Lawyers, doctors, accountants, businessmen, pharmacists, engineers, actors and so on have something in common. What is it?
They are all known as careers. The above-mentioned careers that I have mentioned are some of the most popular careers that are taken up by people. However, fair enough, a doctor is the most popular career in the country.
But why have I chosen to discuss about careers? Well, I have just read the newspaper in The Star Online and it was reported that once again most STPM students who scored a CGPA of 4.00 would apply for medicine in public universities. And out of about 1660 students who are eligible to apply for medicine, only 1000 seats are available for grab.
However, sometimes we must reflect about this: Choosing a career for my own is about my future life; if the career I chose does not suit my taste, should I continue pursuing the course for that particular career? If you were in such a situation, it can either be "Yes" or "No", depending whether or not you have any other problems.
There are, of course, other reasons to why some students choose certain careers, such as persuasion from parents, but this time, I would like to discuss about a situation where you have to choose a certain career that you may not like simply because it is a matter of "no other choices".
Well, not that we have no other choices, actually, but it's more like God telling us that we have to give up what we want for something that we don't really like. But let's discuss from the point of view of life.
Back in those days when people pursue for their ambitions, now many students have this mentality that "they will go for anything that is open to them", meaning to say that they are willing to take up any course as long as the prospect of the career in the future is a good one. Some, even for the sake of scholarships and sponsorships, agree to study the subject which is not favoured in order to relief the burden of the family. A noble decision for the family, I must say, but caution is really needed.
Many of us would apply for scholarships and sponsorships upon receiving our SPM and STPM results, and the application is not just for a single type of course, meaning that you would just aim for one particular course (either medicine, engineering, etc). In the end, you will find one applying scholarships for engineering, medicine, actuarial science, business management and so on. And when there are options for them to choose, they can choose the one they prefer. However, when only one door is open, they will still walk into that door, knowing that it is the door that they wouldn't want to walk.
It is really a personal matter if you come to think about it. Some people are really desperate to take up whatever options they have simply because of one main reason: not everybody can afford higher education (especially in private institutions of higher learning) and if possible nobody would want to do STPM.
As for me, my main choice of career was not to be a civil engineer, but to be a geneticist (before that, a lawyer). However, there were two factors that told me that I should accept the Petronas sponsorship and pursue my civil engineering course. First of all, though I am interested in the subject of Biology, I didn't seem to be able to do well in it at all in my school tests and examinations (although I scored 1A for it in SPM). It dampened my decision on whether or not I should continue to persist for genetics.
Therefore, I looked forward to getting a sponsorship from Petronas. Actually, I was offered the ASEAN Pre-University Scholarship by Singapore but I declined the offer because it only covers my studies in Singapore for a duration of two years for A Levels. I took the gamble and prayed that I would still get the Petronas sponsorship. Thankfully, I got it.
But before my Petronas sponsorship was confirmed, I compared the tuition fees for civil engineering course in various universities, and they would cost at least RM300,000 altogether, excluding accommodation, books, food, etc. My family doesn't have that kind of money (although I would say that we are of an average family). When the offer from Petronas came, I jumped upon it. It is an offer which nobody could really refuse. They cover your studies, accommodation and everything else until you graduate with an honours degree.
In today's society, it is rather sad that people now cannot pursue their dreams because of certain sacrifices that they have to make. Sometimes this sacrifice is so great that they find it extremely hard to cope up with their studies. Such a challenge is great indeed, but to face this challenge with a bold heart is what we should marvel them. To face this challenge without regret isn't something that everyone can do.
Not that I'm facing any challenges mentioned above, because although civil engineering isn't my favourite career, it is nevertheless one of my ten most favoured careers. And to be given the course that I requested sure made me very thankful and appreciative.
I wouldn't have asked for anything more.