A rock star. An astronaut. A professional athlete. These are some of the answers that one gets to hear when they ask a child what they want to become when they grow up. When you’re a child, your career aspirations are filled with fantastical expectations stuff dreams are made of. But sooner or later a child realizes that life is a harsh reality and the world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows and that they might not become the next Cristiano Ronaldo, Shawn Mendes, or Angelina Jolie. As they grow up there focus shifts to (frankly less glamorous) careers.
One of the biggest milestones in a person’s life is choosing a career. For many people, career selection is a harrowing task while for some it’s a smooth ride. At the tender age of 16 or 17 one doesn’t know what they want to do in life. Our young and impressionable minds are swayed by attractive yet empty promises such as big packages and secure employment. Teenagers see the world as they know, not as how the world is. It is difficult to peep into the reality of every profession at such a young age.
Parents want the best for their children and with these intentions often impose their career choices on their children. At the same time, children should respect their parents for their intentions.
This additional pressure from parents to choose the right career path makes matters worse. Many a time students succumb to this pressure and get stuck doing something that they never wanted to do. In a rush to choose their future, students often blindly follow someone else’s life choices. Thus, entering into what we call a ‘rat race’. When these teens are all grown up and have become mature enough to make informed choices they start second-guessing their former decisions. But by then it’s too late to make things right. What follows is a vicious cycle of hopelessness, dejection, and repentance.
Every school student has to go through these circumstances. They have to overcome their indecisiveness, emotional and intellectual immaturity, and also parental pressure. All children have a personality and diverse interests. The interest does not necessarily lead to a very specific career path but the choice of career should be based on trying to maximize the utilization of the skills and capabilities of the child. The entry of career counselors and psychologists into the scene and the inclusion of various psychometric tests has immensely helped young kids navigate these difficult waters, providing them with the necessary information regarding diverse professional paths. This helps them reach an informed conclusion.
Parental pressure should not deter a student to not pursue their passions. But at the same time, one should have a structured plan to achieve their goals. In the end, every student must remember that their future is in their hands and they have to live with the outcome of their choices, not their parents, friends, relatives, or anyone else for that matter and if they don’t take control of where they are headed in life then life will take control of them.