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Looking for the greener side of the grass


The life of a student can actually be classified quite efficiently, if corresponded with a simple video game.
The beginning, in which the student finishes grades 1-10, and completing Inter or metric. As with everything in life, the beginning is just the easy part. But nevertheless, Stage one completed.
After this significant step in the students life, he now faces a major cross-road right in his face. 'Doctor or Engineer?' This could possibly be the most spoken and pondered question by Pakistani 15 year olds. Choosing a career after Inter, or matriculation, is one of the biggest decision a student can make. His whole future, the immediate and in the long term, is decided when this decision is made. Pressure from all aspects of his life strongly influences this monumental decision; advice from friends and colleagues, parents and relatives, and also the financial state of his family. Another major factor, that may have tipped the scale on numerous occasions, is the traditional Pakistani belief that the only respected profession is either to become a doctor, or an engineer.
Straining under all the pressure, the student makes his choice, if in fact it was his decision. He chooses to persue a career in the vast field of medicine, in hopes of ultimately becoming a doctor, and along the way ful-filling his family's hopes and desires. He now faces two grueling years of pre-medical, in which he studies with a vengeance and achieves outstanding marks.
Stage two completed.
He applies for a seat in a prestigious university. He is invited to sit the admission test. It goes well, but under par of his usual performance. The student is confident he can get a seat in this university. Result day arrives with somber news. The student is devastated. The university offered his place to another student who fared better in the entrance exam, but achieved lower grades in pre-med.
In Pakistan,a student in this situation has only a handful of choices. He could apply in a private university, but the fee scares away most hopefuls. He could join one of the numerous coaching classes(Private Universities/Institutes), where he spends years earning a degree of BBA,BCS, etc, which is thrown back in his face when he applies for a job due to the Institute not being accredited. Or he could simply recap, take Maths, apply for an engineering university and hope that he gets in, and hope that the two years he spent studying pre-med were not wasted and don’t severely affect his future student life.

This is not about one day ruining the life of a person. It's about the saturation in the field of medicine. All parents want their sons and daughters to be successful in life, this should be the main goal of all students. Not to simply become a doctor, as is drilled into some children’s minds. Good doctors are needed but are also well in supply. A student should carefully consider what he himself wants to do, and not what others want from him. There are 11000 students who successfully complete pre-med each year, and there are 600 available seats. Each year approximately 10500 students have their hopes dashed. 21000 parents are crushed. Statistics are important to convey a point, and the numbers in this case are just too hard to be rolled over. Of the 10500 students, approximately 5000 students find alternate courses to join and move onto stage three and four. But for the rest of the hopeful pre-med students, who might have fared much better selecting another course to do back when they were 15, its game over.

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