There is everything wrong about how ‘Education’ is perceived in our country. I mean how many of you would say you are studying, what you should actually have been studying! I am a college drop out! Yes, that’s what I am! And trust me, that was the best decision I ever made in my whole life.
It was the year 2000, the start of a new millennium! A time when personal computers or PCs were a big thing in anybody’s home and that too as a toy for a 10 year old kid. But then I was never really a kid ever and grades back in school made sure, I was given what I demanded! Aah I miss those days! When you could swap your good grades with anything you set your eyes upon! But unlike the other usual kids in my school who demanded a new Hot Wheels Station or a new cricket kit, ( I got that 3 years back any way 😉 ) I was given a personal computer all for myself. And an Internet connection by Sify which was probably one of the earliest ISP’s in India. Now that was a big high!
I made my first website in class 3rd. It was for an International Youth Festival in CMS Lucknow. A website about Man Vs Machine. I remember, I won d 2nd prize for that, loosing only to a geek 4 years elder to me. And I was already in love with the Internet. It was like my first love. It opened an entirely new world to me. I was fascinated by what all I could do on it and I was glued to it for life. And that’s when everyone around me decided I would grow up to be a computer engineer. Not that I disagreed then.
I grew up, jumping one class after another with much ease and so did my love for computers. I was destined to be a computer engineer, every Pandit predicted that. That’s why I joined the best coaching institute in the city ‘JRS’, run by 3 core teachers Jha Sir, Rai Sir & Singh Sir, in class 11th. And that’s why the name! My parents paid a hefty amount to get me through it. A place where future engineers where made. So now this meant, I complete my school till 2, have lunch back home and at 6 in the evening, the time which was used to spend in the field playing cricket with my friends in the neighborhood, I get ready for my Engineering coaching.
It all went pretty well for the first month. I like new things. Unlike most people, I love changes. But I get bored very easily. And thats precisely what happened with the engineering coaching. It was getting monotonous. Not that I couldn’t cope up with it. In fact out of the first 3 tests we had in JRS, which eventually turned out to be the only tests I ever gave in that place, I was among the top 3 in a batch 800 people. The 3rd one was of Maths, and that is one area I have never tried to explore. Nor do I want to either. And this boredom, led to the amazing world of bunking classes.
I was usually found out at movie theaters, some random girl’s place which I was dating ;-), the beautiful ghats of Varanasi or the cyber cafe during my coaching time. I had a blast during that period. Learned everything that is good enough to spoil a bright mind. Though I don’t really see them as anything bad now. 😉 That was the age after all. Everyone was doing that. But yes, my love for the computers never seized. I Ironically, when I was finally caught for bunking coaching, before the end of the year, I was in a cyber cafe, browsing the internet and sending scraps on Orkut to my next date to be! :-p
I was slapped and told about what a big sin I had committed by using a social network site. And guess what, Today I am doing a job that pays me to work on Facebook primarily. The world is indeed round. 😉 Anyways back to the story, the house arrest followed. No more coaching classes, no more bunking, no more fun. Yes my grades had fallen and I was already loosing out in the mad race around. I was told, I had to do something about it fast, real fast or people would start calling me a failure. I got hold of myself, started doing what really was never a big deal for me and my grades where back to the best. And everyone started looking at me as the smart kid who would take the family name to greater heights.
I did pretty well in my boards, and got admission in an engineering college, right after school, in 2009. No prizes for guessing what my specialization was in. ‘Computer Science’. I was all set to shine. But I had a surprise in store for me. The first year papers had nothing about computer science really. It was all those crappy subjects we had learned back all those years in a new more complicated form with the word ‘Applied’ prefixed to them. Something we never really can apply anywhere in the real world. And as I was 700 miles away from home, nobody to monitor my progress, all to myself, I went back into the bunking mode. I was simply pretty bored with what I was taught. I skipped lectures to sleep till afternoon as I used to chat all night on Facebook, the latest and the most popular social network, with my friends. I was fascinated with the functioning of this thing. How one could make new friends, chat with them, see their lives moving in pictures, show off your own, update status about what you feel, get all the latest happening around the globe. It was a marvel of a website.
Then after my first year, I got un well and was bedridden for months. It brought me closer to it. I maintained a normal life like all other jus because of Facebook in spite of the fact that I couldn’t go out, hang around with my friends, couldn’t party and was almost close to death. Facebook was a life saver. After my recovery, I started a Facebook page called Jannat, wherein I could help people like me who were suffering from cancer and gave them a reason to fight. I had finally started utilizing the media to its best possible use. Though by then, I had lost all my patience for the boring un-happening engineering I was burned with. Not that anybody forced me to it, it was always my choice. But it was simply because I knew no other fields apart from engineering and medicine back then. When my friends reached their final year and were placed in different companies, and I was still stuck in the second, I decided it was time to say goodbye . I now knew what I wanted to do. Social media marketing was my thing. I was an expert in that. I could make any page look better with my contents. I could network better than my peers. I had finally found what I really wanted to be.
What followed was pretty easy for me. I made up a resume, added the little things I had done in the past and uploaded it on the major job sites. And lo behold, I landed up with a job within a week at a package that still makes a lot of people very very jealous. :-p I started earning, when most of my batch mates were still stuck with the crappy subjects they had to mug up willingly or unwillingly a day before the exam to graduate next year. Probably, when they finally start doing the job they were placed in, I might have already got a promotion or two. Who knows! 😉
I don’t say what I did was right. Everyone likes to have a graduate degree. Its the norm. That’s how the world would see you as a respected citizen. I want one too. How else can I do my MBA, and be ‘certified’ a pro in my field. I have now applied for a three years distance education degree in Bsc. IT which fast tracks my course and would complete by the fall of 2013, so technically I am graduating in time. 😉
But, I don’t find it right. We should have a system wherein we choose what to study. It can be anything – Cooking, singing, dancing, playing, eating ( I wish there was a degree for that! 😉 ) and there should be no pressure on a child whatsoever to pursue the aim of his life. People take time in realizing what they really wanna make out of their lives, and they should be given that time. Not be forced to do what the world thinks is right. Because in the end, nothing is really right or wrong, it is just how you see it. Sweet and simple. 🙂