A recent shift in mindset has been noticed in PUC students . Many students, who initially choose science stream after 10th, later jump into law, arts and commerce.
It has been an ongoing trend amongst top scoring students to join the science stream, as it can allow for more flexible options in the future. Even though most students still end up doing engineering, from the last few years, many have decided to use that flexibility and try other courses. These students are writing CLAT, SAT, applying to arts courses and even choosing a few offbeat courses, like performing arts, or theatre.
One such example is of Jyoti, a law aspirant. Nandini K, mother of Jyoti, says “my daughter took science stream after a lot of pressure from her peers and family. After one year, Jyoti and I both realised that she wasn’t happy with her subjects. Last year she decided to prepare for law, apart from her daily schedule. Let’s see where this leads.”
This shifting of academic interest may be nothing new to the western folks, but in India it is still new . Now that the tide is changing, students are expressing their interests and doing what they like to do. This fresh batch of students are not being held back by society and the obsession with engineering. Instead, they are choosing courses relevant to their passions and interests, which is a really progressive move.
Despite all this, many young adults are still forced to pursue careers they despise. This may lead to anxiety, depression and sometimes suicidal thoughts or actions. Ram (name changed), a 12th pass student says “choosing my stream wasn’t my choice, it was my parents’. They told me it’s better if I choose science, so that after 12th, I can have more options. But now that I am done with 12th, they are forcing me to do engineering. I feel almost tricked.” Ram wants to be an animator.
On the other hand, some science students have dropped out of engineering to pursue other courses that interest them. “I left engineering, and for good reason. I did not want to be stuck in someplace I didn’t belong. I tried doing it, but I didn’t like the atmosphere or the things I was learning. I am applying for Delhi University and other arts colleges this year. I want to be a photographer,” Harsh (name changed), a Computer Science dropout from a Chennai based engineering college says.