Be your own hero

Be your own hero

Ask your counsellor

Be your own hero

Dear Madam,
My daughter is currently studying in PUC (commerce) second year in Mount Carmel College. She has scored 90 per cent in SSLC and 91 per cent in PUC first year. She is interested in arts (dancing, singing, acting) but due to our pressure, she goes to college. Initially, she had decided to take up CA so as to avoid science but she’s now decided to wait for second year PUC results to zero in on a field. Could you please suggest a future course of action for her?
N Manjunath

Dear Manjunath,
I am not a career counsellor, and as such, have very little to add in terms of what would be a good career choice for her. It is best you involve her in the decision, rather than some random stranger like myself. She knows her passion and interests best, and she is the one who has to live with the choice that she makes. So, it is only fair that she have a say in it. If your daughter is passionate and talented in the creative fields and is able to maintain good academic scores as well, then you really should not be worrying about her. The important thing for you at this stage, as a parent, is to maintain an open communication with her and be on the same side of the decision-making process as her, rather than on the opposite side.

It is best not to make it a us (i.e., parents) versus her situation, but rather create an environment in which you all participate in this decision-making process together to arrive at what you all collectively feel and think would be the best bet for her future success. There is not much to be gained in her getting ‘stuck’ in a field in which she has no interest, only due to ‘parental pressure’. I am sure you have your reasons for wanting her to pursue a particular field, and she will have her reasons to want to pursue other fields. The key lies in everyone being on the same side and understanding each other’s point of view and allowing for differences in perspective. There really is no replacement for genuine authentic communication. All the best.

Dear Madam,
I was raised to be very dependent on my parents. While some kids were already doing things like cooking or cleaning by themselves at age 12, my parents always did those things for me and my brother. It’s not a bad thing but I am almost 18 now and worried that I won’t be able to do much for myself or live on my own after high school. Kindly help.
An overly dependent child

Dear overly dependent child,
It is really heart-warming to receive your letter. In this generation, I think there may be many children in your situation, who may not even recognise this as a problem. Given that the current generation of parents typically have only one or two children, there is a tendency to ‘over-parent’, ‘over-protect’ and ‘over-do’. However, the fact that you recognise it, and are aware of the negatives of this (even though there are also great advantages to be at the receiving end of such love and attention) leaves me with no doubt that you will live up to whatever is demanded of you when the situation and the need arises. And if you are concerned about not being able to do it later, maybe you should start doing it now. Start doing the things that you would like to be able to do for yourself, and don’t be ‘too dependent’ on your parents.

Dependence is a two-way process between the one who creates the dependence and the one who accepts and receives it. So, do your bit to wean off the dependence and you will be surprised at how independent you can be. Go ahead, give it a shot! All the best.

Dear Madam,
Many people around me have been asking me about my career choice of lately. But I am struggling to zero in on a field. I am the kind of person who will enjoy anything as long as a good atmosphere with the right kind of people is guaranteed. I have always enjoyed and understood science, particularly chemistry and have recently become very interested in psychology. Initially, I thought I could combine the two and possibly study medicine and then psychiatry. However, I am unsure as to whether psychiatry is the right career for me and whether I would enjoy it in the future. I guess I would prefer to work in a lab rather than in a space that requires me to interact directly with  people, although the concept of being a teacher strangely appeals to me. Kindly help me out.
A confused student

Dear confused student,
You might want to begin with some aptitude testing to see what your natural inclinations are and what you enjoy. For this, you should probably take the help of a career counsellor. Also, spend some time understanding yourself. What are your strengths and weaknesses, what you enjoy and what interests you, and what you are passionate about. You seem to be in an enviable situation where you have the option of having many choices in front of you, each of which could be an equally good option.

Try talking to people you know (or someone you know knows), who are working in the various fields you are considering — ask them what it involves, what are good skill sets to have, what a typical day looks like, the growth prospects and the challenges of their field. And then make an informed decision.

However, remember that there is no one ‘perfect’ answer to your question; there may be several equally good options. The important thing is to go down one path and give it your best shot knowing that you have the potential to make a success of whatever you set your mind and heart to. And if you do decide on a path and realise after some time, for whatever reason, that you made a sub-optimal choice, you can switch paths. It may entail a little hardship and loss of time and money, but it is possible. In the words of John Wooden, it is important to remember that no matter what, “Success is never final, and failure is never fatal, it’s courage that counts.” Wish you good luck!


Maullika Sharma is an MBA graduate with a specialisation in counselling. She works with adolescents and parents. Send in your queries to Education, Deccan Herald, 75, MG Road, Bengaluru-560001 or e-mail us at dheducation@deccanherald.co.in.

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