When we are on the verge of completing college, there is a tide in the affairs of our lives- What’s next? This question has been making its entry into most of my conversations with friends, with the counted days left for us to graduate.
Today was my first day of attendance for the new semester and therefore, it lead to the usual greetings among classmates. There was however, a particular question that most of them asked me and my answer gave a mixture of reactions.
(Since a lot of my friends, actually most people in my class had started taking MBA (Masters of Business Administration) tuitions, I had gotten peer pressured into it unknowingly. I had not realised it for long. I finally did when the teacher constantly pointed out my lackadaisical attitude towards the classes. It had taken a lot of soul searching to finally conclude to myself in all honesty that I was unsure of “what’s next?” The acknowledgement made me feel like I had been hit by a bus. Harder it would be to explain to my family were my following thoughts. However, having understood very well that continuing on this path was a fruitless endeavour, I decided to not continue classes any more.)
The question was ‘’ Have you left the tutorial?’’
My reply was ‘’Yes”.
Reactions – “Really?’’ (With raised eyebrows), “How cool!” e.t.c.
I do not know if it should be really that shocking or whether it is cool or not. This is what I know- It is completely okay to have doubts and not know what to do immediately after having graduated. It is better to have threaded on path of desire and failed than have failed on a path of what just felt like the next step. Besides, there is nothing as such as failure because it just gives you a new direction, even though you are bound to feel so when you are in that dark hole. It is not about what you want to be, it is about who you want to be. It is not about what you want to do, it is about why you want to do it. It is about finding what makes you alive and then pursuing it.
We are all going to get that degree but let us not treat it like just another piece of paper or addition to our resume. Let us count our blessings because we are the few lucky ones who have made it to higher education in a country which is crippled with illiteracy and poverty.
Another thing that captured my mind is something which has been in the news now- the reduction of women in the work force. Since my department in college is all girls, I feel like I need to say this. I hear a lot of you saying – “I do not have the time to take a break and think what I want to do”, “I will just have to settle with the scores in my competitive exams because I do not have the time to take them again”. Let us just retrospect a little. The journey so far has not been an easy one. There has been the pressure of competition, parent’s expectations, high school drama, first heartbreaks and so on. But we have survived all this. Then what makes you say you do not have the time now? There is going to be more pressure and obstacles from everywhere but you need to fight back. Fight back for what is rightly yours- your life and having the right to do what you want with it and taking your time to do it.
A lot of you might be telling yourselves right now that the above words sound very nice but I am shying away from the fact that we belong to a patriarchal society filled with social stigma where woman are suppose to act and do things in a certain way and have no say in matters of their own self, let alone other things. But I am not shying away from the fact. I am asking you to face it and fight against it. Because if you do not, it will continue for generations. Take your stand today to crush and break free from these shackles of such injustice which dwells in our society.
We have just entered our twenties and we are not suppose to have it all figured out or expect it to go just the way we have planned it. But what we can do is be true to ourselves and prove them wrong just the way we did when we poured out in large numbers to vote, protested against the criminalisation of LGBT rights and raised our voices to condemn ridiculous comments like “Boys will be boys, they make mistakes”.