Roads less taken

The Jakarta Post - SPEAK! - - Editor’s Note - Chris

WELCOME BACK, read­ers. I hope your school va­ca­tions were great and that your Le­baran was fes­tive ( mo­hon maaf lahir batin, by the way).

Speak! is fo­cus­ing on univer­sity life this is­sue, with sto­ries on stu­dents who’ve cho­sen un­usual ma­jors, how to con­vince your par­ents to let you study over­seas and how cam­pus life is dif­fer­ent in the West.

For most of us, col­lege is the cap­stone of our ed­u­ca­tion. It’s the last time when we will have the time – and the duty – to in­tel­lec­tu­ally ex­plore and de­velop our crit­i­cal think­ing skills in our daily life.

out what we want to do with our lives.

For me, I left high school, where I was one of the smart kids, for univer­sity, where all of a sud­den I was just a face in the crowd. It was hum­bling. I shifted my ma­jor a few times be­fore study­ing history – which closed some doors (such as med­i­cal school) and opened oth­ers (like jour­nal­ism).

Half of my de­gree is in science and math­e­mat­ics, but ab­so­lutely none of those classes were wasted. It’s the mod­ern econ­omy: We’re go­ing to have many jobs in our life­times and need a lot of skills to com­pete. So be pre­pared to change course.

good at. A good ex­am­ple is our cover model this month, Isyana Saras­vati. Af­ter study­ing clas­si­cal mu­sic in Sin­ga­pore and Lon­don, she’s re­turned to In­done­sia – to record pop mu­sic.

Also look at our ar­ti­cle on life on cam­pus in the West.

I liked how one writer spoke about work­ing while study­ing, which is more com­mon in the US and UK than you may think. I worked as an as­sis­tant in a bi­ol­ogy lab as a fresh­man, wash­ing a lot of test tubes! Another stu­dent I knew, Fred, worked as a cook in our dorm while he stud­ied physics and as­tron­omy while work­ing in a cam­pus sec­ond in com­mand of a sub­ma­rine in the US Navy.

So you’ll never know what doors will open in col­lege.You might feel lost – which no one likes – but it’s nat­u­ral. You’ll be pushed out­side of your com­fort zone over the next few years, but em­brace it. Try the un­usual. Learn from your mis­takes. Look

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Indonesia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.