In a typical Indian scenario, when one clears their 10th Grade exam, they’re often met with the dilemma of choosing any of the 3 streams : science, commerce or humanities/arts. In fact, as soon as one reaches the 10th Grade, the talk of choosing a stream kind of starts rather quickly. To be quite frank, most 10th Graders I know are quite confused as to what they wanna do, while some are quite confident in their choice and go ahead with it despite what society says. Lemme present the stereotypes that are often associated with these 3 fields :
- Science: The most “acceptable” stream that makes gossipy relatives swoon over you. Choose this and you’re set for life almost immediately either as a doctor or an engineer.
- Commerce: Initially met with skepticism, but is also another “acceptable” choice. Most people assume that you’re dead set on being a CA only.
- Humanities/Arts: Congratulations, you’ve thrown a perfectly good life away. Is stream ko koi scope nahi hai (translation: There’s no scope for this stream).
Now look, I’m not gonna bash on any of these streams as I believe each of them have got potentially good career opportunities both in India and globally. This post shall focus on some of the common hurdles that concerns only the science stream. You can choose whatever stream you feel like, and you’ll still be able to find yourself along the way ; as long as you show some dedication, hard-work and passion for the stream you’ve chosen. Just be 100% sure with what you choose, and take your time while doing so.
Ok, back to the main post. As someone who willingly chose and is continuing along the science path at the UG level (chem+bio path to be more precise), lemme tell you this. The science stream is quite good, but it comes with a hefty package deal that requires absolute commitment. From running around doing endless lab-works, to sitting and slogging away at your projects and files, to having Oxford dictionaries for textbooks, the struggles are there. But in the end, they may seem worth it. So……let’s dive in to what it’s really like to be a science student.
- The minute people hear you’ve got a percentage of at least an 87 (or more preferably a 90+), you’ll automatically be labelled a “genius” and be asked
(read as forced)to choose this stream. Yeah, because apparently percentage determines your intelligence. Gotcha 🤫
- Say goodbye to all the science you knew before and up to 10th Grade. No really, kiss them goodbye, because science in the 11th and 12th Grade literally transforms into a freaking Basilisk. Everything you learn in these 2 years just contradicts whatever you knew. Guess writing electronic configuration as K,L,M,N was a huge waste of time now that I realized they were supposed to be written as s,p,d and f.
- Say a prayer before you deal with the intensity of maths during these 2 years, because you’re really gonna need it.
- Pro tip for all of you kids who chose maths along with your core subjects: please make sure your trigo, logarithm, and vector (if they’re teaching you that) basics are strong. Drill them into your brain if you have to. Otherwise, calculus is gonna kick your butt all the way to Neptune without any hesitation.
- Textbooks? What’s that? All you have are Oxford dictionary-esque ones. If they’re not of that size, you have multiple parts of a single textbook series that rivals the MCU.
- You’re often jealous of your friends who chose commerce/arts because of all the free time they have. Meanwhile you’re sitting in class listening to a really boring lecture on current electricity (insert Adele’s “Hello from the other side” line).
- Lab coats and gloves have become a staple for you. Enter the chem lab without them and you’ll get the look of disappointment from your chemistry teacher. On the plus side, you finally get to live your dream of wearing one, right?
- Please make sure to buy the new and upgraded storage disc specifically designed for your brain. Because you have to remember at least 10k+ formulas, equations and other stuff, from the Reimer-Tiemann reaction, to the optics diagrams, to tongue twister microbe/enzyme names.
- Integration…………..enough said. Especially the partial fraction method 🤦🏽♀️
- You try to understand chemistry, you really do. But all the plethora of exceptions always get you.
- Titration is the new Solitaire for you. That constant never ending fear of having to redo a whole set of readings is what motivates you to keep going. Pressing R to pay your respects if you accidentally get a magenta colour instead of a pale pink one. Don’t give up!
- You’re so immersed in your core subjects that you often abandon English/languages to the extent where you pretend they don’t exist. Spoiler alert: you need to do well in them as well if you wanna pass.
- When you do a particular numerical in physics and get at least 3 different answers on multiple occasions. Alternate scenario: when you forget half of a specific derivation that’s worth at least 3-5 marks.
- Your commerce/arts friends probably wonder if y’all are even in class because yours is so dead silent like 90% of the time. They’re also intimidated by the sheer size of your textbooks and they look at your derivations as if you asked them to read an ancient Geek manuscript 😂 (this is based on a true story).
- You can’t look at sci-fi movies/tv shows/animes the same way again once you go down the path of science (excluding Cells At Work, it depicts the immune system pretty well).
- Despite all the sleepless nights slogging away either studying for an exam or completing a project/lab files, you’ve managed to survive 2 years with a couple of your friends by your side. Pat yourself on the back, and treat yourself! You overcame some hurdles and found the way out, so be proud.
Lemme know which points were your favourite or most relatable, and do share some of your experiences if you’ve chosen science as your stream in the comments below. Also, what type of student life post should I release next? Feel free to leave some suggestions as well.
Until then, fellow readers! SS is out for now.