Ask a 9th grade student about his/her future plans and what you get as an answer may not be too far from conventional. The typical stereotypes are: “I am planning to pursue my Bcom. & CA simultaneously” or “I am going to be a software engineer/Mtech Engg./MCA/Doctor” or perhaps in Mass Communication. An amusing fact in such answers is that the novice is usually not even aware of the level of skill and type of expertise required in such career profiles. All they know is that “it sounds good and has good money”. In our country we hardly find students who know what they are heading for, what interests them, what they can excel at so that they choose the right path for themselves. And on top of it all we have the parental stigma associated with every child that binds him in the conventional yards. These being the most commonly known mishaps are yet not understood the way they are ought to be. It seems as though everyone has given up their strings in the hands of money and its kins. And even after that people fail to achieve success in what they pursue. What they miss is, that there are bound to be many failures for a handful of achievers. The answer is simple mathematics or you may call it logic. How on earth, with this milling population does one expect to succeed in the most conventional fields of work, and that too just with a degree and no interest?
It’s a matter of choice. People work so hard to get things which do not suit them because they are delusional, so much so that they try to suit to the job instead of looking at it the other way. I don’t understand why it is so difficult to mould children in such a way that they become strong individuals rather than a flock of sheep that go with the flow. If the foundations are strong enough they would grow up to be independent individuals who are far sighted and have a broad vision of the course to their futures instead of becoming just another brick in the wall. Let me elucidate by exemplifying the different levels of choices in a student’s life and the obvious results.
The major choice starts from 10th grade in our country where in a student can choose his preferred language. Suppose the general choices are Hindi / Sanskrit. What is the majority choice? – Sanskrit. Why? —Because it’s a scoring subject as one just has to mug up some things. Hindi seems to be risky. The next level is the 11th grade where one chooses his/her major that is Science or Commerce. Well those who are weak in science and can’t bear it, go for commerce and not because they find commerce interesting, while those who find that science can make them look smart and earn them good money go for science and usually not because they have a thirst for innovation. The funny part here is that many forget the fields like Arts, Literature, Home Science , Psychology etc. And why do they pretend to forget these? Merely because these are looked down on, by the society. The best or the worst choices are made at this level. There are students who drag themselves into science and become a part of the endless struggle for IIT’s and NIT’s while there are those who comfortably do their Bcom. and then probably prepare for CA or MBA. But was this choice what they really craved for? Does this choice include all their interests and skills? Will this choice keep them happy and without regrets in future? A definite answer is “NO”. I can say so because as far as I have observed, every person has a threshold beyond which he/she cannot just drag themselves into something and that’s what makes them regret their choice later on. What today’s youth is forgetting is that there are yet many unearthed and innovative fields lying around the globe to be dug up and ones that can make them shine. Youngsters not only overlook their hearts desires and minds interests but also the various paths that lead towards them. A person having interest in economics can very well pursue Economic Honors even after being a science student. But that never occurs to him as he is busy fighting for seats in the n-number of engineering institutes. The results are very obvious: Stress, Depression, Suicides or just an unhappy life. The other side of result shows us decreased skills, fewer innovations and even fewer initiatives like social entrepreneurship.
If only the student had been given the freedom to choose his favorites language at the 10th grade. If only he could go into animation course after 12th grade and if only he/she had the courage to be the speaker/writer he/she always wanted to be. Our country could have been diverse in industries as well as it is in demographics. The problem is always us, because we let the system stay as it is and never be the YUVA we are supposed to be in order to bring a change for good. May be that’s the difference between the youth who fought for independence and us — who cannot even stand for our own choice. All we do is blindly walk on the delusional path to future thinking that everything will be perfect. But wham! There it is – smiling at our faces when we regret our choices and repent all lifelong.
So, what’s your choice?
“To be the change or just another brick in the wall?”
The writer is a correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz.