Are You Following The Herd Or Following Your Interests?

Posted on March 27, 2011 in Specials


By Shekhar Sharan Mishra:

I am a student in one of the finest engineering colleges of India, yet I feel I am not cut out to be an engineer. My interest lies in something else — something which I have never ever studied till now — economics. Huh, I wonder how many more are there in this country like me! Career is something which most of us choose according to the prevalent perception. Science students are considered to have a higher intellectual level than their Commerce counterparts in schools and then come the students of Arts and Humanities.

So, students end up taking Science or Commerce or Arts in accordance with the marks they obtain without even knowing what their future would be like. The less informed parents are not able to play any role in the decisions their child takes or even guide him for that matter because of their ignorance about the subjects. Thus, one of the most important decisions in a taken under the influence of peer guidance — a group of people who know no more than the student himself — in short, a blind leads another blind.

I am appalled to see that even in college days the state of some students remains the same. Definitely they grow physically but their mind still remains like that of a child. And that is where the biggest flaw in the Indian system of education lies. The students here study for the sake of marks and not for knowledge. Rarely do they realize that their marks are not going to stay in the long run but it would be their knowledge. With the help of marks, definitely they will benefit in the short run but in the long run it is those with strong concepts that would emerge as champions.

Another point I would like to make here would be the ‘herd tendencies’. Many students do not even know the motive of their life. A major chunk of students, even in the best of colleges, just opt for a career because some of their friends, relatives or acquaintances are doing or had done so at some point in their lives. They don’t introspect to find out what they want to do, but instead are led to a destination by some external force. What is the difference between a student and a goat if both of them have to be treated the same way — led by a herdsman?

How do we improve the present day scenario? Well, I feel that parents play a pivotal role in the growing of a child. The decision-making capability should be instilled in a child since childhood. Parents must stop spoon-feeding their children and give them exposure to the real world scenario. For this, the parents must themselves be well-informed first. They must give their children some space and counsel them in decision-making. By counselling, I mean guiding and not enforcing their advice upon them. Schools on the other hand also have a great hand in shaping the future of the child. Schools often restrict the child’s mind by talking about a particular set of careers only, and are usually against alternative careers. Schools must take the initiative to inform its students about the upcoming careers and the work involved in each. A right peer group can also help in selecting the right path. Thus, we see that the growing up of a child has a great impact on the shaping of his future.

India is a developing country and it needs people who can work hard towards its progress. A man can only do wonders if he takes interest in his job. An engineer like me would never find his job interesting; forget about working towards the progress of the nation. Though students like me want to but still cannot contribute towards India’s development. A small decision can change your life and the way you can make a mark in your life. So, students — be aware of what you pursue because what you choose is what you are going to be for the rest of your life. Make sure you don’t curse yourself in years to come.