From a very young age, children are fed stereotypes and are put under pressure. Something similar happened to me, and I ended up taking Computer Science as my undergraduate major. Two semesters through university, I realized that I had no interest in what I was studying and I was more attracted to the courses my friends in Arts had than I was to the courses being offered to me.
After much evaluation, I decided to opt for something that’s considered “impractical” in our society: Communication & Design. Here’s what I had to deal with:
First of all, my parents of course
I had to carefully explain to my parents why I was going against their wishes and taking up something, which according to them, “had no scope in the future”. I had to explain what I would be studying and the career options I would have after graduating. The phrase “Awaara nahi ghoomunga miljayegi job“ got thrown around a lot.
Eventually, I was able to convince them and for the first time in my life, I actually realized how Farhan must have felt in 3 Idiots.
My friends, who thought that I was giving up
Whichever friend I talked to, their first reaction was, “Don’t give up.”
Most of them thought that I found Computer Science too hard and I was running away to a “comparatively easier field.” I had to reassure them, repeatedly, that I was not running away from my dreams but instead towards them. I had to make them understand that no field is “easy” or “impractical” just because it doesn’t conform to society’s norms.
I had to resort to movies to get my point across
Sounds like a joke, till you sit your parents in front of Raees and Shahrukh Khan is all “Koi dhanda chota nahi hota.” The strangest things will work, guys.
I got the classic sympathetic head tilt a lot
The pity nods and the head tilts just kept on coming. I grew tired of them. Whenever I told someone about my decision, the first reaction I got was the sympathetic look. I got to hear “Jo hota hai ache k lye hota hai” more than I ever wanted to.
People just couldn’t grasp the fact that I wanted this. That someone, especially a guy, could willingly shift over from Sciences to Arts. They kept telling me that everything was gonna be okay when I was trying to tell them, that for the first time everything felt like better than okay. UGH. I hated it!
The biggest hurdle in the process was the self-doubt
Changing my major mid-degree, against my parents’ wishes and in defiance of the norms of society was a big decision for me. There were times where I felt like I was making a mistake. Where I felt like I was gonna mess up my life. There was this voice at the back of my head which kept warning me. My mind was a mess. Was all this temporary or did I really want to change my major?
Accepting what my mind was thinking was not easy. Finally, for the first time ever, I was trying to take control of my life and it was really daunting.
However, I also knew that this was what I wanted to pursue. I knew that if I didn’t make this decision now I was going to regret it for the rest of my life. I took the step because it is important to know yourself and the person that you want to be.
Living my life under pressure was in the past and I was done being the person that the society wanted me to be. I was ready to live my life according to myself and be the person that I wanted to be. I was finally free. This poor house-elf had finally gotten his pair of socks and now he’s been making the most of it ever since.
Let me know if you’ve ever been in a similar situation.
Cover image via livewellmagazine.org