The reality of college life is time is fleeting. Period. There is no denying the fact that this period is one of the most crucial stage part of a person’s life. Like the turning of a new page in a book, the transition from school to college, the steady changes from freshman to senior, each stage with its blend of colours, I can’t believe I’ve survived this far. Being in a college with students from all over the country, we met different kind of people with diverse cultures and lifestyles. The experience has nothing but being worthwhile. Looking back at myself to my first year in college and comparing that now, I cannot believe how much I have changed. This is not to say I have become better or worse, I still can’t figure out who I am. The idea of my whole being is still vague. In less than a year, I will be a graduate, pray no back papers. I still have a semester untouched and it is still early to talk about graduation, but anyways, read on. The idea of graduation brought me mixed feeling. I am happy and sad at the same time. After years and years of education, I will finally be a graduate. This will be such an achievement. Yayyy!!! Along with this feeling of happiness and of victory, I am worried at the same time. Have I learned enough? Is my college education worth it? Tons of questions sprang to my mind as I think over this and it is disturbing.
The place where I came from, somewhere in a corner, touched by civilization just about a century ago, most of the kids are first generation learners, I am one of them. My dad never completed college and my mom never made it to high school. Today, whenever someone’s kid make it to college/graduated, the news spread like wildfire. Congratulatory notes pour in. This is what the whole village folks talk about from dawn till night. The celebration becomes even grandeur in the case of someone getting a job, esp. a government job.
Being from a community described above, there is a tough battle ahead waiting for me. Adding to it, being the only child who made it to regular college from a family of 9, and that also not an ordinary college but a reputed college in the capital of the country, everybody at home awaits with high hopes and expectations. On my part, I am forever worried of the feeling that my degree may not be worth it, at all. Truth be told, not everyone cares about an English degree. What would I do with an English degree? This is exactly what everyone asked me few years ago when I decided to attend regular college, and not pursue medical stream to become a Doctor. Doctor, Engineer, IAS officer (not all govt. jobs, only this), these are what every parents back home dreamt for their children to be. Do they know about all other bigger opportunities for their kids in the huge world out there? Most of them don’t. I am not trying to praise myself but I indeed was a bright student in high school. And bright students should first aimed to become a Doctor or an Engineer, or appeared competitive exam and get a government job, if failed, get a spade and work in the field, if you are lazy, enter politics, they say.
My upbringing was one where I was constantly reminded of pursuing medicine and become the first Doctor in the area. My parents/relatives/neighbours/clan/just about everyone were happy and excited after my 12th examination when I got 1st division. They saw me not far away from becoming the first Doctor. After 4 months of medical coaching in Imphal, I overturned the idea of becoming a Doctor. You cannot imagine how outrageous everyone was. And he wanted to pursue English? He has gone mad. I have such wonderful parents that even though they were the most affected, they try their best to hide their disappointment. They sent me to Delhi. This is where I am today. And in less than a year, I will graduate. Period.
I do not know what this is called, but I have this weakness of not being able to take solid decisions, from the simple silly matters to important life decisions. This explains why I am still in college while my classmates from school have already graduated this year. The Doctor, yes. I know this is silly, but I really haven’t sorted out yet what I really wanted to be. Having an English degree offers a lot too many options and I am glad. I only wish I have a goal in mind. By default, my parents would want me to have a government job, now that a Doctor/Engineer is no more an option. In a family of 9, there is not a single government employee. My dad has had a job once, but he resigned for some other calling. Hey, not just my family, the ratio of government employee back home is not even 1:10. My brother who works in an international corporate firm often talks about starting a family enterprise. He often asked me when would I be graduated. I am standing on sinking sand. As for me, everything is blurry and the future a mist.
17 October 2015