you enjoy the subject you are more likely to put in the hours. What are your strengths? What comes naturally to you? It’s a competitive world, so you want to be good at the stream you pick.
Now think of the intersection between your interests and your strengths and look for streams accordingly! For this, you need to believe that there is something that you truly love doing and you will find it.
For example, if you are passionate about music but cannot sing, it’s probably not a good choice. If you are excited about numbers and are also a math whiz, that makes sense for you!
- Life vision:Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? Identify your end goal and work backwards. Your degree should only be an enabler in helping you meet your larger goal. It’s not an end in itself. If your parents have a vision for you, understand their perspective and see whether you are aligned with them. If not, work to convince them because their support will make you more confident and happier about your choices.
- Bridge to Career: If you are picking something specific to study like a Masters in English or a Graduate Degree in Physics, find out what the career prospects are before getting into the program. Understand which companies hire candidates from those streams on a regular basis and see if you are interested in those kinds of jobs. This is important especially to avoid herd mentality. People tend to follow either their friends, their older siblings and cousins, or their parents and often overlook the reality of what jobs are actually going to be available if they pick a certain stream.
Ultimately you have to live with the choices you make. Getting into any program be it Engineering or an MBA program is one thing, fitting in to that program is another. So don’t give in to pressure to pursue something if you aren’t convinced it is right for you. Stay true to yourself and find what you love! There is something out there for everyone.
Link to the published article: http://bit.ly/2d7faUc