Most of you must have got done with your MCATS, ECATS and other tormentingCATS. I’m writing this because I know people very close to me who are devastated. I know people who are very intelligent but are now are compelled to question their worth due to a single test, which has been run by pools more than concepts, as it was previously. I know people who have achieved gold medals and have reached heights in fields of arts, social sciences and natural sciences at university level, but that means nothing to them because they wanted to become a doctor or an engineer and went to other fields accidentally. Why does everyone dream of becoming these limited things only? If you asked a child what do they want to be when they grow up, they will give you an obvious answer, a doctor. Some little rebels do say that they want to be an astronaut, a singer, an actor or an artist but their dreams are crushed by the reality as they grow up, looking around the only suitable profession they see is either a doctor or an engineer. So that’s how they modify their dreams. How could it possibly be that 3 classes each consisting of 80+ students aims to opt for medicine and a few of the rebels, a class of 80 aims to become engineers.
(I studied in a girls college so that’s what I’ve estimated from there)
How could our dreams be so generalized?
I chose pre-engineering after my matriculation because I hated biology. I had no clear vision of what I wanted to be. Secondly I used to think that it’s the only suitable profession after medicine. I wanted to study journalism or literature but I used to think it was unrealistic because I had no one to look up to and I too believed in the notion. (I don’t have a great memory but thanks to my journal) I’m studying literature in university at the moment. That is in fact like a dream come true to me but I’m not as happy as I should be. Mainly because more than half of my class is not studying it because they wanted to but because they couldn’t get into a medical or engineering school. The reason which bugged me the most given by my class fellows during the ice-breaking sessions was that they chose it because it was easy. I still get told that I could easily get into an engineering college and I should’ve opted for a safer option, for example business or social sciences. So much that during the first week I even started considering the other options. But once I started studying I realized why I wanted to be here in the first place and I couldn’t be happier otherwise. Pursuing a liberal arts or a creative degree and a career is NOT easy at all. You have to sacrifice more than you know. First, let me tell you about this web which is followed by more than half of the STEM (An acronym for science, technology, engineering and maths) and medical students which I’ve been observing since as long as I can remember. If you’re a girl, you should go for pre-medical. Why? Because it is the most suitable profession for women. And if you’re a guy you should go for pre-engineering, not because you’re interested in knowing how reactions occur, machines work and the equations are solved but because it pays well and it will land you a great job after 4 years in college. (Which is not even true by the way). Law is not that bad too. And if you fail to get in any of these then go for business studies or other ‘safer’ fields alike. So where is the ambition in all of this? No major is a bad major but the one you choose merely hoping for a job is in fact the worst major. The worst thing is that we put more emphasis on what will we become after 4 years of undergraduate studies, what will we be able to earn and what will we be called; a doctor, an engineer or a lawyer? Because obviously we need to have a prefix to our name to satisfy our ego and to make our parents proud.Who wants to work hard even after the 4 years to be something, to create a name of your own and to achieve your goals and go out of your way to do that? Now, I’m not criticizing the STEM professionals. They’re very important for the development of the society. But not the ones who just want to get a degree and to be called something which is held in high prestige. So that they can add it to their facebook, twitter and instagram’s bio. Makes so much sense, right? And no one cares about what are you going to learn in these 4 years. Will it make you happy? Is that something that truly intrigues you? Is that something you want to learn more about? I had to force myself into learning about physics, chemistry and math these two years. This stuff does get interesting at times but it just wasn’t for me. It wasn’t a great feeling but somehow I made my way out of it without letting anyone down. I know there are people out their who are actually interested in knowing how things work, how the human body functions and are passionate debaters. These are the ones who should opt for engineering, medicine and law- not the ones who have zero interest and just need a safer option to back them up in the future. If you can’t tell what you’re passionate about, start by cutting down the things you know you DON’T want to do. You study something you don’t like for 4 or more years for a paycheck. Then you either get depressed in the middle of your studies or after completing it you get a job that isn’t up to what you were expecting and told about before taking the plunge or any job at all. But seriously just what can pay back for 4 years of misery and torture doing something you had no interest in? I’m not saying that doing what you love is all rainbows and butterflies, it’s far from that but it’s the best option and you won’t ever regret taking it. You’ll take the hard things with an open heart because it’s worth it. Before applying for universities, I did some research that included looking up the data of my favorite writers and most of them came from different educational backgrounds which didn’t encourage me much and aided the notions that ‘anyone can do this’ and ‘you need to have a safer alternative.’ I didn’t have many people to look up to. But the ones that were, I aspire to be like them in the future. I want to be one of those whom I wanted around me. I don’t feel like it’s just about me and my dreams anymore. It’s about all the kids who are this close to be the next big thing and doing what they’re destined to. They’re this close to play their part to make this place a better place but ‘your dreams won’t pay your bills’ weighs them down. I’m all those people wanting to follow their dreams but being forced either by someone else or their own thoughts to opt for a safer alternative. Just like that, just a few words thrown at them, a little lack of faith and confidence can do that. I chose it because I wanted to be one of the very few people who have crossed this line between their passion and profession. I chose it because I believe this is the only thing through which I can voice my thoughts. Most importantly, I chose it to understand things better, look beyond the words and be a better human being. (As my teacher put it) I really hope I succeed in that.
Note: This post is not based on facts and everything I’ve written is based on my opinions and what I’ve observed. I’m no expert. Peace. x