Ask your counsellor- Mistakes don't define you

Ask your counsellor- Mistakes don't define you

Dear Madam,

I am pursuing Computer Science Engineering, but I am actually interested in building a life in the field of social welfare and want to work towards the betterment of society. I have little interest in Computer Science and other technical fields. I presently don’t have any idea what my future would be like. I am still trying to figure out what exactly I want to do. Please suggest how I can find something meaningful.


Dear Srihari,

Computer Science is not an end in itself, just a means to an end. This may be a good time for you to do some introspection on what your strengths and weaknesses are. Doing something that plays to your strengths and minimises the impact of your weaknesses can make the journey of life much more joyful. Take time to analyse the opportunities that may be in front of you, and what the obstacles and threats to your path may be. And understand what success means to you. What do you need to do, or experience, to feel successful? You said you would like to do something meaningful. What would be meaningful to you? 

The answers to all these questions are personal and there are no right or wrong answers. But you must ponder over them, and answer them, to get some guidance on which way to proceed. Once you have these answers, speak to people who you think are doing meaningful things. Speak to people who can provide you with guidance and insight. And then decide on your next step. But do remember that even if you make a mistake on your next step, you can always get back on track, or change tracks, for no mistake defines you (or your life) unless you allow it to. Good luck!

Dear Madam,

I had applied for an internship in a foreign university and my application has been accepted. I haven’t told my best friend about it as I want to stay ahead of her in the race and didn’t want her to tag along with me. But now I feel guilty about it and try to spend as less time as possible with her. What is the right thing to do?


Dear Priya,

Please remember that life is not a race. Just this one piece of advice, if followed, will hold you in good stead! There is enough room in the world for each one of us to be the best versions of ourselves that we want to be. How can you be an authentic and true friend if out-doing the other person is more important than your relationship with that person. Your friend will probably feel very let down by the fact that you did not keep her updated or in the loop. Whenever you are wondering how someone else may think or feel, try reversing the equation and understand how you would think or feel if you were the one at the receiving end of such behaviour.

Something about the tone of your note, however, gives me the impression that you are not truly comfortable with this friend. It seems more like a friendship you are having to keep up with and maintain, rather than one you are enjoying and comfortable with. If that is the case then you may need to understand your reasons for continuing it, even if you don’t want to. There is no reason for guilt here. If you are remorseful of your actions, make amends. If not, then move on with your life — maybe you have outgrown your friendship.

Dear Madam,

I have been in a relationship with my girlfriend for over a year now. But of late I am having a crush on another friend of mine. With passing days, my feelings for her are getting intensified. But I don’t want to cheat on my girlfriend. Please help.


Dear Sudeep,

If you don’t want to cheat on your girlfriend, then your only option is to have an open and honest conversation with her. However, before you do that, you must understand your reasons for wanting to end your existing relationship and starting a new one. What will you gain and what will you lose? You must be convinced that is the right thing to do for you. But please bear in mind that there is a sense of excitement and adventure in a new relationship, which wears off over time. The grass always appears greener on the other side. That is probably what happened in your current relationship, and the same may happen in your next one. If you are wanting to end your existing relationship, you should be wanting to end it, even if there was no one new on the horizon. We will always be faced with choices and options in life. We need to know why we make the choice we do. It is not always about making the choice that currently appears to be the better ones in the immediate future.