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Test Tubes or Microphones?

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Lets face it, the jump every student has to make from 10th to 11th is exciting, challenging, a new prospect but at the same time a mind boggling questions arises in the head of every cadet; the fragile choice on which stream of subjects to select for the next level that will potentially change their entire lives.

Presented with the option of science, humanities, or commerce, me, being a potential 10th grade graduate (my boards only get over on June), have faced this question multiple times, at my home, at school, and even from out of the continent! Researching form books and on the internet, every student, some painfully, discovers that the science stream is the safe option every expert seems to recommend. But, wait, let’s stop ourselves there and ask ourselves this question; does the science stream really live up to all its hype in everyday newspaper advice column pages?

Looking at the three groups, the science stream does present every student with an ocean of life career prospects, that many may have dreamt from childhood, for example, the cliché basics-a scientist, a doctor, and an engineer. The list just goes on and on. The main reason every parent and teacher persuades and urges every student to choose the scientific part of educations is to mainly ensure their offspring’s future, as when gone in that direction, a promising, firm foundation for life is made set for the student, no doubt. Most universities nowadays give themselves an extra persuasion when they hear the applicant has math and science in their portfolio. From there, multi-national recruitment companies raid colleges for the scientific minds and leave the rest of us thinking where the heck did we go wrong? Looking at most achieved personalities from today as well, many seems to have been brought up from the science clan-Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking. So, arguably, this stream does provide ready-made earnings, steady employment, and possibly even fame.

Before we laud all our praise on to that option, for a moment, just transition ourselves back to the year 2009; the year where the unheard voices of suffering science students was really heard from the most unlikeliest of sources; a movie, to be more accurate, “3 IDIOTS”.  Rancho, a.k.a Punsukh’s proclamation about doing the work which pleases you and you are in love, with clearly underlines the situation many students faced then and faces now. Talk to engineering students, at least 1 out of 5 may be only an engineering student because of a family obligation where parents and even grandparents had planned out their life paths even before they were born!

Coming back to the stream selection, despite the fact that the science stream offers a kaleidoscope of life opportunities; the humanities and commerce stream also do provide very good competition in the field of being set for life.

Take the commerce stream for example. A student, who enjoys crunching numbers, and racking up graphs and numerical charts, can opt for this field where the prospect of being an accountant for a business firm, or an insurance manager in a bank, or being the secretary of a multi-national firm lies in wait. Even as parents might be shell-shocked when their child opts for a future marriage with numbers, the student’s performance and achievements in their field, purely due to their passion and love towards the subject, will soon, calm down dad’s blood pressure and increase the level of repetition of “I told you so”s from mom.

Looking at the prospect of being a graduate of a humanities course, the possibilities for life seem endless and at the same time interesting and not bland. For one thing, he or she could take up a job at being the senior editor of a world-wide publisher, or a childhood dream of being a professional counsellor would be fulfilled if opting for this stream. Furthermore, knowledge of knowing multiple languages and foreign customs could land you in a prospective job with the FBI, who would consider you as an asset. An icing to the cake would be a job that throws you into the cocktail of law in the country, as the prospect of becoming a lawyer is wide open. If fame is on your bucket list, provided that your lips wont tremble when facing thousands, you could land up a highly paid and publicised job at the United Nations either as a delegate or  as an ambassador or as a spokesperson.

In every stage of life, there will be competition; be it your classmates, or your fellow competitors in a competition. The same thing can be applied to this tight-rope walking choice. In a society, where it is dominated by the alpha field, science, choosing another could lead to icy stares and raised eyebrows at you, and many will feel the peer of not sticking with the herd. Choose science, and vast opportunities to invent live-saving cures, or build shelters are presented, but others are shut; In the same manner, choose humanities, the chance to involve yourself personally in world changing decisions, bellowing your voice into microphones to alert the public are laid on a platter, but the chance to mix some chemicals with test-tubes are shut right from the off. Proclaiming the science stream as the all-time best seems a bit far-fetched, but the tremendous amounts of applicants for NEET, entrance exams seem to justify that half the country is rushing in to the “safe” stereotypical option. A field will be most promising and prospective when the student thinks so. A student with passion for public speaking cannot be expected to invent a cure for cancer, or likewise, a student who loves to fix and repair electrical items cannot be expected to maintain the finances of DLF. As showcased, at some point, the science stream is a solid foundation for life, but the world is ever-changing; you may never know when top companies require complex, mathematical commerce brains, or brave public speakers.

 

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