by Alankrita Shome

Disillusionment To Delight


The Disillusioned One

Sumathy Kannan and I had been together in school. Not that, I was her closest friend, but we did exchange pleasantries. Sumathy was a passionate singer and penned music too. She came from a conservative family and most people in her family did not really appreciate her singing western numbers and were appalled when she spent time busting her stress on English songs. They were of course supportive of her melodious voice but her Grandmother wanted her to train in Cathartic music to hone her talent. Also even this only as a hobby. Sumathy pursuing music as a career was not to be at any cost.

Sumathy went through emotional turmoil when in High School. She would perform miserably if her musical side was thwarted. Her math grades would improve, if she had completed the lyrics of a beautiful song. You could see her mood swings. It was evident that Sumathy was fighting…with her conscience, parental respect, societal expectations and with her being more than the ordinary.

The saddest part is when, I met Sumathy recently, and she was pursuing Chemical Engineering and was wading through it almost lifeless. She had forgotten her dreams of pursuing Music as she had no idea where and who could help her out with her dreams. I can’t say if it actually remained her dream anymore. She had exhausted herself and accepted defeat. Her family and society had been successful in making her ‘normal’. They had convinced her that one cannot make a career and money out of music.

There are a lot of issues in the case study above. Cultural differences, Multiple Intelligence not understood, lack of awareness, and most of all lack of guidance. The apathy of her parents who did not support clearly reflected Sumathys state of mind today. I have no idea if Sumathy will be a successful chemical engineer or not but one thing is certain, the music world has lost a brilliant star.

There are many Sumathys in the society today. Some accept her path, others resist and some others revolt. All three are in the wrong direction. What then is right? Who then will help us out? Hear us out?

Challenges are bound to come; things will not be rosy always. But one must be able to reach out to the right guiding platform. It can be an individual or a group of professionals. It’s definitely required specially in today’s scenario, when the choice is more than vast. ProTee’s gamified portal is indeed well researched and apt.

ProTeen offers 550+ career options and you can virtually role play to suit your capability. The ultimate choice is yours but the right guidance offers you an aid towards your choice. At least you see a direction and move positively towards it. Most parents approve of it too. People from all walks of life and interests have found it assures an all-round development and proves them through scientific psychometric tests. Even school guidance counsellors can use it to create a ripple effect in their institutions.

I would like to specially recommend people like Sumathy to watch a vlog dedicated to music lovers on ProTeen. How a choice of life is made by following ones heart and not by money alone. Actually when I saw it, I was reminded of her and that’s what inspired me to write this to benefit many more of the same caliber.

Let us follow our dreams but move in the right way. Seek help whenever we are on cross roads and any kind of dilemma. It is always recommended to try out hobbies, passions, aptitudes, abilities, interests and capabilities before taking the plunge. This will definitely help us grow rather than remain disillusioned for life.

Is this the ultimate choice? The dilemma of options

It would be just a perfect world, if we all knew our directions while choosing the right stream of studies and the quintessential career. But nothing works out perfectly in reality. Initially the young minds are quite carried away by the counselling given by their facilitators in school and of course their parents. In this case it’s most often than not that parents love to ‘thrust’ their unfulfilled dreams on their wards. There have been cases in my class where the parents of two of my twin friends, just decided that one will pursue engineering and the other one medicine! How convenient was that? Both the boys were averse to biology and had a soft corner for computer applications.

I remember the disillusioned face of one, when his parents tried to coax him into life science. Series of counselling from all angles-teachers, coordinators, student counselors started pouring in. I lost track and wonder if that issue was resolved at all.

Around three decades back, there was hardly any dilemma. There were hardly any options. As cliche as it may sound, but the ‘ nerds’ took up science the ‘less fortunate’, commerce and the absolute ‘no hopes’ opted for arts. I shudder to even think of this way of measuring ones capability in deciding a stream for future. Glad to come from a family, which has believed in providing a long yardstick in making choices in academics by interest, intrigue and curiosity. I personally think that’s how it should be. College cutoffs, peer bonding, parental pressure and societal demands cannot determine your line of study.

It’s easier said than done. Young formidable minds go through a lot of stress, pressure and confusion while choosing their line after school. Some schools and boards enable this choice in high school. In ICSE, one can opt out of a core subject like Math or Science from class 9 and take up Economics or Commerce. Statistics has proven that many homes do not want their offspring to opt out of Math as it seems indispensable in life. So the struggle goes on. But is it really helpful to make such an early choice? Does it not curb your future options? After all at 14 can you really know what you are good at?

Challenges continue after school with reference to your course. Should the college ranking be taken? Should we go by alumni reports? Do results speak the truth? Many a time when the plunge is made after a lot of research, you realize that it’s not what you really wanted. The college is definitely top ranked but student satisfaction may be zero. Faculty may fail in arousing curiosity. Long hours and high dose of theory may drain you out. The student doubts his choice and grass seems greener on the other side.

At a certain level of maturity you do realize that there is no such thing as a perfect course or a perfect college. Some students accept it and concentrate on future endeavors and others shell themselves in a gloomy well terrified to make the next choice. Some even reboot and restart making a fresh beginning trying to find happiness in what they may think to be greener pastures.

Higher education happens when you are a full grown adult and career choices must be kept in mind. Different challenges approach them. By now they have realized that there is an umpteen number of options available in every discipline and various Universities in the World. Newer queries in mind range from eligibility, feasibility, affordability, accessibility to availability. Many students still prefer to go by passion rather than interest and many make wrong choices even now inadvertently of course. Stanford psychologists Carol Dweck and Gregory Walton conducted a series of laboratory studies that examined the belief systems that lead people to succeed or fail. They researched on two categories of students- passionate about STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Math] and passionate about Arts and Humanities. Results proved that ‘follow your passion’ tends to make people less successful. They can’t deal with roadblocks. It is a close minded view and can be detrimental to success.

Now then, the question still remains as to how to make the right choice? What determines an interest in the student? Is it academic result? Is it a commercially created aptitude test? Another important challenge in the global scenario is considering the financial benefits more than any other factor while choosing a career. One cannot deny its importance but we have also seen societies and communities crumbling under the mad rush of making money at the cost of real happiness.

Ultimately one needs to channelize one’s challenges. And which better portal than ProTeen. I have personally come across several units who claim to give in their best and the end result is that we are back to square one! But ProTeen stands out. I’m not saying this without research. If you take time off and go through their programs and varied projects dealing with a student’s dilemma,you’ll know what I mean.

ProTeen is not just student friendly but parent friendly too. You will know that you are not singled out when it comes to a confusion of choice. There are very many who emphasis with you and ProTeen helps to guide you through your journey.

Author – Alankrita Shome


  • sanskriti savaran singh
    January 28, 2020

    So true. Why do people always tell us what do rather than letting us do what we want?

  • Kaveri S S
    January 22, 2020

    There are many Sumathy’s in this real world. Dilemma of choices are there. An enlightening article.

  • Inthiyaz Ahmad
    December 11, 2019

    Parent’s opinions are important but not to hinder the children’s career path.

  • Soham Upadhye
    November 11, 2019

    Believing in yourself is the key. Great work!

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