By Shobhana Sridhar:
I am going to let you in to an excerpt from my life: 17 years old, 12th boards didn’t go that well, hadn’t cleared any medical entrance exams, life was looking dull for me. Standing on the balcony I was wondering what to do and then, I saw this beggar shivering due to the slight chilly air and coughing continuously. Everyone cut a wide arc around him on the road. I wanted to help him, but I could not because I wasn’t a doctor and I wasn’t independent. My parents wouldn’t and couldn’t allow me to go and show him to a doctor. That’s when I decided to become a doc, to serve the people — a noble cause for a noble profession.
The next year I worked hard, I got through. Simple story, I should be satisfied now and working hard to become a good doc, yes? No, it’s not so simple.
After completing my first year of medical school which is difficult given that med school hierarchy takes some getting used to and the studies too aren’t all that easy, I felt that I lacked passion. I had my reasons for saying it .
The point is – isn’t 18 years a bit too young for us to make a decision about what we want to be for the rest of our lives, huh? No, don’t get me wrong, I am not licensing our parents or anyone else to take the decision, on our behalves. The gravity of the decision escaped me, with all the tension in the atmosphere and combine with it the fact that I didn’t have too many options.
What I think we would be better off with is – interviews at the undergrad level for admissions and having a system which gives importance to participation in extracurricular activities rather than separating us into “geeks /nerds” or “sportsmen/women” at the senior secondary level. We can take admission in a college on the basis of the percentage we scored in the Boards or under the sports quota- how weird is that?
We have a nation full of people wrongly matched and stuck forever with whatever it is that they are doing. Wouldn’t the nation progress better and be happier as a whole when the majority of these people had chosen what suited them best (I will take it as given that people normally know at some point in their lives what they would/are/will be best at)?
Had there been interviews I may have gotten into a course very different from the one I am currently pursuing and the interviewers would have more than amply highlighted my deficiencies for the particular course.