Do you know?
Haroon Tekrawala is a sophomore at Brentwood School in Sandersville, Georgia. In addition to his penchant for writing and aspiration to become a journalist, he enjoys examining his Indian ethnicity through the eyes of a concerned teenager. He is editor-in-chief of his school’s yearbook, a member of the student council, an essayist for the literary team and a member of the National Honor Society.
.Is It Time To Hang The Stethoscope?
"Indians today, more than ever before, are following many rewarding careers and departing from the traditional doctor-lawyer-engineer
In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing society, we, as humans, are constantly bombarded with the work of life. For teenagers, homework and studying consumes a large portion of time, and many of us also have part-time jobs and other responsibilities.
Amid these duties, we find little time to devote to ourselves. As Indian teens, our family and relatives expect a great deal from us. Each person seems to expect something grand and noble from us, whether it’s becoming the first to earn a medical degree in the family or following in the footsteps of that uncle in India who is an engineer.
Studies reveal that, despite the influence of Indian-Americans in a myriad of careers, the majority are involved in science, medicine and technology. This poses the question: Are parents steering their children in a direction which piques their own interests? Maybe—but one thing is certain, Indians today, more than ever before, are following many rewarding careers and departing from the traditional doctor-lawyer-engineer option.
Nishita (who asked to conceal her identity) is a surgeon in Augusta, Georgia. She, apart from her high-energy career, spends much time with her daughter. Her daughter is nearing graduation, a time when college and, essentially, career choices are pinpointed. When asked if she has ever pressurized her daughter to pursue medicine, she laughed, “No, I don’t think my daughter could practice medicine.” “Her personality and character does not complement medicine.” Nishita explains, that though her daughter possesses the grades, she allowed her daughter to determine such a major decision which would impact her life for years to come.
Many parents like Nishita are beginning to accept the decisions of their children. Many like, Rakesh Patel, a lawyer in Florida, stated that being a parent of an Indian-American teenager is truly “a learning experience.” He stated parents must realize that, because today’s Indian teens have developed different personas, it’s “obvious” they will choose different careers. “Teenagers today,” Patel says, “are given many more opportunities and presented with different challenges which were foreign to us in our native land.” And with these new opportunities come new career decisions.
Pooja Kapoor, a junior attending a high school in Atlanta, claimed that she could never pursue medicine, engineering or law. As an aspiring artist, she explains that, although she could “push herself through it,” she would never be able to pursue her true dreams. After winning numerous awards and accolades and designing many an artwork for her school, Kapoor explains that all her “hard work” and commitment would evaporate if she did not pursue studies in art.
Indian-American teens are a very talented group of people and perhaps the most crucial segment of Indian-American society. We not only represent the top of our classes but also display a wide medley of talents. If not pursued, these wasted, ignored talents would not only damage the dreams of this generation, but also hinder the intellectual growth of future generations as well.
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