Identify your strengths before following your dream

Identify strengths, interests before following your dream

Ask Your Counsellor

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Dear Madam,

Both my parents are doctors, and want even me to be a doctor. But I always wanted to be an astronaut. I understand my parents' concern and also know that it is not easy to become an astronaut. Is it wise to take risk and follow my dream or follow my parent's dream?

Raghav

Dear Raghav,

Maybe it would help you to understand yourself a little better and identify your strengths and interests. Talk to people in the field you want to pursue. What does it entail? What will be the challenges it will present? What will the future look like? What about the field holds your fascination? That way you go into the field being more self-aware of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges. You do not go in imagining the path forward to be a bed of roses but recognise the challenges and know if you are up to facing them. And after all this introspection if it still holds your fancy do what your heart says. But do it after engaging your head. As for the nursing home, your parents may always be able to come up with another succession plan.

Dear Madam,

I am a Class 10 student and not able to focus on my studies because of the current uncertainty. Parents keep reminding me how important this exam is making me more scared. I also get depressed when I see others struggling in academics. Please help.

Raghu

Dear Raghu,

We are indeed living through difficult times, and probably when you sent in your letter, the 10th Board exams had not yet been cancelled. But most of them have now been cancelled and I presume that applies to yours as well. Maybe that comes as a relief to you, and maybe it does not, given that the environment of uncertainty, struggle, anxiety and fear still prevails. Remember that you are not the only one feeling this way. Most of humanity at this current time is burdened with feelings of being overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, scared and depressed – to name just a few of the common feelings. At a time like this for you to expect that you will be able to concentrate and focus as though nothing has happened is unrealistic. And that is also probably something your parents need to understand. Maybe you can show this letter to them.

You must talk about it to someone. If there is a trusted adult who will help, reach out to them. Or better still if you can access the support of a counsellor reach out for help. And remember, the 10th Board exams, even if yours are still going to happen, do not define your life for all times to come (unlike what the adults in our life like to tell us). They are a mere steppingstone on life’s journey. Put in your best effort and do not worry about outcome. Focus on your learning, and not on marks. Remember, this time that has been brought upon us, is an opportunity for us to learn valuable life lessons.

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