When we were growing up, we all heard a very common statement –“90% se zyada aaye hain, ab toh science le sakte ho, Congratulations!” There was a standard procedure that had to be followed. If you scored higher than average, you were meant to be the next Einstein. Choosing the right stream after class 10th remains one of the toughest decisions in one’s career. If you were the average Joe, you were definitely meant to sit in an accountant’s office and if you were unfortunate enough to score less than average, you were better off studying history and geography because honestly, no one cared what you would do in life.
This notion of categorizing science, commerce and humanities reminds me of a class system, where science is the King, commerce is a mere advisor to the King and humanities is somewhere in the Castle wiping the floor. At least, that’s how it seemed. But as we are rushing deeper into this century, we are leaving behind this old notion of how streams should be chosen based on only academics. Marks are, no doubt, a reflection of one’s capabilities, but they should not be the sole reason for choosing a stream. Let’s try and understand what the criteria should be for choosing the right stream after 10th.
1. Understand your Orientation Style
Try to understand how you do things, interact with people and what is your take on the world. Are you the sort of person who likes to boss people around? Or do you have a creative streak? Some people have a talent for talking their way out of problems, while others are passionate about helping to create a better society. Stream selection should be majorly dependent on what your orientation style is, as it is an embedded part of you. Ignoring it will only cause you to feel out of place in a career that does not match your outlook.
2. Find an Interest
I know what you are thinking, it’s very obvious. And you got one right. You did select commerce because it seems interesting to you. But sometimes we find our interests scattered in so many places, it’s mind-boggling. Even after we have found “The One” (pun intended), we believe our interest in a particular subject is enough to pursue it in the long run. You may be fascinated by outer space and dream of going to the moon, but that’s a long shot. So you need to understand what career options your interest will open up for you in real life. So stop obsessing over your marks, and get to work!
3. Uncover your Personality
There is no one in this world who hasn’t said “He/She has a great personality”. And it just gets me thinking, what exactly do people mean by that? Personality is a very complex term. In the simplest of words, it is one’s pattern of behavior over an extended period of time. Some people have a sociable personality, others may be a bit attention seeking. When selecting a stream, it is essential to look underneath our superficial behavior and realize what subjects would satisfy our whims in the long run. It’s complicated, I agree. But hey that’s what we are here for. Every individual is unique and fitting a square peg in a round hole is calling for trouble and frustration.
4. Take up subjects you can learn
Don’t choose science or humanities only because you are fascinated by the idea of it. Even I want to be the Prime Minister of the Country, doesn’t mean I can do it. No, it’s not because I lack the educational qualification. It’s because I don’t have the right aptitude for it. Generally we look at Aptitude as a single attribute. But there are in fact a number of aptitudes that are required to study a certain subject. Taking up those subjects that you possess the aptitude for, works in your favor by enhancing your chances of success later in life. So remember to play to your strengths and aim not for the best, but the best for you.
5. Get in touch with your Emotional Intelligence
Now this is a tricky one. You may be thinking, what have emotions got to do with choosing my stream? But if you think for a minute, you will realize how much we do in our everyday life is influenced by our emotions. We are often trapped in situations, good or bad, due to emotional influences. And this influence is seen on our academics and career too. It’s important to understand the components of emotion, and how good you are at handling those components. So before jumping into a stream that requires much empathy or conflict handling on your part, ensure that you are ready for it.
I guess, now you are equipped to handle one of the biggest decision of your life – choosing the right stream after class 10th. The next time your relatives or neighbors pester you about taking up science or humanities because they “think” your scores are in sync with these streams, tell them how logically you take your career decisions and they should too. As is rightly said, “Your life will fly by, so make sure you are the Pilot!”
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