“If you provide your kid the opportunity and support to explore themselves, eventually they will find something that truly defines them and gets them up in the morning.”The following was a profound belief embodied by Taimur Bandey, the father and benefactor of the 10-year-old successful entrepreneur, Zohreen Taimur Bandey.Being one of the pioneering personalities who were able to achieve such a feat at her age puts Zohreen in a very exclusive bracket of individuals, especially in Pakistan. However, Zohreen and her parents were of the view this is such due to the one-dimensional thinking that is rampant in our culture where kids are forced to follow a set criterion religiously, providing minimal room for self-exploration, which is key to the growth of any individual. Zohreen concluded her interview by encouraging individuals not to limit themselves to anything and always think outside the box. One day it will all begin to make perfect senseZohreen is currently a student who had a great deal of free time on her hands during the lockdowns imposed because of the raging COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike others her age and otherwise, she spent this time undergoing extensive self-exploration and found something she was genuinely passionate about, skincare. Riddled with the curiosity to make something out of this newfound passion, she spent hours self-studying and learning the art of procuring organic and naturally occurring raw materials and transforming the said materials into a processed good to aid in improving one’s skin.Upon achieving this feat, she shared her progress with her highly supportive parents and expressed her intention of deriving a B2C business. Her parents welcomed and encouraged this idea, particularly her mother, Zebunissa Taimur Bandey, who teamed up with her daughter to launch, Choksy Organic Solutions formally. When inquired about the context behind the business’s name, she expressed how this was the maiden name of her grandmother, who, like Zohreen, was an avid enthusiast of skincare and organic productions to keep one’s skin evergreen.The mother-daughter duo spent their due time perfecting their formulae and consulted experts to ensure their production was second to none, was wholly natural and self-preserving, and no chemicals were incorporated. What initially began with lip care products sold using their social media channels and website, then expanded to a different range of skincare products. The duo’s dedication was apparent given how each product and recipe was tried by themselves extensively and perfected before they began selling.Their hard work was swift to receive recognition as the brand and Zohreen were reached out by multiple media channels, who recognized the expertise and prowess of the young entrepreneur. Furthermore, the brand has bagged a series of awards across different entrepreneurial competitions, cementing the uniqueness and extravagance of the brand unequivocally.Recapping a bit on her journey, Zohreen mentioned how when she began exploring this field, she was heavily influenced by skincare videos made by foreign content creators, which piqued her interest. However, recreating a similar business model in Pakistan was not without its set of roadblocks. Specifically, there was no outlet for how such products could be created using Pakistan’s abundant natural raw materials. They had to consult individuals personally and use trial and error extensively to make a final product. This predicament became more complex when schools reopened as managing studies, and her business simultaneously was a difficult task. However, this is where the immense support of her parents played a huge role, as they did not dissuade her at all, not pleading her to focus on her studies. Instead, they helped create an efficient schedule to ensure both avenues were smoothly operational.
Published - Mon, 26 Sep 2022
“Agar loug rokta hai to chupp ke karo, ek din apna time ayega!” These words defined the life-altering ideology which Muhammad Aanish Ayaz Farrukh embodies and urges others to as well. Aanish is a 19-year-old novelist, musician, student, avid astrology enthusiast, and much more. After completing his primary and secondary education from Lahore in Pakistan, he moved to the United States for his undergrad from Ithaca College. He successfully published his first novel at the tender age of 15 and has since then published a total of 3 books, with his fourth currently in the works. Having been intrigued by computers and machinery, Aanish decided to pursue a degree in Computer Sciences, as he believes the realm of opportunities linked to the field are endless. However, simultaneously along with this passion, he had another skill instilled within him from a very early age, which was writing. As he explains, it is partly due to his parents who incentivized him to write by procuring his desired gifts for him, given he wrote a story to earn it. Soon enough, it became a hobby that needed no incentive to practice, and he became unconditionally immersed in writing. Story writing for him became an exciting escape. When he started, it would become too tempting to leave. Around the age of 13, he began writing a story that later developed into a proper book ripe to be sold internationally. His first book was documentation on a difficult phase his dear friend was going through and how that documentation became a full story on suicide prevention. He further comments that he never thought he would become a published author given his impressionable young age and the lack of precedent. Still, his friends became his driving mechanism who urged him to GO BIG, convincing him to take a leap of faith and begin transforming his story into a good book. The journey of finding a publisher to take a chance on a 15-year-old was extremely demotivating, as Aanish explains. Some publishers utterly neglected his book due to his age and shoved the idea aside. He, having then even compromised his academics, found the situation tough to cope with. Again, his friends played a significant role in keeping him going. He then found an international publisher in the United States, who believed in his work, and it was published. Talking about the support from his academic mentors, he mentioned that even being from a British education-based school, his instructors and mentors debunked his vision and hobby. This negativity consequently made him question what he was doing. He further even quotes examples, how the same predicament led many of his peers to drop out of their passions due to the pressure and societal perceptions, which he believed is why many possible prodigies within our youth get silenced. He was passionately vocal about if this was to change and a more supportive environment nurtured the students, people would rise to the occasion and make it big in the world. Another major key takeaway, Aanish mentions, is how he struggled with his academics when he was writing his first novel. However, he believes if something drives and gets you up in the morning, it's justified to take some time off from other obligations and test yourself to avoid any future regrets. Aanish followed this idealogy at the time, as he took a step back from his academics and worked on his novel, which he believes helped him become a successful novelist. Still, at the same time, one needs to be cognizant when to dedicate your time where. In his learnings, he mentions how he was an avid reader all his life, where he consumed everything from a novel to the newspaper and learned different techniques. However, when he was working on his first novel, he faced a total lack of avenues to help and guide him through it. There weren't any outlets for him to consult and get help from, which he wishes to change in the future. Being someone who believes one's work stems from the surroundings one is in, he agreed that there is currently a lack of proper avenues or resources that would motivate and complement an artist's creation. He believes the academic fraternity needs to start bridging this gap. Be it from the help of entrepreneurs or the government, the perception of individuals who like to pursue different pastimes needs to change from neglectful to supportive and nurturing. Towards the end, he acknowledges that pursuing such opportunities and pastimes can be difficult and a burden for many. To such individuals, he advises waiting it out. Maybe a more supportive governmental structure is achieved and people's perception to change; however, he strongly encourages everyone to keep going, even if it takes hiding it from everyone else. He urges everyone not to disobey the norms of the family ones brought up in, but to do it on their own time, never letting go. He believes times change and slowly, the white noise that might hinder you from pursuing your dreams today one day Apna Time Ayega. He ended his discussion with us with a message to the parents of Pakistan. He urges the parents not to demotivate their children for the sake of societal perceptions and support their children regardless of what people may think. He vocalizes how society owes nothing to you; they are part of the white noise stepping on countless dreams, which he believes need change.
Published - Sat, 24 Sep 2022
Pictures from the James Webb telescope and the ‘new era’ of astronomyHeadline: On 12th July 2022, NASA revealed a series of high-definition pictures taken from the James Webb telescope, a project launched on the Christmas Day of 2021. The findings that have resulted from the pictures captured by the James Webb telescope catapult humanity into a new dawn of information, where we take a step closer to finding out more about the universe we live in.Understanding the wondering marvels of astronomy can be daunting at times, especially without any guidance or support from platforms to help one understand. Startup Early is actively working towards bridging this gap, by providing courses that can help students learn more about things that intrigue them. This was a view that, a young budding entrepreneur, Roshaan Nadeem, heavily agreed with and stressed on how these platforms offering such courses, is the need of the hour, so people who are passionate about more than just the normal school curriculum, have a chance to quell their curiosities. One of these major curiosities, that many across the globe wonder heavily about is whether life beyond Earth exists. Many efforts have been deployed to increase our knowledge, including observations from the Hubble Telescope. Still, the efficiency of astronomic instruments cannot always be foreseen and fixed, which is why multiple trips to the Hubble Telescope had to be made to achieve the desired results. However, we could still not meet the expected outcomes until the James Webb Telescope was finally launched. The James Webb Telescope is a space telescope that was designed for the purpose of infra-red astronomy, which enabled it to capture infra-red images which were too old, distant, or faint for the Hubble Telescope to capture properly. It is currently the largest telescope in space and was launched on 25th December 2021. It moved on to its operational phase, post-testing in the month of July. According to NASA (the governing body for the James Webb Telescope) states, the reason for launching the James Webb Telescope is “to find the first galaxies that formed in the early universe and to see stars forming planetary systems.”Astronomers further believe that next-generation projects, such as the James Webb telescope, will help look for life on planets way beyond Earth, something which has been a long sought-after mission for astronomers across the world.The first set of images that have been released by NASA, include the following: Carina Nebula: The Carinas Nebula, an image that baffles our preconceived notion of reality serves as both a star a place where some of the most luminous and explosive stars in the Milky Way exist, Stephans Quintet: The Stephans Quintet sheds light on the millions of galaxies which exist millions of light years away. Southern Ring Nebula: The Southern Ring Nebula is a sphere of gas and dust which are exited by a dying star. WASP-96bThe image of WASP-96b (an exoplanet), although not the most impressive and aesthetically pleasing, is a source of marvel for true astronomy enthusiasts, as it sheds light on the slopes of chart as the planet passed the front of its star, 1,120 light years away. SMACS 0723This image is of a distant star cluster, known as SMACS 0723, and shows the presence of many distant galaxies spread across the sky, which are yet to be discovered. Scientists posit that the light from those galaxies, magnified into visibility by the gravitational field of the cluster, originated more than 13 billion years ago.The capture of these images lead to a new dawn in the world of astronomy and was a revolutionary moment for enthusiasts of the topic all across the world. With new concepts and realities emerging, there is no time more exciting to be hooked into astronomy then now. Scientists at NASA are more confident than ever and excited to newer discoveries that would help them quantify their beliefs and suppositions regarding what they believe lies beyond, which coupled with the evergrowing eyes towards astronomy and the public and professional recognition, any myths believed prior may easily be proven right or debunked. Whats even more reaffirming, is the rise in budding astronomers at young and impressionable ages, and scientists today realize this gradual increase, supporting their belief of astronomy’s rise in the future. Moreover, existence and operations of objects such as the James Webb Telescope provide an avenue to keep the interests of young astronomers piqued, as advancements and innovations now yield the greatest hope of getting our biggest questions answered, because scientists no longer have to limit themselves to the restraints which accompanied the previous Hubble Telescope which had been the sole hope for decades, because the James Webb Telescope has been equipped with breathtaking equipment and an attention to detail unlike any other, which is why Knicole Colón said in an interview: We’ll just have to wait for time to reveal the whole story” which for any budding astronomer is like music to their ears. In a country like Pakistan, we have grossly neglected teaching our youth regarding these awe-inspiring and generational concepts, leaving them to explore it and learn on their own devices. This is no less than utterly criminal, given the talent that resides in our country, we are limiting them from reaching their true potential. It is important we understand and realize the existence of this huge gap and start working on filling it. We are a country with no shortage of inspirations to help guide and motivate us, one of them being Roshaan Nadeem, who is an avid astronomy enthusiast, who did not let the lack of proper resources and curriculums deter him from following his true passion - astronomy. It is his undying love for astronomy coupled with his sheer grit that has enabled him to have been shortlisted twice for the finals of the Astronomy Photographer of the year competition at the Royal Museum Greenwich in London, a feat only a few have managed to achieve. Roshaan has managed to capture some breathtaking images of spacial bodies using his telescope, and the calibre of his works speaks for his passion regarding astronomy. Many other inspirations like Roshaan inhabit Pakistan, who have motivating stories of their struggle and how they overcame it, but it is high time for us to realize the struggles our kids go through to tap and reach their true potential and help them get there, rather than leaving them to figure it out on their own, because there is nothing else than a kid from within us going on and making a historical shift even bigger than that posited by the images captured by the James Webb Telescope. You can read on the following articles to learn more about the James Webb Telescope and the images that were revealed: What is the James Webb Telescope?Link:https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/missions/james-webb-space-telescope/in-depth/Images revealed by the James Webb Telescope: Link: https://www.nasa.gov/webbfirstimagesInsights from the Images released by NASA: Link:https://www.nytimes.com/article/nasa-webb-telescope-images-galaxies.htmlhttps://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/james-webb-telescope-captures-images-of-universe-how-astronomy-will-change-122071700308_1.html
Published - Sat, 24 Sep 2022
My journey to what lies beyond – Roshaan Nadeem’s story about becoming an avid Astronomy enthusiast."Once I complete my undergraduate degree, I wish to pursue a full-time career in Astronomy. To date, I have been solely studying Astronomy on my own because there is no formal curriculum for it yet."These words highlighted the future aspirations and ambitions of young Roshaan Nadeem, an avid astronomy enthusiast. Roshaan has been shortlisted twice for the finals of the Astronomy Photographer of the year competition at the Royal Museum Greenwich in London, a feat only a few have managed to achieve. Roshaan, like his peers, is currently completing his primary education. However, what sets him apart from the rest is his unnerved passion and dedication to Astrology and that in an environment that presented significant roadblocks to his success. Having been from a typical academic environment, he was unaware he would fall in love with Astronomy and would later wish to dedicate his life to it. Having been supported and nurtured by his 5th-grade instructor, he was introduced to the wonders of Astronomy post a session with the Lahore Astronomical Society. Here he first explored the wonders of astronomy, which marked the start of his journey to pursuing it as more than just a hobby later. Roshaan was keen to mention how he was lucky to have been under the tutelage of such an instructor who honed in on his interests and helped him explore his curiosities. He further commented on how this is astonishingly rare in the status quo of our educational populace. Another aspect he believed helped and empowered him to keep exploring was the support from his family and friends. Particularly his grandfather, who was the one to buy him his first telescope. The culmination of the supportive environment he was in, and his sheer dedication helped him bloom his dream.After some time of self-reflection, Roshaan felt the need for further assistance to delve deeper. He mentioned how he struggled to find avenues easily to help him learn more. This struggle led him to believe how the youth seldom gets opportunities for formal exploration of their talents. He considers schools' sole focus to being predominantly catered to the standard curriculum of subjects and extracurriculars. This lack of focus, at times, can be the factor that sets the breaking point of demotivation in oneself, risking one feeling pressured to discontinue their journey of self-exploration. He further discusses how this gap further intensifies when we progress in our respective academic journeys, as the pressure to perform well in academics increases ten-fold. The added stress, in turn, makes it difficult to identify priorities, especially without the backing of a formal support organization. Fortunately, this was not the case for Roshaan, as he could align himself and join the prestigious Lahore Astronomical Society (LAS), an organization aimed at assisting astronomy enthusiasts such as Roshaan. LAS helps enthusiasts by organizing monthly panel talks and much more to spread awareness about Astronomy. Post his discussion on his current state of affiliation with astronomy, Roshaan emphasized that he believes that others in similar situations should strive as he did. He is an avid believer that the path to self-exploration is a long and unwinding journey that requires the enthusiast's strenuous effort, especially in a challenging environment such as Pakistan. In Pakistan, there currently is a worrying absence of formal channels for one to learn about their passions and exercise their abilities for exploration. He recaps his journey where from receiving his first telescope from his grandfather to then buying more advanced versions himself, he persevered. As a result, he strengthened his will enough to pursue this as a career in the future formally. He wishes the best to students with a similar vision. He hopes that our teaching fraternity realizes the existence of this gap soon and works to bridge it. This effort, he believes, will help our youth become more equipped with the support and avenues to explore themselves.
Published - Sat, 24 Sep 2022
With the ever-evolving world, there has been a major change in skills that have become in-demand over time amongst this changing list is Content Writing. The amount of information revolving around the world is increasing exponentially, and content is one of the most accessible and easy ways of spreading this information and has become a very lucrative and high-paying skill in recent times. It is of great benefit to students who can use their expertise in different niches to make some money on the side to help them with their lives and careers. The best part about being a content writer is that you have the option to write about anything you want since there are countless audiences available for each niche or avenue, be it academics, sports, or even lifestyle. However, with the increasing influx of content writers, one needs to distinguish the content they write and identify the audience they are writing for so that their tailored content reaches the correct audience properly.Although there isn’t any specific methodology or steps one can follow that would ensure progression or make you an excellent content writer; however, there are a few steps one can take to ensure that the quality of the content one writes is not compromised. We shall discuss a few steps in this space, but it is essential to acknowledge that the list is not exhaustive, and one can add their unique innovation to make their content stand out.Your Heading Needs to Captivate a Huge AudienceHeadings hold penultimate importance when attracting audiences to your blog or article since it is the first impression you exhibit to the reader. It is integral for your heading to spark or ignite an interest in your reader. If a reader is not intrigued by the title, the probability that they will engage or properly read the article is slim.The sort of title you set again leans heavily on your desired audience since the traits of the audience you want to engage should be exhibited in your title. The title should ideally crisply relay the purpose and premise of the content in the article, but in a way that makes the reader want to read and engage with the content. Have a Thesis Statement to set clear expectationsRight after your heading, the second line of defense is the initial 3-4 lines, which is essentially the thesis statement that relays the expectations of the entire article to the reader, so they know what they are about to read and what they can expect from the article. Hence, your initial 3-4 lines must act as the hook which captures and maintains the attention of the reader and transmits the intention of your content clearly to your reader. High-Quality ContentOnce you have captivated the reader properly to engage with your content, you are entrusted with the role of ensuring that the couple of minutes they spend reading your article is time they are proactively engaged and gain something of value from it because impressions are key when it comes to being a seasoned content writer. After all, given the huge number of writers available writing regarding the same content, a reader who is not properly engaged throughout and feels they have gained would probably not return or give the same writer a second chance at the behest of their initial impression; hence it is absolutely vital that whatever you put out for your audience is something they enjoy and would want to read more of the content you produce. To ensure that a reader gains from your content, your writing needs to be well-researched and cogent because readers wish to gain their dose of relevant information from one source rather than having to scour different websites themselves. So you need to put yourself in the reader's shoes and try to tick all the boxes so that your reader gains enough so that they don’t have to venture to other places to get their needed information. Have a Personalized VoiceAnother distinguishing factor that your content must have is personalization. Your content needs to be more than just words relaying information monotonously, you need to properly engage your audience. It should have a unique and personalized approach whereby the readers feel a sense of uniqueness when they read your content and can feel a distinction regarding your content from the other articles in your space. Moreover, digestible content works best when trying to relay complex information, so using short paragraphs, bulleted lists and easy to understand language caters a larger readership in reading and understanding your content. Moreover, using tools such as SEO also complements your article whereby its reach and engagement increases, ensuring your article reaches a greater audience. There is tons of information and help sites available to help optimize your article according to SEO helping you improve your article. Rechecking and Editing your WorkOne of the greatest cardinal sins you can commit, is making an error in your content, in the form of a grammatical error or a spelling mistake, as it purports a highly unprofessional image to the reader that the writer scantily wrote the article and has not given it its due respect and research which demotivates the reader from trusting and engaging wholly with the content you put out. Hence, it is extremely important for you to ensure that your content is professional and has no mistakes which can set off any reader that reaches your content, so constantly recheck your article, use tools such as Grammarly to ensure there are no mistakes or errors in your work and properly cite all the content you pick up from other sites and platforms to ensure the integrity of your work. These traits may seem mundane, but help set a professional outlook to your reader and ensure higher chances of your reader revisiting your articles and becoming dedicated readers. As mentioned above, all these are basic building blocks to ensure a base-level integrity and quality of your work, but are in no means exhaustive as personal innovation helps set you and your content apart. Most importantly, everything takes time to improve and perfect, so set small goals for yourselves and gradually improve from there and naturally improve from there.
Published - Sat, 24 Sep 2022
The teenage era in a student's life is a whirlwind of complex questions that serve as hours of procrastination on end, defining our responses to certain situations and subconsciously shaping our personality. Life shifts gears when the transition into our O’Levels or Matriculation, which serve as the 2-3 years preparing us for the future, where the fear of life truly sets in. However, it needs to be said that although these years may surely seem like the penultimate era of the life of the student going through the motions, life throws multiple chances of redemption our way; one just needs to be prepared for when the moment strikes. One’s O’Level or Matriculation journey births questions about the future aspirations, majors to study, universities to get into, and generally the path one wishes to lead in life, and although these may seem a tad far-fetched in the eyes of a 15-16-year-old, preparing well in time and adjusting oneself accordingly goes a long way to help make dreams a reality. Venturing beyond conventionThe Pakistani educational ecosphere, although constantly evolving, does posit a series of opportunities that can be availed to help students polish their portfolios and make the most of their early years to help them to the brim when it matters. Being a country of brilliant minds with our youth serving as our pride, we have no shortage of seasoned individuals who yearn to go beyond the traditional curriculums and become disrupters. Which warrants the need to be averse to boxing oneself into general societal norms. Venture beyond and explore what it is out there that truly excites one to the point it serves as a constant dose of endorphins. For most educational institutions, students have the opportunities to study and experiment with new subjects which they can choose to be tested on to have added to their portfolios. While it is no doubt that the bare minimum requirements for completion of this stage require a decent amount of effort and dedication, the passion for going beyond and experimenting is what helps differentiates hustlers from the herd. Although choosing such risks is in no way necessary or a true indicator of one's hustle, inculcating these pressure-handling abilities at early ages, surely serves to one's advantage in the longer-run and is also something that is appreciated by top universities in Pakistan and across the globe as well.Hence, exploring beyond the usual is a key way that can assist and aid in the polishing of one's portfolio, not just complementing one's abilities, but helping instill a hard-working acumen and mindset which solidifies when dealing with the challenges life throws one way.Developing strong extra-curricularsAnother key avenue that a huge chunk of students tends to overlook is extra-curricular activities, which refer to all of the activities one indulges in outside the classroom. These can range from sports, competitions, debating, community service, or even starting one's own initiative in any field they find purposeful. The Pakistani ecosphere presents countless opportunities that students can indulge in and staying true to the essence of indulgence, this can revolve around anything that excites an individual and serves as a source of joy. These activities are integral to shaping an individual's holistic persona, as excelling academically, although commendable, remains somewhat one-dimensional. Like any delicious dish requires different sets of ingredients to make it appealing and mouth-watering, these additional traits help shape one's portfolio, adding uniqueness to one's personality and making them more desirable to the different sets of people that they come across in life. The best part about this ingredient is that it can be anything one can imagine. From being an avid debater, and being a skilled sportsperson to having one's entrepreneurial venture, something ‘extra’ sets you apart from the rest and serves as a source of relatability when engaging with like-minded individuals. As of late, students across Pakistan are breaking any stereotypes that may have existed by doing anything imaginable, from being published authors to having their own thriving businesses; the sky is the limit. The most important element of this accolade is originality to one's identity, students tend to jump on preconceived bandwagons by doing activities that they think would make them desirable, ignoring whether it is something that truly excites them. It is absolutely pertinent to use this opportunity to discover one’s own unique element, something that excites them. Thinking about the projections of their interests kills the purpose of this time because undoubtedly, everyone will surely find like-minded individuals who shall treat their interest with the respect it warrants. Attaining Soft-SkillsAnother important feat to conquer or at least venture into is the development of soft skills. These refer to personal attributes that one personifies, which help them interact with the world. Imagine any commendable movie you have watched and enjoyed; everything in the execution could have been second to none, but if the communicational element and story-telling were not aptly worked on and perfected, you would not have been able to enjoy that movie. Similarly, you can have lists of accolades and achievements in your portfolio. Still, if you cannot communicate them aptly, your value will not be communicated properly, underrating your abilities and your hard work. As was the case with extra-curriculars, soft skills are also not uniform across the masses and vary from person to person. It is equally important here to understand that one must not dedicate their time to emulating the qualities of others or what they believe would be deemed desirable, but rather explore their own strengths, capitalizing on them and working towards perfecting them. Figuring out your set of strengths warrants self-reflection and feedback. One must critically analyze the areas they are proficient in and delve into discourse about them with people who have your best intentions at heart, discussing how they feel about that trait of yours and how they believe you may work on perfecting it further. However, being able to exhibit certain traits in front of your loved ones does not tick all the boxes, as you shall come across countless new people throughout your life, and it is integral for you to be able to interact with them comfortably, banking on your strengths. To prepare yourself for this endeavor, one must venture out of one's comfort zone, and interact with new peers, professionals and new people you come across daily. This surely may seem daunting at first, however with time, it becomes second nature to you, making you an individual people enjoy interacting with. This shall be extremely helpful in the long run as approachability, and a strong grip on communication automatically makes you more desirable and primed for amazing opportunities. Moreover, based on your strengths, you can do multiple exercises to solidify your skillset, such as writing, leading a team, or even exploring courses online. The only thing to remember is to be true to oneself, and perfect avenues one truly is unique and talented in; the rest shall automatically fall into place. Lastly, ENJOY!These are just some of the ways a student can make the most of this reformative time of their lives, preparing themselves for future endeavors. However, all of this effort shall remain futile if it isn’t memorable and enjoyable. Hence, it is important to undertake all these ventures not only for the sake of doing them but to enjoy them because regardless of how unbelievable it may seem, memories outlive any accolade or achievement you attain in life, so balancing out productivity with pleasure is the epitome of success and both need to be given their due importance to make life truly cherishable.
Published - Sat, 24 Sep 2022
Deciding my subjects, what do I do?The struggles that are part and parcel of attaining education shall come as no surprise to students not just across Pakistan, but globally. Amongst the litany of these struggles, one pinnacle milestone to the summit is the selection of subjects that one is to pursue when transitioning to higher stages of education. Being the moment, which initiates the future path in a student's life, is the epitome of one of the most difficult and important decisions that all are forced to undertake. From a broader perspective, students, when setting on this journey, have to decide been 3-4 major disciplines, which then help them venture into specified particular avenues down the line. These range from Pure Sciences (Biology, Physics, and Chemistry), Pre-Engineering (Physics, Maths, and CS/ICT), Business (Accounting, Business Studies, and Economics), and Humanities (Psychology, Sociology, Art, etc.). An eerily relatable concept for a major bunch of students is the role of parental and societal pressures, which can heavily impact this decision for students, as hardly a child in Pakistan and even globally would have grown up without listening to the aspirations of their parents to either become doctors, engineers, lawyers, etc. Now, although parental opinions are important, however treating them as the sole decider can be a slippery slope in the long-run, given the student is not inclined or passionate about those particular fields. But this raises another pertinent question, how does one go about making an educated decision about this integral decision?Looking at the bigger pictureAcknowledging the pretense and importance of subject selection, it is important to realize that the majority of fields remain open as one climbs the ladder of higher education, allowing one to shift around due to the rise of an interest in a different field. Simply put, except for 2 broad categories of medicine and engineering, which require a student to study the subjects for from the get-go, one can change fields quite easily, so one needs not to make this initial decision a do or die state of mind, as evolution and change are part of life and is not unique to one person, but is more common than one may imagine. Thus, the main focus shall revolve around introspection, determining what one is interested in. Having studied until the ages of 15-17, one is exposed to many disciplines and subjects, which act as key indicators. If a certain subject interests you, it is important to consider if that is something you would wish to dedicate your life towards and which streams will complement the learning and execution of the subjects you wish to continue studying. Penning an example, a love for mathematics can be deeply explored in engineering and business fields, to begin with, and later can also transform to one attaining higher level degrees in the subject. Hence, if one or multiple subjects pique your interest, you should try to identify which streams will help you continue studying those subjects, assisting you in delving deeper in the future.Online ExplorationOur normal school curriculums are rather mundane in terms of making such important decisions as selecting their key subjects. In most cases, students are unable to identify their core interests, either due to a lack of breadth in what is taught in schools or some cases, it is not being taught at all. Luckily, students now have some key resources at their disposal to help them explore. Online modules and courses are an excellent resource for self-reflection, as they aid in one learning about the countless possibilities they can pursue, and learn in greater depth about the subjects that interest them.Here it is important to notice that one should not restrict themselves purely to the subjects and streams they would be exposed to in their schooling environments, but rather experiment with what excites them, even if they seemingly deviate from the conventional streams. If writing is something that you enjoy and are interested in, you should look for modules and courses which help you learn more about the opportunities and possibilities in that discipline. Many students are unaware of their true passions due to a lack of opportunities in their regular schooling. These platforms serve as gateways for them to stumble across what makes them happy, making efforts for self-introspection and these online platforms an absolute necessity. Staying cautious of the “Bandwagon Approach.”As stated above, the key determinant for many students is their parents or societal perceptions. There are countless examples of students who had been forced to select a stream they had no interest or inclination toward due to the supposed security and respect the discipline boasts on. Moreover, a term you repeatedly hear, so much so that it becomes an automatic litmus test in your brain, is “scope.” Students tend to weigh the supposed chances of success and opportunities in a certain field as the decider when making their decision, which is a very risky and unwarranted practice. There is no shortage of students who are in a certain discipline purely due to it being perceived as a “safe” option. Now, although weighing in the possible opportunities is advised, it definitely should not be the sole decider in such situations. One can find countless accounts of people who later regret basing their decisions on such intangible means, even if they seemingly have achieved success, because happiness is something that neither can be taught nor can be forced. It derives from satisfaction, which subsequently is a derivative of you working or pursuing something you enjoy.Chasing success is not wrong, but it is important to understand that success is subjective and varies from person to person, so chasing something and putting your interests on the backburner can have long-term negative impacts. Moreover, as you are open to changing disciplines down the line, you are equally open to changing occupations as well. The world is no longer black and white, and the subject you attain a degree in does not define the occupation you may have 10-20 years later, as practical knowledge heavily differentiates from what we learn in schools and universities. You can look in your families, and you will surely find people who studied a certain discipline but work in a completely different discipline altogether. Hence, it is extremely important to leave some things to fate and take your life one day at a time. Have faith in what you decide is best for you, and let life unfold accordingly. This is one of the first difficult decisions that await you in life and its advised to treat this decision in proportion to its importance, as although it may seem like the most important decision you may make in life, its impact diminishes as you evolve and progress, thus instincts and interests need to be put first, with a firm belief in fate, with the acknowledgment that everything turns out for the best.
Published - Thu, 09 Jun 2022
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