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Career Counseling

Career Choice Confusion After SEE: Are Sciences the Only Good Option?

Aug 20, 2021

Let's hear about Sophie. She has been a bright student all her life. Straight As, numbers always in the 90s. Everyone’s so proud of her. Everyone believes she’s going to end up becoming one of the best doctors the country has ever seen. Some believe she’s going to be an A-grade engineer who’ll end up storming the Silicon Valley transfixing people like Medusa. Sophie is both humbled and terrified by all the expectations that rest on her. She goes on to secure a perfect 4.0 GPA in SEE and now she’s looking for the best option moving forward. What does she do?

Let’s hear about someone else. Sarah has been an average student throughout school. Sarah enjoys looking at the sunset while her peers scan through bundles and bundles of textbooks. Sarah reads about Dante and Beatrice while her classmates consume Newton’s laws of motion day in day out. Sarah has a decent GPA in her SEE result sheet. What does she do next?

It’s Okay to Be Confused and Make Mistakes

First thing we’d like to tell you is that you are not alone. If you find this ‘picking a subject’ task difficult and demanding, we want you to know that it's okay. If you feel daunted, alone, and are creating negative labels about your personality, we apologize to you because, after all, everything is society’s doing and we too are a part of it. 

As an individual, you must realize that you are barely stepping into the reality of what life is. There is a lot of time for you to change, explore, and learn. We encourage you to take risks and make as many mistakes as you possibly can. You’ve probably heard or seen this famous quote coined by Samuel Beckett. “Ever tried, Ever failed, No matter, Try again, Fail again, Fail better.”  

Identifying the Parameters Involved 

Before you pick a subject ask yourselves these four questions:

  1. Do I like the subject I am picking?

  2. Do I think I’ll do well if I pick this subject?

  3. Is there something else I want to do? 

  4. Am I sure I won’t regret not pursuing what I really want to do?

These would be the most basic parameters that you might want to think about when deciding on what subject to pursue. While there are many questions that may contradict your decision, we think that if you can answer these questions honestly, you will probably make the right call. If not, at least you can restart 2 years later with zero regrets about the choices you made because you’ll have gained experience. And experience is probably the best subject out there, well worth more than all your physics, mathematics, economics, etc., combined. 

It’s Still Too Early To Worry

Having completed your SEE, most of you are about 14-16 years of age. You still have loads of time for reflection and rectification. As a society, people in Nepal tend to be extremely critical and cautious about SEE and +2/A-Levels/IB. When in reality, you won’t even be 20-years old by the time you’re done with +2. If this is not the time to take risks and experiment then when is?  

However, having said that, if you already have something you really love, you may consider going for it. Two things you absolutely have to keep in mind are these:

  • Would I end up losing interest in what I’ve picked?

  • Do I see clear career opportunities in the subject of my choice?

If you are, however, unsure about these questions, you have absolutely no reason to worry. If it comes to this, think about what you’re good at. If you are good at science, take it. If you’re good at commerce, take it. Same thing for art! 

If you are, though, good at science but you absolutely want to pursue art, don’t stop yourself. The worst that can happen is that society won’t consider you ‘wise’. But in the end, it's your happiness that should matter over society’s idea of what success is. Having said that, do not ignore your skills. If you are really good at something, maybe you should give it a shot!

It's About Personal Development at the End 

Whatever you end up doing, do not ignore the fact that there is a lot of personal growth that needs to be internalized. The dreaded ‘Iron Gate’ (SEE) is nothing but a stepping stone for you to launch yourself in the world of possibilities. For what it's worth, you can change your career paths when you arrive at the undergraduate(bachelors) level. There are tons of people who have done it, who’re still doing it, and will continue to do so in the future. And guess what? They’re NOT destined to fail. 

Keep exploring, keep experimenting. Talk to your parents, let them know your interests and assure them that you have a plan! Talk to them through your aspirations and your strategies towards achieving them. All in all, keep trying. Treat every failure as an opportunity to learn. Do not let other people’s ideas and insecurities be projected on you. Finally, good luck in whatever it is that you decide to do. 

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