How important are academics? My story and perspective

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Alright, so how important are academics? A lot of people emphasize the importance of academics. Most of them usually have a misconception that without academics one can’t make it big in life.

Now, the thing is there are endless ways of achieving something. But, somehow the society traps us into the paradigm that excelling in studies is the only way one can achieve success especially in a country like India.

Academics are marketed in such a way that some people even measure their worth in terms of how they perform in studies. As soon as we enter school, we find that the teacher will always applaud the ones who are doing well. Then as we move on to higher school, parents, teachers put pressure on us to perform well be it in 12th boards or competitive exams. There is nothing wrong with appreciating those who do well, but it should never be implied that those who are not doing well are worthless.

Now, the thing is marketing is really biased in my opinion. Like, the marketing model usually focuses on people who have topped exams or got admission in prestigious colleges. In the end, the underlying focus is on material gains. Why are we attracted to colleges like IIMs and IITs. The reason is because they offer a good package.

Now, there are other professions like singing, acting etc. Now, these professions are never marketed at least to that extent even though the amount you can earn in these professions is just phenomenal. Yeah, you do have shows like Indian Idol etc which are for that purpose, but you will never see these professions being glorified in the same way as academics. I agree success of actors, singers etc is always glorified on the internet, magazines etc.

But, the way that society puts pressure on us to excel in academics is crazy. Like you will rarely if ever, find parents wanting their kids to grow up and become an actor or a singer for that matter. There are people in other professions who are doing extremely well that we don’t even get to hear about. People are earning a lot of money in youtube and blogging yet the society is so narrow minded that they feel that academics are the only way to success.

Now, a lot of people might feel that I’m being impractical and that practicalities have to be taken into consideration. Most people will look at probabilities of success in different fields which is logical in a way. However, the point is that you can always be successful in any field you choose. If you are not really passionate about academics and want to pursue some other line of work then go ahead with it.

I am not trying to undermine academics in any way. If you are passionate about studies then you should definitely focus on academics. However, you can always pursue something else if you really want to.

Personally, I excelled in academics till about 12th standard. I was really good in primary school. But after 7th standard, I was never able to score more than 90%. My performance went down drastically in 9th standard. But, I still maintained a respectable figure of about 80%. I passed out of school scoring 85% in 12th standard. So, doing well in studies was always a priority for me.

Then, as I entered college(B.Tech), I performed well in the 1st sem scoring a 7.9 GPA. Now, it was a pretty decent GPA considering that I was among the better students in class. However, I had a major setback in the 2nd sem. Now, at first I was like ‘I can handle it’. I did not understand the situation at first. I felt like you know, this is just an obstacle and I should just push through it. However, no matter how hard I tried my grades came crashing down. It was at that point that I realised that I should take care of my mental health first rather than running after grades like crazy. Now, some people might think ‘Oh, he was just making excuses’. The fact is things were meant to happen that way.

You can’t really understand someone else’s position because you have never been in their shoes. I took some time off to understand my priorities in life. I spent hours trying to contemplate how to go about life ahead because I had no direction and well I was pretty much lost. So, I decided from that ordeal that I wanted to pursue something that I was passionate about. I knew that life is short and we must make the most of it.

During those times, I realised that academics weren’t really that important as I thought they were. The things that I wanted in my life lied outside the realm of academics. So, it was at that point that I decided to focus on what I wanted in life. And I am glad that things happened the way they did because if not for them, I would just be living an ordinary life.

So, in the end focus on academics if that is what you love. If you love something else then go for it. Have a nice day.

Thank you Kimberly Farmer for the pic.

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