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Counsel queries

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Change in stream

For all my senior school life I had conditioned myself to think that I want to become an engineer and then work for a few years after which I wanted to pursue my MBA and then take my career ahead in the corporate world. I grew up loving the science subjects, and my favourite was always mathematics. I scored well at my ICSE exams and secured admission in the science stream, along with which I started training for my engineering entrance exams with specialised coaching. I am in class 12 (HSC) right now. Over the period of the last one year, I have slowly begun to detest the very subject I liked. I do not enjoy working on mathematics questions or physics and chemistry. I have no inclination towards scoring any marks or becoming an engineer at all. I just want to enrol in an easier programme in the commerce or arts stream, so that I can get rid of all the pressures. My parents have many dreams for me and my career, and I am afraid to tell them that I don’t want to pursue engineering any more. What should I do?
Sagar Chopda (name changed)

Dear Sagar,
I think what you are experiencing is a burn out due to excessive stress of studying and pressure of doing well. Lakhs of students undergo this coaching every year, and several of them are not able to cope with the stress. The stress takes such huge proportions that often students are not able to keep up and lose all interest in what they are doing. My suggestion is that first you talk to your parents very calmly and seriously about what you are going through, and sit with them to decide what your next step should be. It is important that you have the support and understanding of your parents in whatever you do, after all, they are going to be your pillars of strength through your life.


Once you have discussed with them, if need be do visit a psychological counsellor, and figure out the root cause of the problem, so that you can eliminate the cause. You will be able to determine whether you really dislike the subjects now, or whether it is just a temporary reaction due to the stress. In this manner you will be able to figure whether or not you should continue to aspire for engineering or move on to other streams like you have mentioned. Moving on is not a bad thing at all, but you have to make sure that your reasons are correct.

You have to keep in mind that whatever you do in your academic life, you will be faced with a certain amount of stress to do well or score high to secure admission to a good college or programme whether it is commerce, arts, or even MBA. I suggest that you first figure out why you developed the dislike, and then move ahead.

In the mean time, simultaneously, please engage in a few activities that help relieve the stress – whether it is playing a sport, engaging in a hobby you like or even yoga and meditation. All of the above done together will definitely help you to arrive at a solution for what you are facing today. All the best!

Media or law?

I am in TYBMM and I have opted for the journalism stream. I have always been an excellent grade student, and scored well throughout my school and college life. I took up BMM after 12th because I had decided in advance that I would like to study journalism professionally, but it was only for studying. After my graduation, I want to take up LLB and make a career in the law stream. Until now, I was all set, but now my parents have planted a seed of doubt in my head. They mean well, but now they have confused me. They are saying that if in so good in media, I should try and continue in the field and make my career. They are wondering why I want to opt for law. Now I’m doubting my decision. What would you suggest?
Jigna Parekh

Dear Jigna,

I can imagine your dilemma. This is a dilemma that many well doing students face. But it is not your fault. Our system is such that often intelligent students will do well at anything they do. You seem to be one of those. Hypothetically speaking, even if you we to take up engineering, you seem to be a student who would do well. That’s because students are used to studying all different subjects and score well. The same habit carries on until college. The downside, though, is that often interest is measured via marks, and that’s where the problem stems from.

The point I’m arriving at is that you will be good at many things, but you need to choose that field for a career which interests you and you think you would enjoy working in for a long time to come. I also think that a good remuneration package should be ideal for a person like you.

So between the fields that you gave mentioned, media and law, you can choose either, you will do well. What you need to determine is which field interests you more. Which would be a field you’d like to work in for a long time to come? Law will definitely be a better paying option, but media isn’t quite bad. Stress levels exist in every field, I’m sure that you already know.
Your parents may be right in the idea that you’re doing well, but they may not be aware of your interests. So sit and talk to them, I’m sure they will understand. Choose well!

Legal route

I am in 12th Arts, and I have decided to study law in the future. Unfortunately, there are too many opinions in my house regarding how I’m to go about applying for my law degree. My father feels I should do an LLB after my BA (in political science), because he thinks that degree holds more power. My mother, on the other hand, does not want me to ‘waste’ an extra year in BA LLB, so she wants me to take up the five-year law programme immediately after my 12th. I want to pursue my BA in literature because I love literature and want to experience it fully. I might not have another chance to delve deeply into the field of literature afterwards. My parents are against me decision, they think of literature as a waste of time. I’m thoroughly confused.

Jahanvi Bapat

Dear Jahanvi,

While your mother is right, in the sense that the five-year law programme was introduced so that students could save a year in getting their LLB degree, your father is not right in thinking that the BA LLB degree holds more power. I’m sure both your parents are looking out for you to do your best in your career, as are you. I must add that as a student you also have to enjoy your academic journey. All the options you have stated will lead you to a fruitful and well paying career, so you need to decide what you want to do and go ahead accordingly. It’s a given that the BA LLB option will take up an extra year. However, I do like your idea of studying a subject you are passionate about. Also, when pursuing your BA in literature, you will be able to participate in different fests in college.