Guest column


Prof. S. Ramkumar, PhD (UK)

Clearing the classes 1 to X in School, takes you to the first turning point of life; to choose a subject of your choice in plus 2, which helps you to decide on a course, that ensures a life of contentment in future. As children we all would have grown up with different fantasies of what we wanted to do in life. For some of you it may still be the same, whereas for the rest it would have changed with time. Now is when people around you seriously start asking the question of what you want to be and what are you going to choose for XII. There might be cloud of confusion. This is a write up that might help you in clearing that.

Let me start with a quote of the famous English musician, John Lennon, who rose to worldwide fame as a founder of the World renowned music troupe, the Beatles.

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

A good thought to start with.

We definitely need to select a job that makes us happy to work through life. What makes us happy? This depends a lot on what you are, and what generally had appealed to keep you so. They need not be the same as life advances and you come to know more of the world. What you are, depends on your personality and the surroundings that made you- like family, school, friends and the media you are exposed to. Very often the aspirations of parents are one the prime concerns of a student, which you may agree to differ. The important point is to analyze the aspirations in terms of your interests and inspirations. Check whether what they say means happiness to you. You also need to consider two aspects: a) the parents are wise and have years of experience that make them responsible to ensure secure future for you b) their thoughts though good may not match your aspirations of the future.

Sit alone. Be calm. Discover (recollect) and think of your talents during the years you have spent in school. The subjects you liked, the classes you enjoyed, the dramas you enacted, the dances you have participated in, the instruments you played, debates or speeches you have given, prose and poetry that you wrote, the sports and games you have been a part of, the music troupe, the NCC…Look at what you have enjoyed, and why? Did you like subjects because of teachers? Or is it that even when the teachers were not that good at delivering, you had a fascination, excitement of happiness in reading or hearing some subjects? The ones you feel like reading and spending time with could be a favorite of yours.

Interest in the subject you opt is key to success. But that alone cannot complete our decision of choosing a subject for life. Every student has a potential or potentials unique to her or him. Often the School and Home help the student in exploring these unique potentials (or talents) talents. If not, you need to identify them with your parents, teachers or well-wishers. Take a decision on your choice after knowing well whether you have the potentials of marrying the subject. In simple terms this is called as the aptitude of the student. Examples are: aptitude to become designer, singer, pilot, chef, architect, veterinarian, doctor, agriculture business, visual communication specialist, artist and so on. Interest matched aptitude is key first step. You may need to be helped by parents and teachers in this regard.

The next factor bear in mind is opportunity: for eg you have great interest and favorable aptitude to a subject/course, but the society predicts that it is not a job oriented course. Should you opt for this course? You need to discuss this with parents, teachers or educational consultants who can predict the prospects of the job over next 10 -15 years.
The recognition - in terms of job-status and salary- is another important factor that the society is attributing a lot of importance to. Every job has its dignity, especially when you are passionate and possess the aptitude towards that.

Quickly to recap on clearing the confusion before you choose a course of study check these main factors: Interest, aptitude, opportunity, job-status, salary. Analyze each of these factors sitting alone, with an open mind, considering the advices from parents, teachers and well wishers.

Right subject and job selections are key to your success and the welfare of the society. Assume a person is working in a job which he or she does not like, the people whom they serve are the prey of their dislike! Every one of you has abilities; they need to be discovered and fixed appropriately to find a job of your fit that gives happiness for you and others in life. This is the right time to foresee and find that goodness-of-fit.

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” - Albert Einstein

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