A Tale of the Mid-Graduation Crisis and Career Ambiguities

Students start feeling that graduation may not serve its purpose, or rather, start doubting their career choice. Let’s explore the “mid-graduation crisis”.

A lot of students studying in the University of Delhi (DU) must have had various kinds of experiences as far as graduation is concerned. For some it must have been a cherishing experience. For others it may not have been.

What is the “mid-graduation crisis”?

This is a self invented term which is going to point out certain situations in a student’s life, wherein they feel that their career after graduation is uncertain, or they develop speculation regarding their course just in the middle of graduation. It’s natural that while doing graduation, one comes across a range of other students with entirely different plans, goals etc. While on one hand, it can help in actually enhancing a particular student’s exposure towards other subjects, such interaction can also work the other way round.

In a space as diverse as DU, these interactions often germinate self-doubt too. In the middle of graduation, one may feel doubtful regarding their own career choices. While this looks quite a minute problem from outside, the problem of “getting-influenced-by-others” is the most basic aspect of a mid-graduation crisis.

Talking to students showed that ‘doubt factor’, and many of them explained how graduation constantly puts them in doubt. This doubt is directed more towards the kind of career one may be shaping, the number of job opportunities that would be available, etc, while still others link this entire “mid-graduation doubt” to the choice of stream they made after class 10th. Students are often seen complaining that owing to a wrong choice made back in class 10th, their entire graduation also became quite vague and uncertain.

I keep getting these attacks day in and day out. Some days I’d be like: ” You go girl! Rise and shine!” While the others, it feels like “Okay Shikha, you’re doomed you know.” Or “Would’ve been better if you had stuck with Engineering.” And then I’d be lying, staring into the oblivion, feeling hopeless and powerless, the knot in my stomach tightening. Not that I don’t like my course, but, there’s a sense of doubt that kills. Literally. Then I go on giving myself hope that it happens with everyone…. the other moment I would be like.. Does it?

Shikha Chandra, 2nd year English Honours student, Lady Shri Ram College

Another aspect added to this “mid-graduation crisis” is the course debate. Choosing a particular course of study after passing out from school is definitely a tough choice. It involves a lot of calculations, discussions, seeking of advice from experts, relatives etc. However, choosing the right course is one thing but being happy with that course is another. A lot of times students take up courses which they were least interested in, and later regret it. This mostly happens owing to the famous “course vs college debate”, wherein some students prefer a famous college with a good brand name over others. While it may seem to be a very good strategy, it can end up actually making you feel less happy about your course.

“Being a second year student pursuing English honours, I often felt confused whether it was the right choice or not, career wise. Even after completing one year in DU, I sometimes feel that maybe I could have had immense levels of growth if I had shifted to some other city. But having said that, your college and your faculty plays a great role in determining your own career graph as the correct guidance could take you place!”

Hridika, 2nd year English Honours student, Lady Shri Ram College

Prachi Nirwan- a student of Bachelors in Mass Media and Mass Communication (B.M.M.M.C) at Indraprastha College for Women, shared with DU Beat, her personal story of dealing with the “mid-graduation crisis”. Prachi had earlier decided that she would either choose Bachelor of Computer Application (BCA) or B El Ed (Bachelor of Elementary Education) after her 12th standard. However, as she cleared her DU entrance, she got into the prestigious B.M.M.M.C, considering it was a renowned course and guaranteed good future. But now, after having studied the course for almost an year , she has realised that the course is quite dynamic, and perhaps not the best choice for her. Adding onto it, she remarked that the course is quite expensive. In this “mid-graduation crisis” scenario, Prachi has suggested that rather than trandferring from the course, which she had thought of earlier, she is now trying to fit into it. She is now thinking of finding a suitable study within the course, and then pursue an internship by polishing her skills.

Prachi’s story is indeed just one of the many such stories wherein students do end up feeling that their graduation is fruitless, or that it is field of study that doesn’t guarantee them good jobs and that they have to constantly rethink their career options.

Today’s youth is spoilt for choices, certainly one gets trapped in these numerous options and it becomes difficult for a student to find out their way through it because everything starts with “bohot scope hai beta”, but then boils down to whether it is leading you to a stable life and having justifiable returns. A cherry on the cake is the evolutionary nature of our choices which add on more ambiguity and self doubt. Afterall, it’s not that everyone’s childhood dream of becoming a doctor or an engineer  sustains for long. As it’s said that, “Luck favours the prepared”, I wish we were taught in our schools how to prepare for taking our own decisions in the air of competitive exams and a population of a million dreams for a single chair.

Soniyal Bajaj, 2nd year Political Science Honours student, SGTB Khalsa College

Ending on this note, all that the “mid-graduation crisis” really needs is a soft, smart, and easy way to be dealt with. While uncertainties are definitely a part of every student’s life, the best way to deal with this stress is to look for alternative career opportunities, polish their skills as per that particular opportunity and go ahead. Opportunities are always available, and your choice of course is not set in stone! Explore, research and go ahead with something that suits you!

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Featured Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Navneet Kaur