For as long as I can remember, I knew that I wanted to be a doctor. Thanks to my parents, both from a medical background, I quietly fell into the mould of an ideal kid – the kid who studies sincerely, plays nationals in hockey, and has actively been a part of dancing and singing groups.
It’s always easy to multitask like this in school (something that I learnt later in life). For me, college was all about white coats and dissection assignments and having a ‘Dr.’ in front of my name. But hey, every inspiring story can’t start with so much positivity, or maybe it can, but just not mine. Things started rolling in a way I never saw coming, when I did not crack the medical entrance.
I was crying constantly. I was upset for letting my loved ones and myself down, when people around me advised that I drop an entire year and prepare for the entrance all over again. And in that drop year, I found a wonderful escape in writing. This is why it’s the most important part of my story.
With my progressively decreasing interest in the medical field, I began exploring everything about creative courses. If there’s one thing I really wish could go on at the back of every student’s ear and shout like a foghorn when needed, it’s this: “Don’t listen to them, do your thing.”
So, I did my thing. I found a college in Delhi, applied and got selected, all alone. Nobody had a clue about it until the whole process was complete. Two years down the line, I have so much gratitude for every twist and turn that brought me here. Today I am a content student of journalism.
My college was nothing like I pictured, or anyone pictures for that matter. There was no campus, just a building. As for the extra-curricular activities, all the college had to offer were two societies to prove ourselves – dancing and singing. That dream also vanished quicker than ever.
Letting go of everything in my head and letting reality sink in was a journey to a great personal development – the kind that makes you strong mentally and emotionally. Don’t be afraid of that. I wish I had heard these words when I was going through the struggle of joining a new college.
Academics was always fun, because now having the capability of sitting hours (thanks to thick books in my preparation for medical), I never had a problem with theory and the practical aspect got as interesting as it could.
By this time, I should also mention that, Delhi was one place I’ve always dreaded to be in. I never pictured myself studying here, and then eventually, falling in love with it.
At first, you’ll do it all alone, the struggle to understand metro routes, to get an auto, to fit in and create your idea of a ‘happy college life’ with your ‘college buddies’ forever. It’s hard but you’ll get there.
We had assignments like making documentaries, short films, designing magazines, newspapers, tabloids, and whatnot. Teachers will do their part, but it’s eventually on you: how much you want to take from it and dig into it. No one will do it for you, and expecting someone to do it is not acceptable.
Not being able to dissect didn’t matter that much, when I understood how writing works in different mediums. White coats didn’t seem as important, when I spent days wearing my camera for assignments. And the crazy thing is, it was all in me, but it had remained completely unnoticed. When my life began to fall into place, everything felt as if it was meant to be.
The daily exploration of new fields was fun. I got to know new areas I could work in, where I could put my love for writing to use. I learnt the hard way that not everyone who surrounds you is worth your time. Being a fairly bubbly girl, it was a task to learn how to say no and avoid a certain set of people, the ones who can meddle with your mental peace.
As cliché as it may sound, I’ll just say it, if I have to describe college life in one word it would be self-discovery. I would’ve never known what all I can do, if I hadn’t pushed my limits. You know that phrase, “go the extra mile,” that’s where I went and it was beautiful.
The college I’m going to graduate from was nothing like what I wanted, it was in a place that I never liked, I was doing a course I never knew existed until a couple of years back – with all that has happened, I like think of myself as the mistress of uncertainties.
And I won’t thank the college, as much as I’ll thank myself for the woman I’m becoming. Of course, there will be teachers who hate you, or you will hate them. It’s a cycle that goes on, but never really matters beyond a point.
Some teachers will meddle with your marks, some with your self-respect, but some will really guide you through it all. They’ll educate you, support you, and make you a better person. Hold on to them, the others will never matter. I can’t list the number of times I’ve cried for a teacher misunderstanding me but now, I have grown a thick skin and like I said, did my thing.
Now that I’m half way through the phase that caused me a great amount of anxiety and stress, I still see students going through it. And here’s a word of advice for you, if you’re reading this, and you feel like your life is going downhill because you’re in a place you never wanted, then just breathe in the reality and embrace it to make it your own. I did it, and I can’t complain about where I am. I think when you live your life and just forget about the consequences and the struggle; you can truly make the best of any situation.
It’s not important to know what you’re going to do for the rest of your life. Tumble around, and toss a bit, make a career of what you think suits you best. Students are so consumed with the thought of finding passion and doing something about it.
Contrary to popular belief, my passion has changed so many times. As a kid, it was being a teacher, then a doctor, then writing, then photography, and now I’m back to writing. You never know what is going to happen next.
And passion? It will strike your nerves with enthusiasm at any given point of your existence. It’s only bad if we push it down ourselves and drown in the pressure of finding it.
I call my passion writing because the completion of this simple article is making me happy. And the fun part is this: I cracked the medical entrance next year but never gave two hoots about it ever again.