Having graduated out of IIT Delhi, I chose to be a writer. Like most of the IITians, by the time I finished my degree, I realized that I was not interested in engineering. I didn't want to push myself into the assembly line and take up a high paying job, serving someone else for any other sector like finance or consulting and I chose to go full time with my writing. I chose to do that I was interested in.
Once my struggle period got over, I encountered a weird kind of hostility amongst some people for me. I always find people who complain to me that I wasted a seat of my college. If I didn't want to become an engineer, why did I give JEE? Why did I waste government's lacs of money spent on me?
Generally, I do not reply to such an allegation, since people don't realize that a 17 year old guy, who hadn't yet seen the world, who hadn't done anything else other than dating his books for most of his high school, can't decide what does he want to do in life? It's only after he sees the world, gets exposed to different professions, art and cultures, that he could realize what is his real calling. And that's not all, sometimes, even after our college lives, we are yet to find our calling. For some, who know their calling, lack of family support or lack of will becomes the major hindrance.
Having chosen to pursue my inner calling, I would like to enable this feeling of satisfaction of discovering and pursuing what one really likes doing in every student. To accomplish this mighty task, I realize that we need a drastic change in one of the key issues of the youth. Schooling. Not only the primary, secondary and high school level, but also at the college level. The current system of schooling follows promote-the-best-forward ideology, which could be clearly elucidated by the fact considering any competition in which the school has to represent its student, teachers no doubt choose the best suited student for that competition. What about others, who might be equally or more interested in participating in that competition? Just because they could not discover whether they have the potential to excel in the other field, they get sidelined. What this results in is a narrowed development of an otherwise talented student, who gets involved in a particular activity and just because she's good in that, she is cut off from all the other interesting activities which could have otherwise opened her mind and made her personality all-rounded.
To explain with my own personal example, I had never written anything other than my answer papers in my school days. I came to IIT, started writing and realized that I was good at it and loved it. I pursued it, got better and much more interested. The reason I never wrote in school was because nobody motivated me to write in school. There were few students, who were good in English and they dominated the school editorial scene. Now surprisingly, none of those students are into writing. Tell me, had I been in the same environment all the while, would I ever have been able to discover the fact that I'd a flair in writing? No, never.
From where I stand, I can see two ways to move forward in this regard. One privately, by starting a company which trains teachers in holistic teaching and conducts seminars in schools and colleges to enable students discover their hidden talents, by exposing them to different fields. The other is by promoting a club like environment in schools, which thankfully exists in a lot of schools, where people get to participate in group activities in different domains and take them on tours to witness what professional life actually is and when they say they want to become a doctor, they should understand by experience that it's not just about medicines, but also about carefully handling several lives, being hygienic, and on one's toes all the time.
I think that the current schooling system needs restructuring to impart more holistic education along with more exposure to different professional scenarios, so that people choose what they would really love to do and such digression, like me, from one's primary career line doesn't take place so often, leading to a situation where when a student decides to take up engineering, he actually wants to become an engineer.