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What Do I Do?

If you’re Indian, you will know that the typical stereotype for a suitable career path is if you’re a girl, some type of doctor, and if you’re a boy, an engineer or architect (or something along those lines.) So, by the time I hit 8th grade, I was knee deep in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Additional Math (additional to regular Math, which let’s face it, was enough pressure already.) all of which are required subjects to pursue a career in medicine. I was miserable to say the least.

Eventually, I moved to a different high school for their IB programme and ended up choosing to study the same subjects I did at my old school because I’d never known anything else, and I figured it would be good to study subjects I’d already had a bit of background on. Plus, I was dead set on my career as a doctor. But then, outside of class and with the new friends I’d made, I dabbled in different fields, immersed myself in learning about and writing short fiction and poetry, and realised that I wasn’t really enjoying any of the classes I was taking besides English. I developed a whole set of interests that I had never even known about before.

I’d always thought that I liked the sciences because I’d never known anything else. This revelation brought about a bit of a struggle because I was already halfway through the school year and changing subjects would be a hassle not even the most dedicated of students could deal with because of the 6 months worth of work I would have missed. So I plugged on, glad that I had at least picked one subject right. And now, here we are. I’ve graduated, and I’m on my way to pursuing an English degree.

The one thing that I’ve taken away from this experience is that I’m glad I’m not studying to be a doctor. I’d be the actual worst at it. Everything makes me squeamish. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t be a doctor if you want to. I just don’t. I think me not being a doctor is for the greater good. Think about it: would you want to be treated by a doctor who didn’t want to be a doctor? By someone who dreaded working 80 hours a week at a hospital? No, because they wouldn’t be a very good doctor.

You can’t ask judge a fish based on its ability to climb a tree. Everybody’s different and has different strengths and we shouldn’t evaluate success based on such strict criteria. What if everyone in the world was a doctor? Who would do anything else? Why do we watch movies every weekend if directors, actors, musicians are not as important? Why do we read books or go to school if teachers and writers were not as important? Who would be teaching us about history or art? Who cares about Van Gogh and his Starry Night or anything in the past?

What I’m saying is, I don’t really understand the stigma that surrounds being in any field besides medicine, business or physics. So I guess, if you’re reading this, the biggest and most important piece of advice I can give you is to learn as much as you can. Expose yourself to new information. Read books and watch movies from different fields and be vast. You never know where you’re going to find something you’re interested in.



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