It was in 2008, I took the decision to join B.E Biotechnology. The only reason I did this was because I didn’t get into medical. My dreams of being a doctor were shattered. I was a hurt teenager. I had my own fears, peer pressure or whatever you would like to call it. And here in India you’ve only 3 options- either you are a doctor, or an engineer or you are nothing, especially if you belong to a middle class family. So the love of wearing an apron prompted me to join biotech. “If I couldn’t be a doctor I could at least wear an apron”- yes, that’s what I thought. I know I was dumb but that is what an 18 year old is supposed to be- reckless, stubborn. And later when I joined college I realized I wasn’t the only one. There were so many students like me who joined biotech only because they didn’t get into medical. Anyways later, we all moved on. College was fun, engineering was easy. Just study the night before exam and your job is done. Adding to that our college was autonomous. Getting an A was easier in every respect. We didn’t have to work hard for it. Our parents were happy seeing our 9 point scores and we were happy too- we had everything, marks, friends, independence.
Time passed and we were in 5th semester. One day our college organized a talk on “higher studies in the field of biotech” a senior from our college was the speaker. She had done her master’s from johns Hopkins University and now was working in a well reputed company. That day she told us about GRE. Now that was a new word for me. She told us about the exam, all the procedures, SOP, scholarship etc. I was shocked. I mean I knew people go abroad and study but I never knew about these specific exams and moreover I never really thought about it. Adding to my surprise was the fact that most of my classmates knew about it. Infact many of them were preparing for it, few even had their exam dates with them.
Now there are 3 categories of students in a biotech class-
First, people who join biotech consciously with knowledge of the scope and future prospects and have ‘rich’ dads.
Second, people who join just to get degree and are willing to join any field after that (read IT) and earn money.
Third, people who are loyal to BT, want to study further but are still sleeping and have ‘not so rich’ dads.
Obviously, I and my friends fall into the 3rd category. It’s not like you don’t get jobs anywhere. Like in our college everyone does get placed but only in IT companies. No core company ever hires a graduate student. Even if they do they’ll pay you so less, you won’t even be able to pay your rent.
So the option left for us is- study in India. And India mai competition tough hai boss!!! I am not saying studying abroad is easy. I’ve seen my friends struggling a lot for all the procedures, SOPs and visa problems. Now to do M.tech or MS in India and earn a reasonable amount of money and respect, you’ve to study almost 12 subjects thoroughly and qualify GATE. Not just qualifying, you’ve to score well. And the way I’ve done my engineering I know how difficult it is to answer the in depth MCQs.
So here I am sitting at home, struggling with all those subjects I studied a night before exam. Biology is endless. You study one thing and you confuse yourself with 1000 more. Adding to that when you see the facebook updates of your classmates entering the top universities in UK, USA, or Germany, life do seem to be unfair.
I am not discouraging anyone to join biotech. I just don’t want to see anyone in a condition I am right now. Biotech is interesting, there is so much to know and achieve but the way is difficult. Don’t be a fool like me and waste an year of your life. Plan your career in advance. Think about everything, your interest, your potential, your financial condition and then decide.
I could have thought about it 4 years back, dropped one year then, study and I could have been a doctor. I didn’t have courage to struggle then, thus I am struggling now. I can’t go back in time and change my decision. I have no other option but you may have a chance and the time now. It goes not just for your career but for every dream you have ever seen. Never let life close the door of opportunities for you. Never let fate decide what you get in life. You could be a creator of your own destiny, just believe in yourself. I am trying to change myself, I hope you’ll try to do that too…
Have fun…all the best!!!!