Read This Before You Sign Up For Yet Another Course

“Do this course. It’ll do you good”
“Do that specialization; it’ll land you a job immediately”
As college students, we often come across such statements. Be it your parents, friends, or even random strangers, everyone seems to be hell-bent on ‘selling’ you one course or another. Some will be so insisting that they’ll make you feel as if you can get nothing in the outer world if you don’t have these tangible pieces of evidence made of paper called certifications to ‘prove’ your worth.

After years of being pushed around by similar people in a similar way, here are my two cents on this entire race of grabbing as many certifications as you can in college. IT’S A SCAM. Yep, you read that right.
Now, by a scam, I don’t mean that the certifications or specializations are a scam ‘cause they are not. They are a good source of knowledge and skills that, if understood properly, will help you for the rest of your life. What I mean to say here is that this race, this competition, sometimes it tends to become more important in your life than it should be. You should know that your certifications hold value but they are not the only criteria of judging you at the end of the day. Like, I will give you my example.

All my life I have been running around chasing extra credit and scoring glorious Letter of Recommendations but yesterday, when I went for my job interview I realized just how wrong my approach was. I went to the interview room with extremely high hopes because well, I had the fattest CV. I had the most badges on my shoulder in any and every field. I had collected them with utmost patience and resilience only for this day, the day where they land me the job I want.

I entered the room, a bright smile on my face, confidence oozing out of me. I gave the jury a firm handshake and handed over my file of certificates and achievements with utmost pride. I could almost imagine their faces when they saw the long list of courses I had done. I sat down, a satisfied smile on my face, as they opened my folder.
The man I handed it over to look at it uninterestedly for about a second or two before tossing it away in a huge pile of similar folders. I was shocked. You could only imagine my horror when they asked me to tell them something about me, something that’s not on the file. The silence that took over me then felt like a slap, slap of reality.
For years I mindlessly ran after materialistic certifications, working hard to add them to my folder, the same folder that is lying on the floor, serving no purpose. I spent all my life studying and running after perfect academic records instead of going out, living my life, discovering myself.
I could feel my face losing its color when they asked me about my hobbies. I had none. I was too busy working to have any. The pangs of regret I felt at that point were inexplicable.
That night, after I came home from the interview I received a call from the company stating that I had unfortunately not made it to the post and expectedly so since I had barely anything to say about myself during the interview.
That call might’ve been one announcing a failure at that moment but it was also my wake up call, reminding me that I shouldn’t lose myself in this rat race. You see, your success is nothing if you lose yourself in finding it. Your health and happiness should precede anything and everything, or so I have experienced. You should go ahead and do whatever course interests you and you should do so only for yourself and if practical work appeals more than theoretical, go for it! Don’t let the world’s definition of ‘valuable skills’ hamper your passion.

That being said, if no course appeals to you or no work appeals to you at the moment, that is okay too. You can sit back, take your time, and ponder over what you desire. Don’t just force yourself to do things you don’t want to because honestly, forcing seldom helps anyone. Think, Deliberate, Do.
Always remember Albert Einstein said, “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
That being said, I wish you the best of luck on your journey to finding what you want, I hope you find it. Thank you for reading this!

By - Arpita pandey