Chart your own path

Ask your counsellor

Dear madam,

I am studying in engineering third year (6th semester). 

I want to be a professional traveller and see every corner of the world. 

How do I start my career in travelling?  
 
Please suggest a way. 
 
I feel like I am never into this engineering. I don’t like just mugging up a subject and answering exams. 

It doesn’t make any sense, but that's what I am doing in Engineering. 

If I sit back and think about  why I chose this field, the only reason I can come up with is that I just followed someone else’s footprints. 

I kept questioning myself about what actually I want to become. 

From childhood I have this habit of cutting out articles from newspapers that contain information about some beautiful (unknown) places, so that someday I could go there. Even today I do that. 

This thing has made me want to choose travelling as a career, and this decision isn’t an overnight one. 

I took time and moreover my heart says this is it. 

So, what’s the next step that I should consider after completing my engineering? 
 
My neighbourhood friends feel that I am gambling with my career if I take up this field. 

Is it true?

Some say pursue an MBA and travel and tourism course abroad so that you can have more opportunities. 
 
I don’t know what to do. 
 
I am messed up. 

I don't want to sit behind 10 desks back in a corner and work for 7-8 hours.

I want to be a traveller and would like to wander and be lost in people.

Khasim.  

Dear Khasim

I am not a career counsellor, and am not in a position to guide you on what course you should do, and where. 

All I can say is that if you are very sure of your passion and dreams, then go for it. 

There will always be people saying you are making the wrong choice. 

But if you believe that is the right choice for you, then go ahead with it. 

Meet other people in the field and ask them for their advice and inputs. 

Talk to role models in that field.
 
Visualize which aspect of the field you want to get into. 
 
Break up your goal into small achievable steps and then set forth climbing one step at a time. 

And most importantly, enjoy the climb while you are at it.

All the best.

Dear Madam

My son is studying in PU IInd year with the combination of science courses. 

As I have noticed, he does not have any ambition in acquiring any knowledge or skills, to develop his career options. 
 
He does not show much interest in studying books and doing his assignments but scores well with marks from 65 to 75 percent. 
 
He is good in the use of the mobile and internet by himself. 
 
So, I have been insisting that he spend more time on studying and working hard, but he does not take it seriously to improve his abilities.
 
I am worried about what kind of action he or I should take to improve his future. 

Thopaiah

Dear Thopaiah
 
While we feel that we know what is best for our children, and that the lessons we have learnt apply equally to them, we must recognize that they are unique individuals with their own strengths and weaknesses, and their own values and beliefs.
 
Everyone learns life’s lessons the hard way. We would like to try and make it easier for them, thinking that the lessons we learnt in our life are the same ones that will apply to them. 
 
So we try and hand them the lessons and wonder why they don’t accept them. 
 
The reality is that some of life’s lessons can only be learnt by living them, and experiencing them. 
 
So, while you are understandably anxious as a parent, you need to be able to deal with your anxiety in a way that is not counter-productive. 

You need to help him find his own motivation, rather than go down the path of “I know what is good for you”. 
 
Everyone needs to live their own dreams and chart their own path. 

Dear Madam

I am a 3rd year Computer Science engineering student, I should be in 4th year now, but I lost a year, last year. 
 
When I was in high school I had decided not to become a software engineer as I hated the computer subject, but my cousins told me that it is a good and easy profession. 
 
I thought I might be underestimating my capability so took CS. 
 
Now many a times I regret this decision. 
 
In every semester I get two backlogs. 

As I have entered this field I want to complete it. 

I have a habit of writing practice in studying but I lack confidence during exams . 
 
Please help.

Banashree Aribenchi

Dear Banashree

It is very important to believe in yourself, your capabilities, and your choices. 
 
You must choose a career that plays to your strengths and, therefore, makes you feel stronger and more capable, rather than weaker and incapable. 

While you have already come this far in your case, you may want to continue with your persistence and complete it, but you should allow yourself the option of ultimately choosing a career that you enjoy. 
 
Do not consider that you have wasted your time so far. Education is never lost and learning is never a waste. 

Don’t think that you have already spent 4 years in this field and so you need to necessarily spend the remaining 40 years of your working life doing something you do not enjoy.

Put the time spent into the perspective of your whole life. 
 
And find your passion.

Dear Madam

I am a 6th semester engineering student. 
 
My problem is that I am suffering from a severe type of fear and doubt in everything, whether it is  studies, exams, at home or outside. 
 
So I am suffering from lack of confidence and low self-esteem. Please help me in this regard. 

B Nawaz Ligade

Dear Nawaz

To be able to help you I would need to understand more about your fears and doubts. 
 
You may need some ongoing support so please contact a counsellor who can help you through this. 

I am not sure if you have easy access to a counsellor, but in case you do not please speak to a counsellor at the Parivarthan Counselling Helpline (Ph: 080 65333323) who will be able to help you. 
 
This is a free helpline which operates from Mondays to Fridays from 4 pm to 10 pm. 

Counselling can really help you rebuild your confidence and self-esteem and deal with your fears and doubts.

Dear Madam

I am currently in my 8th semester of Engineering (E & C), and have an aggregate of 59.8%. 
 
Recently with all the placement activities going on in my college, I've been feeling like I'm left behind. 

I had 2 backlogs in the 3rd semester, but cleared them in the very next semester, and that pulled my aggregate way down. 

Since then I saw to it that I never have any backlogs.
 
Because of this I wasn't eligible for a few reputed companies. 
 
Many of my friends got placed and because of the fact that I didn't, I feel very depressed. 

I have attended a couple of placement drives but I didn't get lucky. 
 
I have a good 10th and 12th score but just because I have a low aggregate in Engineering I was not able to attend many placement drives. 

I have good managerial and co-ordination skills, and I'm a goal-oriented person. 
 
I have been active in co-curricular activities. Will these qualities help me in the future? Are there any hopes for me?

A frustrated student.

Dear student

As I have said in this column, several times before, marks may only open some doors for you. 
 
But, ultimately making a success of the path that door leads to is not dependent on your marks. 
 
Success in the workplace, your career, and your life, depends on several things other than your marks. 
 
It depends on your confidence, your creativity, your ability to think out of the box, your ability to problem-solve, your ability to lead a team, your ability to be a contributing member of a team, your ability to communicate, your project management skills, your commitment and perseverance, and a host of other things. 
 
None of these are influenced by your marks. 
 
And remember, if one door closes, another will open, provided you allow it to. 

You may not make the grade in campus placement, but that does not mean that you will never find any job, or that you are a failure. 

You just may have to look a little harder.

Maullika Sharma is an MBA graduate with a specialistion in counselling. She works with adolescents and parents.

Send in your queries to Ask Your Counsellor,  Education, Deccan Herald, 75, MG Road, Bangalore-560001 or email as at dheducation @deccanherald.co.in

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