(Firstly, for the title, I’m pretty sure some decisions made spontaneously can also be practical, so they don’t actually reflect one another. But then most decisions made out of spontaneity and impulse are usually not as practical so just give me the benefit of the doubt hahaha)
So many people whom I know, including myself actually, sacrificed or are on the verge of sacrificing passion and interest for practicality.
At 18, most of us would have figured out or at least, have an idea of what interests us, and our plan for the future – which degree to uptake in Uni at the very least. For myself, I have had an interest for Accounting and Math since 2013. So then, I figured that I’d want to do something math or business related in the future. Then in 2014, I took H2 Economics and despite the constant disappointments I got from my tests and exams, I have always enjoyed learning the subject. It was one of the few subjects (including H2 Math) that I really didn’t mind studying. Studying it felt like an enriching experience and I knew that I wasn’t studying for the sake of it.
I remember in the beginning of 2014, when I chose to take H2 Math as a subject and was declined the opportunity because I didn’t fulfil the pre-requisite – Additional Math at O levels, I was really upset. Despite the several appeals I made in Secondary School to be given the chance to take A Math, I was denied. So then, giving it one last try, I decided to write to the Head of the Math Department in SAJC to request to take H2 Math and thankfully, the HOD did oblige, on the condition that I, at least obtain a Pass for my mid terms.
Hence for my 6 months in SAJC, I had a really hectic schedule I would say. Had tuitions for all of my H2 subjects – Chemistry, Economics, Math. And on top of these, I had to go for A Math tuition. What more, my Economics, Math and A Math tuitions were all on the same day. Econs at 1:30, Math at 3, and A Math at 5:30. I think I might be a little sadistic, but it was the best day of the week even though my brain would be fried at the end of it.
So I thought to myself, I must do something math related in the future ’cause this is fun.
Then, I somehow caught on the idea of studying Law, specialising in Corporations Law. I have no idea how or why and as a Christian, I might just say that I heard a voice telling me that. I have never had any interaction or relations to law. Never learnt anything about it but somehow, I was interested.
When I decided to leave to study abroad, I kept asking myself what I wanted to study. Accounting, Economics or Law. If I chose accounting, it’d be out of interest and practicality. If I chose Economics, it’d be solely out of interest and if Law, it’d be out of interest, recklessness and maybe, a little tint of rationality. So from here, the clear choice would be Accounting.
But as interesting Accounting may get, I really don’t envision myself being an Accountant or anything related in the future. I don’t want to be restricted to a cubicle or more optimistically, an office and a computer. I need human interaction. And as what my mum would say, “As an Accountant, you’d always be counting other people’s money.”
But then again, I don’t exactly see myself arguing in court. It’s just too far fetched. It’s like, I know what I want to study, but I don’t know if I want to make it my career. Does that even make sense? Maybe it’s just my being’s interpretation of laziness – not wanting to work hahaha I don’t even know.
Going back to the reason why I wrote this, many friends of mine who are currently in Polytechnics tell me that they’re not sure if they want their current diploma to be part of their career in the future. Firstly, they don’t see themselves practicing it and secondly, they don’t know where it’d lead them to and in the end, they’d choose to do something more definitive and less risky which is actually understandable.
I do agree to this behaviour and choice and I would definitely do the same (and clearly have done the same). But then I realised, eventually even if interest fails to build with the choice you made out of practicality, there’d always be a way out.
You could always just uptake another degree, spend 3-4 more years doing exactly what you like or take a double major or be a teacher. All it really takes is the courage to take the risks to follow the road less travelled.