DUB Speak

Taking a year off after graduation

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To state the obvious, this semester is almost coming to an end and most of us with three-year courses have reached the fag end of what we had (wrongly) thought was a sufficiently long life in college. Three years is more than ample time to sort your life out and figure out what you want to do for the next 20, yes? Not necessarily for all of us.

Sometimes, college throws up more ideas and alternatives than you expected to encounter, and somewhere along the way, you may begin to question those career decisions you made back in high school. The idea of being a lawyer or a teacher may not sound as appealing as you thought it did three years ago. For most of us, college changes something within, and opens doors to newer worlds, fresher pastures and ideas we’ve never come across before. In some cases, this is great. It helps you chart out a path for yourself and figure out where you would like to see yourself sometime in the next 20 years. In other cases, it can leave you confused and wondering where you are headed. College, quite unlike school, allows you to accept the fact that the end of the road isn’t just a forked path like Frost’s. There are multiple ways you could be taking through the woods, all equally enticing (or unappealing), and it’s entirely up to you to choose one.

The question of finances is another burden that looms large on the horizon. That post-graduate course in New York looks incredible and just like the thing for me, but can I afford even half the tuition fees? Being completely practical, what are my chances of actually getting a scholarship that might fund atleast half my education in a foreign university? Sometimes, your mind is made up about what you want to do and why, but the financial expenses are heart-breakingly high.

One thing that college may have actually taught me is to embrace the uncertainty. If you’re not sure about where you’re headed, it’s okay to take some time off to sort out the endless muddle in your head.
But isn’t taking a year off an absolute waste of time? Well, that probably depends on how you look at it. If at the end of the year, you have a clearer picture of what you want out of your life and are better prepared to face what’s coming, then there you go! Taking a year off would mean having more time on your hands to send in detailed college applications, prepare for entrance examinations and/or get some work experience without having to worry about college internals and examinations at the same time. Taking a year off may also let you do all of those things that you could not manage along with your lectures and society work-photography and language courses, sports or even travel.

Shutting your ears to that uncle/aunty/neighbour/Sharma ji is absolutely essential. They may question your decisions over and over and wonder (quite loudly) what you’re doing with yourself after your graduation, but it’s important to remember that everybody wants and seeks different things out of life. We’re not all headed in the same direction.

Image credits: theodysseyonline.com

Abhinaya Harigovind
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[email protected] ; 'A self-confessed workaholic, I run on endless cups of coffee, last-minute panic, and the smell of fresh print on paper. Student of History at St.Stephen's College, but home and heart lie in Bangalore. Like Holden says, "I'm quite illiterate, but I read a lot."'

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