Saturday, 3 October 2015

So, You didn't know...

...I guess not, I haven’t done a very good job with telling this to people. Truth be told, I didn’t tell anyone but the word just spread a bit. I guess it never came around to you. Sorry about that, but you know it’s not personal right. Hi, so erm… I changed my stream; I am doing B.A in English Literature. 

If you didn’t quite know this – 1) I have been studying at PACE (one of the several institutes guaranteed to get you into IIT) for the past two years.

2) How do you get internet connection under this rock you’ve been living in? 

And 3) Let’s get coffee, we clearly need to catch up. 

So, I’ve made some changes and most people have been positive in their response. They know about my love for stories and creative writing. I have maintained this blog for nearly three years now, and I have been reading a book every week and reviewing them (NO SPOILERS) for the past five months on this blog. So a lot of my friends have accepted it far more easily than I thought they would. But even the best of them have asked this singular most obvious question why. Why did I make such a drastic change?

I guess we need to flashback to sometime near November 2014. I was probably cramming Physics or Chemistry because by that point I had entirely given up on Maths; which upsets me because Maths has always been the one subject I immensely enjoyed in school, even more so than English. But what I was studying did not stimulate me anymore (even excluding Organic chemistry) and understandably so, because after two years even the more interesting subjects become stagnant. My study hours fell from 6+ to zero in 2 months and as I gave up all the things that exhausted me, I also gave up on everything that excited me. And I fell into this spiral of wiling away my time and being too exhausted to do anything constructive. 

When my JEE Mains got over, I was one hundred percent done with studies and everything academic. And I wondered how I was ever going to get through the next four years of engineering. 

Simply put, Science got a bit too exhausting mentally and emotionally for me to continue on with it. And my heart wasn’t in it. If I would have continued, it would have been a matter of getting it done and over with, not actually experiencing it. My life would once again be on resume till I finished engineering. 

But this isn’t a scene out of 3 Idiots or something. I knew I wanted to study English and Creative Writing but figuring out which degree course it fell under and whether I was eligible for it or not was not easy. If you stumbled upon this blog because you want make a similar change, here’s a piece of advice – Talk to people; most of them are willing to help. Talk to me and I’ll try my best. Do your research. was super helpful to me, informing me about various degree courses, their syllabus and that is when I decided on B.A with English Literature. Check if the subject combination you want is available given your background, because I wanted to opt for French as my secondary language but I couldn’t as I didn’t know basic French.

The second most important bit of research I had to do was to understand the admission process (which makes absolutely no sense at all). The procedure wasn’t any different for me compared to any other Arts student. I would however suggest that you get all of the required paperwork submitted long before the deadline because that leaves you with room to fix any mistake you might have made. 

And ask questions to as many relevant people as you can. I personally felt like I didn’t really have a lot of questions and I wanted to avoid talking to people – It’s scary okay! But eventually I buckled up and had a chat (several chats). This really gave me enough perspective to not break out into sweats every time I thought of the future.

The second most popular question is ‘Why didn’t you take up Arts in Jr. college/ 11th and 12th grade?’ or ‘Haha, poor you, two years of hard work down the drain’ or ‘Do you regret the PACE years?’.

When I finished my 10th standard and had to select between Science and Arts (Commerce somehow was never an option), I chose Science because logically speaking this move was possible but vice versa, that is, Arts to Science wouldn’t be possible. I loved Science and the technicalities of it in School. I have absolutely no regrets about making the choice I made. When I told one of my teachers about this shift, she told me something brilliantly insightful and reassuring. Science was the right decision back then and English is the right decision right now. 

And for someone who wants to write, every piece of information is useful. Knowing how a capacitor works and the meaning of ‘Bildunsgroman’ at the same time firstly makes me an interesting person and secondly adds a depth to my writing. Two years at PACE taught me time management, and how to study effectively and to work under pressure. It gives me the opportunity to say that I can provide a technical and precise perspective on my resume.

And that’s another thing I have learned – Build your resume. Assess every aspect of you and if something adds to your CV, invest in it. Flesh out your interests, personality and go the extra mile. 

I unfortunately was very late in deciding this and by that time my HSC exams were already over. But if yours are not, work hard for those because they are the only factor considered during B.A admissions.  

But now that the admissions are done, pray tell – How’s college? Different! I think it is very important to walk in on the first day knowing it is going to be different. I knew people who showed in PACE in their pajamas and here, everyone is impeccably dressed looking like they spent enough time in front of the mirror in the morning. And gender ratio- oh man! It used to be 5 girls versus 50 boys and here everything has taken a 180 degree turn. Also, notice how I keep comparing things. That is probably not very healthy in terms of adjusting. 

A very long story short – A lot of things have changed and it’s a bit risky but I am here to see it through. And cliché as it sounds; it’s going to be one hell of ride. 


  1. It felt as if I was reading my own story(replacing science wth commerce).The first day scenario,yes I could recall that ;)
    Make ur 'one hell of a ride' the most adventurous one.Best of luck ;)

    1. Thank you. :) I am excited.