It’s your choice

WITH the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) 2021 second session ending on May 19, candidates from both the first and second sittings are anticipating receiving their results next month.

Faced with the daunting task of deciding their future and the pathway to a successful career, career counsellors caution, those who lack a clear vision of what they want, can run into issues once they get started on their tertiary journey.

It can be costly, not to mention a waste of time, if the student drops out of a course or fails to graduate later on because he or she is simply not interested in the programme.

There have also been reports cautioning students of taking up a profession for reasons other than interest and aptitude.

Medicine, for example, is a popular profession but academics have lamented that graduates often stumble when they become house officers because they could not cope after being persuaded by their parents to take up the course, or because they do not want to be doctors anymore after realising that the profession is a far cry from what they signed up for.

Some young doctors end up burnt out or suffering from mental stress and struggle to complete the housemanship programme.

Malaysian Mental Health Association president Datuk Dr Andrew Mohanraj said medicine is often seen to be a glamorous profession although the reality is far from it.

“Those who are pursuing medicine should look at it as a vocation rather than a profession; otherwise, they are bound to be disappointed along the way.”

CAREERsense@HELP director Eric Bryan Amaladas pointed to a lack of guidance from parents, teachers and friends, as a contributing factor to the poor choices students make when it comes to their education and career decisions.

“Some students are afraid that they will fail at the career that they want because it is a very niche or uncommon field.

“They then get discouraged from pursuing it.”

Others, he said, may lack patience and understanding when it comes to choosing a course.

“They don’t do enough research and often fail to plan their future well,” he said, adding that some parents feel entitled to make decisions for their children without considering the latter’s dreams and ambitions.

These children, he said, feel like they are being tied to a rope, and robbed of the free will to explore and to discover themselves.

Students, Taylor’s University counselling services centre head Ng Shan Na noted, may end up doing whatever their parents want because they either have no choice or they were promised a reward.

“Some don’t have much choice but to do as they are told because their parents are paying for their studies.

“Others may have been promised travel opportunities, or the chance to take over the family business, if they sign up for a particular course,” she said.

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