Questions such as these are always around – “Will I be successful?”, “Will I make it to the forefront of my field?”, “Will I garner fame and wealth?”, “Will I make people close to me proud?” – and so on and so forth. Often, these questions invade our brains with an obsessive frenzy, practically incapacitating us from thinking about more relevant stuff – stuff that we can control – stuff that’s in the present. I was recently a victim of this, let’s call it, freaking-about-the-future-syndrome? Ah, nice ring to it, that name. So, this FAT-Future syndrome recently got the best of me – it started out with externally planted doubts – about how “profitable” my branch would be to me in the future, and then grew out to a full scale take-down of my thought processing faculties!
You see, there’s a system in my college, wherein a student can change his/her branch depending on his/her CPI (Cumulative Performance Index) at the end of the first year, with the so called better branches clearing off at higher CPIs. I, through some weird conspiracy of the universe, got a decent CPI at the end of the first semester (let’s see if I can maintain it this sem!), and in poured everyone’s question – “Dude, which branch are you changing to?”, and everyone’s assorted advice, which mostly boiled down to – “Go to that one (branch) – higher average package during placement”. Argh! If only it were that simple! Even though I love my college (for those who don’t know, I’m pursuing Aerospace Engineering at IIT Bombay), this one facet of it has always bothered me – that a significant number of people seem to have conceded to the influence of the money they can possibly earn at the end of their 4-5 years. They let this influence dictate their decisions, their interns, and their projects. This is wrong – really, really wrong. College is supposed to be more about self-discovery – you need to learn who you are, and what it is that drives you! You need to pursue your interests, and that can only happen when you are completely free from prejudices and stereotypes, and are hence more welcoming towards them. That’s a thought that I came in with when I entered this place, and that’s a thought that I still uphold with a lot of conviction.
So, I came in with Aerospace being a top preference of mine. I just loved the idea of being able to put gadgets and people into air and space, and hence I thought – let’s do this! But, like I said, recently, I faced a full scale take-down of my thought processing faculties, with one third of my brain saying – “You love Aerospace!”, another third of it saying – “The branches you may get eligible for generally pay better – as far as core is concerned.”, and the remaining third saying – “Dude, you have your endsems going, and you are thinking all this (I feel compelled to use a certain four letter word, but I’ll keep it clean. The quoted s is a hint though.) ‘s’tuff, you’re going to screw them up!” This article started out as an attempt to get rid of this take-down, and make more sense of where my thoughts are leading me. True – that there’s always something better paying out there. Why not become an oil or liquor baron, huh? But money is a very shallow motivation – you can’t let it define your life. At the end of everything – your legacy shall be how much you brightened up the world by that spark in you. And all that’ll happen to your money is that your children will spend it to become useless, ostentatious retards – as history has always shown.
So after writing all of this – I feel much light headed (No, I wasn’t drinking “something” along with writing this!). Again, I think it was a great idea to start blogging – it’s a nice practice of writing, thinking and sorting out the vast multitude of thoughts whizzing through those neurons. So finally, what answers the question, “What does the future behold?”, which is what the questions that I mentioned in the beginning boil down to? A simple, brilliant, and poetic statement – “It beholds you, if you’re ready to pursue yourself…”