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Keeping options open, students opt for parallel activities of interest
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Keeping options open, students opt for parallel activities of interest

Post by Insha Latief Khan on Wednesday, October 12, 2022

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Andleeb, a science student of class 12th always finds herself glued to the novels. Not only she reads but writes and draws as well. She believes that her science textbooks and assignments are not going to keep her away from pursuing her other interests.  

For her, science, literature and art are intermingled. As much she enjoys studying science, she enjoys writing and painting as well. “I love writing and my main interest is art. There is a huge trend of mixed media going on. In the modern-day, art is expressive and you can use anything with it. I am trying to get into Abstractionism,” she said.

Lately she is exploring her hand at poetry also. Her motive of choosing varied subjects is to keep the career options open. “I am studying mathematics, physics and also doing art so I could go into designing or engineering and architecture. I want to keep my options open because the world right now is constantly changing. You can’t be focused on one thing only. It won’t work in today's time. One has to keep all options open in a constantly changing dynamic world,” she said.  

There was a time where students used to focus on conventional subjects to pursue their career but the scenario today is changing. Unlike earlier, the students, apart from their own studies, have a range of options to choose in accordance with their interests and skill sets. Today’s generation are exploring the roads less travelled and opt for the offbeat and unconventional subjects to keep themselves open to all the opportunities. 

Juggling various subjects, she often finds time to read in school only. “The writing and art are stressbuster for me. My art is my passion, interest and a subject to study too,” she said.

Saqlain Beigh, a 12th class, non-medical student is also interested in writing and drawing. 

“I like surrealist art. I am more passionate about writing. I write articles, poetry about abstract and surrealistic art,” he said. 

He said that he is interested in digital art because it has a lot of options to offer which are in tone with the present day demands like animations etc. “There are many things that go in my mind and I want to go beyond the theories and practices of science,” he said. 

Inspired by his grandfather and father who are both artists, he wants to pursue philosophy in future. “In Kashmir, most of the people don’t understand art and that’s why options for the artists are very less. We need to realize that the current structure is really changing and we need to change too. We cannot live in a dynamic world while being rigid. It won’t work.”

Andleeb and Saqlain have been writing for various publications and are in the editorial board of the Delhi Public School, Srinagar. 

Experts believe that the parallel activities have a positive impact on the students. 

Sheikh Anayat, a career counsellor who runs a Srinagar based career counselling school, Move Beyond, considers the change a positive sign. He said that a student can’t enjoy the same routine every day. The exploring various things and urge to learn among students should be highly encouraged and appreciated.

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy is something we all have heard of. Somehow students feel forced to go to school even today. It’s an activity which students don’t enjoy and it gives way to stress and anxiety as well. If students are exploring something on their own, it’s a great achievement for them. Here, students have less entertainment options. The formal education is not enjoyed by students, rather it should be a self-motivated thing,” he said.

He further said that the parallel activities are a great physiological booster and can lower down the stress level of the students. 

“This also makes them skillful. If a studentsare good at anything, they can commercialize that too which will really give them new opportunities and make them relevant for many things. Those kids who are not able to do well in the subjects can do well in offbeat subjects which can help in their confidence building. It will also have an impact on their studies, personality development and behavior. If you do something that you don’t like on a routine basis, you will lose yourself in the process,” he said.

He said that the students on consulting with career counsellor can further get guidance about taking such activities as a career. 

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