I've read some posts here and felt like this could be a good place to maybe get a helpful perspective.
I am 32 years old and all choices that I have made so far in my life were driven by insecurity, anxiety and need as well as longing for approval. My biggest weaknesses are consistency and the ability to get massively excited, that plummets almost as fast as it rises.
I am an ENFP (look up "MBTI") and during my entire time in high school my main interests were making people happy and wanting to be liked. I am not clumsy, but I acted like I was to give my classmates a reason to laugh. I wanted to see them smile, even if I had to pay for it. I excelled in Sports and English and I had no love left for math - my primary school math-teacher ridiculed me in front of the class when I barely 8 and in the past I sometimes wondered whether that messed with me somehow. I cared little about grades, as my main focus was a)
having fun and b)
good relationships. I was very lazy and I hardly ever did any pre- or post-prep. I was indeed liked by most students as they were always happy to see me and I was invited to most birthday parties etc. and I was also bullied by those classmates who were less popular as they gave comments like "look, the education-gap is coming" and quite a number of other events. All those comments stung and some girls told me to defend myself, because they noticed those harsh comments. I never defended myself, because a)
I was afraid b)
I didn't know how, because I was conflict-averse by nature. I was 18
. I knew about my bad grades and I was massively embarrassed because of that, but I still didn't focus on studying but having good relationships. I compensated by working out and I noticed a massively growing interest on how the body works. Anatomy, physiology were my thing. Over time still during High School girls would start notice a change in my physique and guys sometimes stared at my arms. I was far away from a bodybuilder, but I was more muscular.
Towards the end of High School some classmates would ask me "so do you want to become a fitness trainer? *snarky chuckle*". In that very moment this option died for me, because according to those classmates a fitness coach was nothing one could be proud of. I was like a leave in the wind - dependent on the thoughts, comments and judgements of others. I neither knew how to make decisions for myself now how to be responsible for myself.
I graduated from High School with two things: 1.
with barely any preparation at all and 2.
without a slightest amount of self-esteem
I've always had a deep and loving relationship with my parents, but I never shared any of the events that happened at school. I was a master of ignoring acting like everything was fine. (Where those character traits come from is another topic of course, but I want to be as objective as possible here.) At 20
years all I knew was that I had to study... like all of my classmates. I decided to study sports science and I trained for a month, 6 days a week, several hours a day. I went to the local pharmacy and asked for legal drugs to help my body recover faster. I qualified for studying sports, but my GPA was too low to get accepted in the same year. I decided to pick a different subject, because not starting a study in the same year was not an option - to much peer pressure in my head. I picked a major that completely antagonized my character - it was the only option I found. I had to move far away from my parents and while it was frightening in the beginning, I started to enjoy it after a few weeks. I quickly noticed that my major was nothing for me, but I liked to live on my own terms so I neither quit nor did I tell my parents that this major was a bad choice. I lived in the moment until my circumstances at college forced me to quit. I was 23
. I felt bad for quitting, although I knew this major was a torture for me. I didn't want to go back to my parents and at the same time I felt like I had to make up for the lost time by picking a major that would let me shine in a supposedly good light. I wanted to redeem myself. Again... I didn't think about what would be good for me, but I looked at myself through the eyes of other people. Sport Science popped back into my head. In my head Sport Science wouldn't give me the credit I felt like I needed to redeem myself from my High School-failure. I decided to go for Sports Medicine, but I had to wait a few years to get accepted into the program. I was hellbent on following that road, so I successfully became a registered nurse in the meantime. I was 27
. I wasn't accepted into the medical program and I still had to wait. I was running low on finances and I detested the work as a nurse. Not the work itself was the problem, but its societal reputation. It didn't give me the alleged prestige I needed to regain my self-esteem which I was still longing for. I decided to try a completely different industry. I started working for a service provider that produced blueprints. I was 29
. I still wasn't accepted into the medical program and I decided that it was enough. I had waited 5 years, received nurse training in the meantime. I moved back to my parents and almost decided to do Sport Science, but I didn't. Also during those years I met a number of software engineers who told me about their work and how many job offers they receive on a regular basis. That tempted me. So I decided to study informatics. Futuristic stuff had always fascinated me and I thought virtual reality is cool. I watched and read a lot of material on software engineering and I prepped myself with tons of speeches the one from Steve Jobs that said "programming teaches you how to think...".
During the first year I noticed that I didn't enjoy it. Learning programming was tough! It still was fascinating to me though and I buckled down. I passed, but I still didn't get hooked. Programming made me feel smart, because of all the seemingly cryptic languages. I felt like this could be something to make up for my failure and dump reputation at High School. Sometimes I would meet people who said "he is an IT guy" and it made me shudder. In my head I said "I'm no IT guy, I'm a Sport Scientist.", but I didn't say it out loud. I was 30
. I continued with my study, because I didn't want to quit again and I started feeling depressed. I didn't want to get up in the morning. I didn't want to smile. I didn't want to meet people, which was completely contrary to my nature. When friends asked me how study was going and how I felt I said "Oh well, I'm good. Study is going alright." while thinking at the same time "don't ask me about my study.".
Only very few people in my life are able to see through my cloak - my always smiling persona. As a little kid a teacher would ask my Mum how it was possible that I was always happy. I actually was happy, because I was backed by my parent's unconditional love. I am and always will be utmost thankful for that, way beyond words can express. Being more true to myself, my emotions and letting more people in is something I've been learning continuously. I was 31
and whilst I kept studying and feeling down, I started reading, watching and listening to anything that had to do with motivation, life-purpose and entrepreneurship to push myself out of the depressed feeling. I wanted to stimulate myself so I read Elon Musk's, Steve Job's, Jack Ma's and Richard Branson's biographies. I also started reading about stock trading, forex trading and online advertisement. I dove into those topics, because (a)
of interest (b)
to distract myself (c)
to regain my happiness, which is basically (b)
as well and lastly d)
to find out what else was out there.
On a positive note... by feeling depressed, I encountered a whole new world in terms of business and entrepreneurship. Thanks to all that self-imposed input, I learned a lot about myself and that academia is not the only way to financial opportunities. Side-note: I grew up with the notion that a college degree is inevitable.
...it's crazy how my High School memories still knock on my door and I have to be vigilant to not get caught up in them. If you read until here I salute you.
My feelings of depression come and go. I am still studying and working part time. I have lost a considerable amount of hair, because of stress and worries. I sometimes feel like I have aged fast-forward because of that. I still live with my parents. I can't imagine working in the IT industry longterm and I can't help but thinking about Sports Science. Since I've been diving into the world of entrepreneurship I am also keeping a list of projects that I'd love to put into practice. I keep conceptualizing and some ideas seem to be good enough to me to turn them into an mvp
. Recently I found a college that allows me to do a 1 year bachelor in Sport Science, because it takes into account my precious education in nursing. A whole lot of scattered thoughts and ideas.
My current study will still take me about 1,5 years and I've been thinking about quitting to turn towards the subject that I've been wanting to do since I was 20. In order to sustain financially I considered going through a coding boot camp (despite what I said a few lines before) so that I can work as a developer while studying part time. If the 1 year Bachelor pans out, I'll be done when I'm 35-ish. I could even imagine doing a PhD some day, because anything sport-related gets me hooked. I want to be a sports coach to other people and I want to raise awareness concerning physiological health. It hurts my brain when I think about the fact that it took me over a decade to accept my innate interest as worthy and valuable and to grow over that remark by my classmate over 12 years ago. It's almost ludicrous to think that such comments can cause emotional trauma that in turn can have such long-lasting influence on decisions.
On the other hand I feel like I had to go through all those feelings of depression to deal more with myself and to become aware of my characteristics and personality traits. Today I know how important conflict is, how benefitial arguments can be, how important emotions are and that it's equally important to not ignore emotions but to go through them and to face them. Honestly... if I didn't know that my parents loved me as much as they do, I'm not sure how far I would've made it.
If you have advice or thoughts concerning turning my fragmented thoughts into a viable roadmap, please feel free. I'm not hoping for a specific answer. I want to let people grant a look inside my head and listen to their general advice.
Thx again for reading.
-Pakistan to be out of FATF's grey list by September, promises Central Bank
Islamabad will strictly implement the requirements of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in order to get out of the money laundering grey list released by the Paris-based body, a senior official of Pakistan's Central Bank said on Wednesday. FATF had previously placed Pakistan on its watch list of countries that need to do more in relation to anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism.
"The FATF challenge has be to be addressed. Pakistan has mandated upon itself to enforce the FATF plan in letter and spirit. Whatever the requirements about the FATF plan are, they will be imposed and Pakistan will be out of grey list by September 2019. FATF is a risk but we are addressing it in the right letter and spirt," said Syed Irfan Ali, executive director for Banking Policy and Regulation Group at the State Bank of Pakistan.
-NAB finds 'proof of massive money laundering' against Sharif family
The Sharif family’s troubles seem set to worsen as reports suggest the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has found evidence of massive money laundering through which Shehbaz Sharif and his family members accumulated assets in the United Kingdom.
According to sources privy to NAB’s investigation, the illegally accumulated assets are worth Rs85 billion to Rs100 billion and were bought during Shehbaz’s tenure as Punjab chief minister.
They said the evidence found was irrefutable and showed striking similarities with the money laundering and fake accounts case against former president Asif Ali Zardari and other Pakistan Peoples Party leaders.
-US debunks Indian claims of shooting down PAF F-16
Indian claims of shooting down a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) F-16 on February 27 were debunked by US officials as all aircraft are accounted for. Pakistan invited US officials to physically count the F-16 planes after the incident. Some of the aircraft were not immediately available for inspection due to the conflict, so it took US personnel several weeks to account for all of the jets, one of the officials said.
The report stated that two US defence officials with direct knowledge of the matter said US personnel had done a count of Pakistan’s F-16s and found none missing.
-Finance minister rules out further rupee devaluation
Finance Minister Asad Umar on Friday ruled out the need for further devaluation of the Pakistani rupee as the currency stands at equilibrium. “The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has made no demand for rupee devaluation,” Umar clarified categorically while addressing at Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) through online video conference. “Today, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has clarified the rupee is standing at equilibrium,” he said. Dismissing reports of further devaluation, he added: “Stop circulating rumors that Asam Umar has said rupee would depreciate to 160 or 180.”
For the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) in Lahore, Christian children have the right to study the Bible, Hindu children have the right to study the Bhagavat Gita and Buddhist children have the right to study the Vedas. Together with the People’s Commission for Minorities Rights (PCMR), the CSJ held a conference on 29 March in which they adopted a resolution entitled ‘Right to education without discrimination’ demanding the right of minorities to teach their own religion in schools, as guaranteed by Article 22 of the Pakistani Constitution. Currently, only Islam is taught in schools.
-China’s BeiDou Navigation System Will be Able to Replace GPS in Pakistan Soon
Pakistani military reliance on the US-owned Global Positioning System (GPS) will be reduced after the use of China’s Beidou satellite navigation system which is projected to achieve global coverage by 2020. This was the crux of background discussions between former military officials and telecom experts.
Beidou is the world’s fourth space-based navigation system, following GPS by the United States, GLONASS by Russia and Galileo by the European Union. According to experts, the satellite-based system plays a vital role in the modern world, especially during wartime.
-PM Imran Khan announces unprecedented 10 years development package for tribal districts
Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced a ten-year special development package for tribal districts. Addressing a big public meeting at Jamrud, Khyber district this evening, he said one hundred billion rupees will be spent on the development of tribal areas each year. He said health, education and sports facilities in tribal areas will be enhanced.
-SBP’s Forex Reserves Cross the $10 Billion Mark
The foreign exchange reserves of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) have crossed the $10 billion mark by March-end. During the week that ended on 29 March 2019, SBP received inflows of RMB 15 billion (equivalent to US$2.2 billion) as proceeds of the loan obtained by the government of Pakistan from China. After taking into account outflows relating to external debt and other official payments, SBP reserves increased by $1.931 billion during the week.
-Benami Properties: FBR takes an unprecedented step
Federal Board of Revenue has established three Benami Zones at Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad for enforcement of Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act, 2017. In a press release issued today (Thursday), it was said after examination of available information FBR Benami Zones Karachi and Lahore have issued show cause notices in six cases of Companies holding shares and immovable properties as Benamidar.
-Ministry of Finance proposed to amend Foreign Exchange Regulations Act in Pakistan
Ministry of Finance has proposed to amend the Foreign Exchange Regulations Act 1947 to prevent illegal foreign exchange transactions. Under the proposal, the previous act will be updated with an amendment act to empower the State Bank of Pakistan to regulate foreign exchange regime in the country more effectively.
It said proposed amendment has been approved by the Federal Cabinet and transmitted to Parliament for enactment. The measure is a part of government's efforts to enhance the transparency of financial transactions.
-KP government launches 'Pink Bus Service' exclusively for women
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government launched on Thursday ‘Pink Bus Service’ exclusively for women in Mardan. A spokesman of the project told our Peshawar correspondent that a total of seven Pink Buses will ply in Mardan. There are fifteen bus stops each facilitated with the solar panels.
-Pakistan makes a new offer to Iran, FTA in works
Pakistan has invited Iran for talks on a free trade agreement (FTA). Pakistan has proposed that talks could be held on April 23-24 in Pakistan. The report added that lack of direct banking channel between the two countries is the main hurdle in finalizing the free trade agreement.
-Govt Mulling to Withdraw 10% FED on 1,700cc Vehicles: Abdul Razaq
The government is considering to withdraw its decision of imposing 10% federal excise duty (FED) on cars with engine capacities exceeding 1,700cc. The Senate’s Standing Committee on Industries and Production, on Wednesday, was informed that the 10 percent FED imposed on locally manufactured cars and SUVs, having engine capacity exceeding 1,700cc, would be withdrawn soon.
-Govt to Crackdown Against High Medicine Prices & Launch An Online Price Portal
The federal government has ordered a crackdown against pharmaceutical companies that are illegally increasing medicine prices. Minister for National Health Services (NHS), Aamer Mehmood Kiani, ordered an operation against such firms on Wednesday.
“Though the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) deals with the matter, as a government representative, I consider myself responsible for providing relief to the masses and answerable to them. I am personally looking into the matter and would not tolerate an illegal and unauthorized increase in the prices of medicines,” the minister said.
-Pakistan’s First Environment Friendly Food Festival to Start on 5th April
To discourage single-use plastics and promote sustainable food consumption, WWF-Pakistan is organizing the country’s first environmental-friendly food festival in Karachi. The festival, ReFest, aims to reduce food waste and raise awareness about eating food in a responsible way as well as adopting sustainable practices in our daily lives such as reduced use of single-use plastics. The theme of the festival is to spread awareness about the cause and enjoy the festivals responsibly, as per WWF, festivals were one of the reasons of over-littering due to massive use of single-use plastic in food festivals. The idea is to promote a sense of responsibility among citizens about how we can enjoy and be responsible at the same time.
-Gilgit is Getting a Dedicated Tourism Police Division
Gilgit-Baltistan Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sanaullah Abbasi said that a special tourism force will be formed in the region to ensure the safety of national and foreign tourists. He also told that the GB government will deploy 700 personnel for the protection of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor route. The special tourism force called, “Tourism Police Division” will be set up on the model of Malaysia and Thailand.
-PM takes part in Hyderabad University’s Groundbreaking Ceremony.
The project is projected to complete within 3 years, with over Rs. 2 billion as the estimated cost. The land for building the university has been marked in Kohsar. A bill will be passed from the National Assembly for the construction of the university. The name of the university has been decided as “Federal Urdu University Hyderabad”.
-Facebook Launches Its Innovation Lab Platform in Pakistan
Facebook and Pakistan’s Ministry of Information Technology along with the National Technology Fund (IGNITE) launched the first Facebook Innovation Lab located in the National Incubation Centre (NIC) at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). The launch event, held on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, was attended by several thought leaders from across the world who came together and debated on issues such as women and technology; the impact that VR has on social good and impactful ways to harness technology for social good.
-UN Adopts Pakistan Sponsored Resolution Against Islamophobia
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) unanimously adopted a resolution on Tuesday strongly condemning acts of violence and terrorism against religious minorities.mThe resolution, titled ‘Combating terrorism and other acts of violence based on religion or belief’ was moved by Turkey and co-sponsored by Pakistan.
Through this, the UNGA condemned the atrocious terrorist attack targeting Muslims during Friday prayers in two mosques at Christchurch, New Zealand this month, while offering deepest condolences to the victim families.The UN assembly called for the protection and promotion of freedom of religion and belief while developing a domestic environment of religious tolerance, respect, and peace.
-Government announces changes for new budget
With the new budget coming up, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government announced on Tuesday its first tax amnesty scheme on hidden domestic and offshore assets – in an attempt to boost the sinking tax revenue.
Besides, the government announced that it would stop the unchecked outflow of dollars through foreign currency accounts, declaring its intention to amend laws to link the outflows for investment with the approval of the authorities. “An asset declaration scheme will be announced before the budget,” Finance Minister Asad Umar told journalists.
-First ever Pakistani international tourism corner opens in Europe
Pakistan has opened its first International Information Tourist Corner in Belgium to offer Europeans Pakistan’s unique culture, stunning scenic view of its northern areas and the traditional lifestyle of mountain people. Launched jointly in collaboration with the Embassy of Pakistan in Brussels and Tribes, a Dutch Company established in Brussels, the tourist corner is the first-ever initiative by the Pakistani mission in Belgium to promote tourism in Pakistan
-Asad Umar hints at withdrawing tax exemptions for elite
Finance Minister Asad Umar on Tuesday hinted at withdrawing tax exemptions being availed by the elite and also announced a drastic reduction in the number of withholding taxes from the next budget including the tax on banking transactions being paid by non-filers of tax returns.
The minister expressed these views at the launching ceremony of a book, ‘Growth and Inequality in Pakistan – Agenda for Reforms’. The book has been written by Dr Hafiz A Pasha whom Umar described as Pakistan’s number one economist. Friedrich Ebert Stiftung – a German institute – has financed the book under the theme of ‘Economy of Tomorrow’. The book discusses almost every important aspect of Pakistan’s economy and carries a detailed chapter on elite capture of the state.
-PM Imran Khan to perform ground breaking of two Naya Pakistan Housing Programme sites
Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to perform the ground-breaking ceremony of two housing projects in Islamabad and Quetta later this month. Both projects are part of PM Khan’s ambition of Naya Pakistan Housing Program (NPHP) under which he promised to deliver 500,000 low-cost residential units to the underprivileged faction of the society.
-PM Khan announces economic corridor between KP Khyber and Afghanistan
PM Imran Khan has announced formation of economic corridor between KP Khyber and Afghanistan for improving trade and economic activities in the region. PM Khan announced that he has issued directives for the Torkham border with Afghanistan to be kept open 24/7 in order to facilitate business and trade for locals.
-First woman principal appointed at K-P police training centre
A police training centre in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s (K-P) Mansehra has appointed a woman principal – a first for the province. Sonia Shamroz, an MBA in human resource management and an 18-grade officer, termed her appointment to the billet as a matter of great pride for her family and herself.
-Pakistan expected to get significant export orders at Istanbul fair
Pakistan Consul General in Istanbul Bilal Khan Pasha has said that the auto industry of Pakistan, especially the manufacturers of auto and tractor parts, tyres and tubes, has the potential to make inroads into the Turkish market.
“Turkish automakers and Pakistani engineering companies are negotiating to form joint ventures; in the next phase small and medium enterprises of the two countries will enter into partnerships,” Pasha said while talking to The Express Tribune on the sidelines of the Automechanica exhibition, which kicked off in Istanbul on Thursday. “This year, Pakistani companies manufacturing auto and tractor parts as well as tyre tubes are expected to get significant export orders at Automechanica, which will help increase non-traditional goods export from Pakistan to Turkey,” the consul general said.
-PM Imran urges lawmakers to share meal with homeless at govt shelters
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday urged lawmakers to visit the homeless at government shelters and “share a meal with the people using them”.
The premier asserted that this practice will sensitise public representatives to issues faced by the bottom tier Pakistani society. “In the coming months I will personally monitor effectiveness of our poverty alleviation jihad,” the prime minister went on to add in a tweet.
Hey guys I need some help with a problem. submitted by
I feel so bad about how I’ve behaved ever since I left high school. I finished in 2015. I was the fucking star student, frequently number one. But I joked with my life and education after high school. This was partly because I was fixed on my dream of one day playing pro basketball. I was not even thinking about going to university like everyone else. The only thing I was thinking of was playing basketball and how I could join the NBA one day.
With the work I was putting in (or not putting in) and at my age, I wonder how I possibly thought I could get there. I mean, I had zero structure or discipline. I was playing FIFA with my cousin till 2 am and waking up at noon. I hardly had any structure to my training: going to the gym irregularly without any goal, playing pick up at a local court (and thinking this was enough training).
In high school, I only thought of two possible careers: Medicine or pro basketball. Naturally, I applied for the former. I got accepted and was to join in 2016. However, I was not so excited about this. My mind was still on basketball. I felt I could still make it to the NBA if I just tried harder.
September 2016 came and I joined Med school. But reluctantly as I still wished to be playing basketball. All along my plan was: “Okay, I need to keep on training (the fake training I spoke of earlier with nowhere near the intensity or structure needed to even make a high school team in USA) so I can become good enough. Then I’ll do SAT’s, join a college abroad and join their basketball team.” It sounded great in my head, but the odds were infinitely stacked against me. Especially with no support (understandably) from my family, it would be very hard for my dream to come true.
So anyway, the short of it was I joked with Med school coz I did not really want to be there. I came late for classes, did not do my 1st sem exams and was generally withdrawn. I was just thinking; “I’m going to join the NBA so why am I wasting my time here. After 4 months I left, planning to continue training for basketball and working out. I did just that, but the pressure kept on mounting.
My parents kept on asking me what I wanted to do. I did not want to say, “All I really want to do is play basketball.” I felt like they would (as they previously had) not support that at all. I also did not want to be embarrassed if I failed. While I was still in medical school, my mother suggested that I apply to law school as it is “general”. So when asked that fateful question and feeling like I had actually messed up by playing with med school, I simply responded “ I want to do Law”. This would appease my parents, but I never really wanted to Law either.
Reluctantly, I applied to and got accepted into Law at Strathmore University.
All the while I was thinking: “Man I shouldn’t be here!” I kinda felt forced to be there by my Dad (the day before I was to join he gave me a talk which basically ended in “You WILL go tomorrow”.) I figured: IF only I could make some money then I could be free to do whatever I please. I started looking for any and every way to make cash. That’s when I stumbled upon Forex trading and got obsessed. Long story short, it flopped. Around Dec 2018, a year and a half into my trading journey, I realized I would need to have more stability and not rely on trading to make a living. I quit
Now I am two years through my degree. My grades are average ( C ). I have missed the whole first sem of my third year because I seriously did not plan to come back after that 2nd year. I had planned to transfer to do Financial Engineering (this was because of my tango with Forex; I thought my interest in markets meant I should do a degree in Finance) but after attending 2 classes I felt like this was a mistake.
There I was, the only 21-year-old in a class of 18 year old's (now that I write it down the age difference does not seem big at all). But I felt so bad and alone. I left and tried to go back to Law school. I had missed a week of the 1st semester and so I was rather lost. I was not attending classes seriously and that’s when I decided I needed a break. I applied for Academic Leave and it was approved. Now I feel like that was a big mistake. I feel like I should have just graduated with this degree and went on to study something else I liked at Master’s level or get a 2nd degree.
Anyway, here I am now trying to get back into the 2nd sem and figure out how I can finish this degree. I am set to graduate in 2022 while my peers from high school graduate next year.
Should I switch to another degree or try and see this one through. My main option is to drop this one right now and go to SA for my degree. I was thinking CS and Math, Electrical Eng or Business. Do you think it’s a good idea to go abroad for an undergrad? Should I just slog through and get this degree even if my grades are poor and I don’t really care for the Law?
kshay Kumar, 25, knew his journey would be tough. But he thought he was prepared.
Kshay Kumar, 25岁，他知道自己的旅途会很艰难，但他认为他已经做好了准备。
In 2012, after an engineering degree and a oneyear stint with a multinational, Kumar felt he needed a makeover. "I didn't want to be stuck with civil engineering all my life. I also wanted to see the world and explore new options," he recalls. Doing an MBA from a premier institute was on his mind.
He did think of the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and the Xavier School of Management, but the desire for global exposure pushed him to explore options overseas. Kumar settled for a oneyear post-graduate course at the Imperial University in the UK, which he financed via an education loan. "Visa rules and the bleak job market there did weigh on my mind. But I had a feeling I could manage it," he says. He had confidence in Imperial's good global ranking, its alumni network and his own hard work.
Kumar began his hunt for a job virtually from the day he landed in the UK. He studied hard to get good grades but worked even harder to find a good job. By tapping into networks of his alumni, friends and family, Kumar reckons he would have reached out to over 200 firms during that year. "It didn't work. My good grades made me eligible for plenty of jobs, but my non-European Indian passport was the problem," he shrugs.
Kumar moved back to India late last year and has just landed a job with a private equity firm. "All my plans have been delayed by five years," he says. Close to half his salary today goes in paying monthly instalments on his education loan.
The World isn't Flat
The West has a problem. Its economy is in a funk, not enough jobs are being created, cautious companies aren't hiring too many, and worried governments — from the US to the UK — are raising visa barriers for foreigners to work in their countries.
Young Indians, who went overseas for education, are facing a tough time finding a job. Many like Kumar have returned home. And some are now casting the net wider — looking for jobs from the US to Hong Kong and Singapore — or settling for sub-optimal options. Rupa Chanda, professor, IIM-Bangalore, who has worked on reports on international student mobility, says visa and immigration is the biggest factor affecting Indian students' decisions.
The US, the UK and Australia — the three most popular destinations for Indians seeking global education — have seen the number of Indian students come down over the past few years (see Out of Favour?). Remember, many Indian students take hefty education loans to finance their studies abroad. While many would find decent jobs back in India that would not help much as these students need dollar salaries to comfortably service their loan. This is taking its toll. "Overseas education is costly. Many Indian students are doing a cost-benefit analysis to figure how to recoup their investments overseas and putting off their plans ," explains New York-based Rahul Choudaha, chief knowledge officer, World Education Services (WES), a non-profit organization that provides credential evaluations for international students planning to study or work in the US and Canada.
美国、英国、澳大利亚，印度人寻求全球教育的最火的三大目的地，已经发现印度学生数量在过去几年持续下降（或者三大目的地已经不受青睐？）。记住，许多印度学生都背负着高额的教育贷款来资助他们的海外求学。虽然回到印度他们都能找到体面的工作，但是这些都没有太大的帮助，因为学生们需要一份用美元支付的薪水来帮助他们更轻松的偿还贷款。这就是造成的影响。“海外教育非常昂贵，许多印度学生都正在进行成本效益分析，以找出如何收回其海外投资，推迟他们（去海外就读）的计划，” 坐落于纽约的世界教育服务中心的知识总监Rahul Choudaha解释道。 这一非营利性组织为准备在美国和加拿大学习或工作的国际学生提供认证评估。
But to be fully able to understand how this trend will play out, one must understand the backdrop. A big generational shift is taking place among the students looking for overseas education. Many of them now are India's liberalization children, who have grown up post-1991 and lived in an increasingly global world with fewer barriers.
So in many ways this is their first brush with a world with barriers. Many are also children of globetrotting well-paid senior corporate executives who think differently about education, exposure and investing in a world-class education. "These parents understand the long-term rewards of a world-class education. I see many of my friends taking their children to these top campuses after they pass out from school to give them a first-hand feel," says Hema Ravichandar, strategic HR expert and a former HR head of Infosys.
所以从许多方面来说，这是他们第一次面对来自世界的阻碍。他们中也有许多是环游世界的、对教育、经历以及投资世界级教育有着不同看法的高薪企业的高管们的小孩。 “这些父母明白世界一流教育的长期回报。我看到我的许多朋友带着他们的小孩去顶尖的校园，让小孩们领略这些高等学府给他们的切身感受，”战略人力资源管理专家、Infosys 公司前人力资源主管 Hema Ravichandar说道。
Woes on Foreign Shores
Both of Ravichandar's children have studied overseas. Her daughter, Aditi, is doing her MBA from Wharton in the US and her son Nikhil, 22, completed his Bachelor's in economics from Warwick in the UK. Nikhil chose the UK over India because of the flexibility available in picking courses — he wanted to do economics with law which was impossible in India with its rigid course structures. "Education in India is not very research-driven and multicultural," he adds.
But during his stay there, the UK revoked the two-year work permit for foreign graduates. Thus he needed a firm job offer to stay on after graduation. This was difficult since he was particular about the kind of work. "I wanted a job in economic consulting," he says. Unable to get that he preferred to do a postgraduate programme instead. While he did not take any loan, for many of his classmates, who had taken a hefty education loan, things were difficult.
Now, Nikhil is back in India getting some interesting exposure at a few start-ups in Bangalore, India's Silicon Valley. He is contemplating a startup of his own. "This is the best time to take the risk and explore it," he says.
现在 Nikhil 已经回到了印度并且在印度的硅谷，班加罗尔与一些新兴企业进行了接触。他正在考虑自己创办一个公司。“这是最好的冒险和探索的时候”他说。
Across the Atlantic, Sujoyini Mandal, in her 20s, offers another peek into the odds that Indian students face overseas. After her graduation from Jadavpur University, Mandal went to Singapore for her postgrad and worked with a think-tank there. Life was good but since she had always yearned for a degree from a world-class university, she applied for a Master's at Harvard's Kennedy School.
For two years, she deferred her admission as she did not get any financial aid. She saved some money and, with a bit of aid, finally took the plunge in 2011. Foreign students in her college face an education loan cap of $30,000 ($15,000 a year), she says, making things even more difficult Mandal started looking for a job when she graduated in May 2013. But mandates that fitted her needs and aspirations were not easy to come by. She did land a contract with the World Bank but that was short term, uncertain and had no medical cover. Last month Mandal finally landed a job with an investment bank.
Despite such struggles, there are many reasons why the pursuit of overseas education among young Indians is unlikely to die down any time soon.
The Demographic Bulge
Every year, around 800,000 Indian students reportedly go overseas for their education. This costs the country close to $15 billion of forex annually, estimates industry lobby Assocham. If students are going overseas for education, it's because India has a problem of both capacity and quality. The country has one of the world's largest education infrastructures: 600 universities and 34,000 colleges with 17 million students enrolled and 5 million students graduating every year. But India is also witnessing a demographic bulge — it has perhaps the world's largest young population. Experts estimate that some 100-million-odd students will seek higher education over the next decade.
据报道,每年大约有800000名印度学生出国留学,，据印度工商业联合会估计这将耗费每年近150亿美元的外汇。学生们出国留学是因为印度不管是在教育容量还是教育质量上都有问题。印度的教育基础设施是世界上最大的教育设施之一，600所大学和34,000学院每年接受1700多万新生并输出500多万毕业生，但是我们也正见证着印度人口的爆炸性增长，印度或许有着世界上最庞大的年轻人群，专家估计在未来十年里，将有一亿多的学生寻求更高的教育。The capacity problem is compounded by the quality issue. About 70% of the capacity in India is of poor standards. At the other end of the spectrum, competitive intensity at the premier colleges is so stiff that it is often easier for bright students to get admission in Ivy League colleges in the US and the UK than in the IITs, IIMs and even top colleges in Delhi University.
All this coincides with the rise of India's aspirational upper middle class. Over the past two decades, many first-generation Indians have risen up the corporate hierarchy and are financially well-off. These welltravelled, financially stable corporate executives desire the best for their children. "They are looking for the best educational experience. They know it is a life-long asset. Indian premier colleges do not have the capacity and are very rigid," says TV Mohandas Pai, chairman, Manipal Global Education. Pai's son studied at Stanford University in the US and now works for a start-up in Silicon Valley.
这些现象与印度上层中产阶级不断上涨的雄心壮志密切相关。在过去的二十几年里，许多第一代移民创立了自己的事业，相当富裕。这些经济稳定，见多识广的公司高管希望把最好的东西给予他们的子女。Manipal全球教育主席 Mohandas Pai说他们在为孩子寻找一流的教育，这是孩子一生的财富，印度的一流大学不能给予这些而且这些大学要求过于死板。他的孩子曾在美国斯坦福大学学习，现在在硅谷工作。
This aligns well with the global trend of rising international mobility of students. According to Institute of International Education (IIE), since 2000, the number of students leaving home in pursuit of higher education has increased by 65%, totalling about 4.3 million students globally. What is more interesting is that the share of students from the developing countries in this pie is rising — it moved up from 54.8% to 69% between 1999 and 2009.
India vs China
Not surprisingly, the world's two most populous and powerful emerging countries — China and India — send the largest number of students overseas. But China has rapidly shifted gears to overtake India.
Consider what's taking place in the US. In 2000-01, India topped the list of international students by country, with 66,836 against China's 63,211. But by 2009-10 China had overtaken India. In 2012-13, China sent 236,000 students; India was nudging the 97,000 mark. While the number of Chinese students has been growing in double digits of late, that of Indian students has been sliding. To understand why that is happening, it is important to analyze the profile of students going overseas from both the countries. 2000-2001年，美国的外国留学生中印度学生是最多的，66836人，而中国学生为63211人。但是在2009-2010年时，中国超越了印度。2012-2013年，中国向美国派遣的留学生
Chinese students going to the US are evenly split between undergraduate (40%) and postgraduate programmes (44%). But Indian students are heavily skewed towards postgraduate programmes (55%) with just 13% at the undergraduate level. Indian students are also unique as over 60% are in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) category. Bear in mind that historically, postgraduate and STEM programmes offer more financial support than undergraduate and non-STEM programmes.
"The decline in Indian students is directly related to the 'Strivers' , who have been putting their plans on hold due to increasing cost of studying abroad which in turn was triggered by economic uncertainty and currency devaluation," says Choudaha.
A majority of Indian students arrives at the Master's level and funds education by taking loans as financial aid from colleges has dried up. So, while the majority of Indian students go for education loans, Chinese students are supported by their families. According to a research by WES, 47% of Indian respondents report loans as one of the primary sources of funding as compared with only 3% of Chinese.
Chinese students, in contrast, are "explorers" (experience seekers), says Choudaha. Often the only-child of financially well-off parents, they have the financial wherewithal to study abroad and are under less pressure to find a job there. But change may be afoot. Some Indian students could make the transition from 'strivers' to 'explorers' and Choudaha expects more and more Indian students — most of them children of well-off senior executives — to go overseas at the undergraduate level. Not so dependent on financial aid, he also sees many more Indians exploring new interdisciplinary fields, beyond STEM. Even in the STEM category, experts feel that Indian students will be the biggest beneficiary as the Obama government eases rules for this critical segment in future.
Lessons from China
Two decades back, China faced problems similar to those India faces today — its higher education had both capacity and quality issues. Since then China has worked hard to upgrade its educational institutions. It has two programmes — Project 211 and Project 985. The former aims to make 100 Chinese universities world class in the 21st century; this will help China churn out world-class trained professionals to push economic growth. These universities are expected to set national standards for education quality that can be replicated by others.
Project 985 started more than a decade back and is an attempt to build China's own Ivy League colleges in the 21st century. In the first phase the project included nine universities. The second phase, launched in 2004, includes 40-odd universities. The projects have been backed by significant investments. According to a New York Times report, China is investing $250 billion a year in human capital.
The dragon country's efforts are now bearing fruit. Many Chinese universities are climbing up the global ranks. Two Chinese universities have made it to the top global 50 in the Times Higher Education report. India has none. In the top 500, 16 Chinese universities make the cut against seven from India. Mobile international students are taking note. A decade back, China was hardly on anybody's radar.
Today, it is the third largest education hub in the world after the US and the UK with 3.28 lakh international students, according to IIE. By 2020, it hopes to host 500,000 international students. Even Singapore is targeting 1.5 lakh foreign students by 2015. In contrast, India was home to just 27,000 international students in 2012. China is aware that to push innovation and realize its economic ambitions, it must be able to attract top talent — in its colleges and workforce.
Also, in virtually every key statistic, the world today is seeing a shift from the West to the East. From economic GDP to consumption power, MNCs across the board are looking at Asia and the world's two most populous nations. This shift is happening demographically too. But in the education space, the West still dominates.
Of the world's top 100 universities, 46 are in the US. Seven of top 10 universities are in the US. Asia has just 11 in the top 100. "It is difficult to replicate what US has done with its universities to 2emerge as an innovation hub," says Pai. So, ambitious and aspirational Indians will continue to look overseas for education. But if India has to realize its potential, it must invest heavily in building world-class institutions in the country — the China way.
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Skhey Mobile (Gurgaon) 22 Hours ago Foreign degree is no more a guarantee card for success.
Neil M (pune-mumbai) 22 Hours ago Finding a good university and a good course is important. I know many guys select short courses which are not recognized world wide and specially in India find it difficult to get a job. Also, dream america is not true for everyone. All the best to seekers.
Rajesh Thambala (Hyderabad, India) 23 Hours ago Very informative article.
Partha (Bangalore) 1 Day ago Nice Article. Much Appreciated
SAMAD (India) 1 Day ago right choice....
Tempcool Mukhopadhyay (India) 1 Day ago An excellent article. Appropriate and very well timed. Issue lies with inadequate job creation in India compared to passing out rate and all sorts of reservation quota for the "privileged" groups. Also unscrupulous marketing by planting misleading information by the education institutes of developed countries and their Indian agents.
Guramandeep Singh (Mexico) 1 Day ago 67 years after Independence, we are still stuck to providing reservation quotas in institutes of higher education. The recent Supreme Court order puts 27% reservation for OBCs which along with that of SCs and STs brings the total reservation to 49.5%. Here is the breakup of IIM-A seats: General 182 Non creamy OBC 104 ---- Schedule caste 58 ---- Schedule tribe 29 ---- Differently-abled 12 ---- Total 385 --- I have read various comments touching upon patriotism towards India to youngsters being crazy and the need to enlighten them. Reservation for a certain group is discrimination against the other groups. So ask yourself, is our system really fair? Should we not be looking at this objectively and trying to solve the root cause of the problem instead of commenting upon the phenomenon which is a result of a messed up education system at the behest of corrupt politicians?
ILA (Chennai) replies to Guramandeep Singh 1 Day ago Dear Learned Singh. This article has nothing to do with reservation. Reservation is about affirmative action (in US parlance). Trying to give some sort of equal opportunity to people (98%) who were subjugated, denied education, and exploited by so called Forward Castes in India who constitute only 2% of the total population for millenium. This reservation is in vogue for only 60 years how can this equation be achieved in such a short span of time. Now the Forward Castes are slowly waking up and cramming for their share in the available piece of cake. If heat is felt for this itself then what should the subjugated feel for having been so for a millenium in the name of MANU SMRITIs laws? People who believe so are as you had rightly (?) pointed out are HYPROCRITS and prisoners of their own conscience.
RM (MN) replies to ILA 9 Hours ago Excuses, excuses. Sixty years after Independence you're still making excuses for a quota system that has made Indian education into a pile of rubbish.
Athena (London) 1 Day ago It is Imperial College and not Imperial University. Perhaps ET must invest in better human capital!
(Hyderabad) 1 Day ago Same thing happened with me as well like akshay kumar. I thought i am reading my story.
Nihar (Mumbai) 1 Day ago It completely depends on which institution a person is studying in abroad. It is not so that somebody got a degree in a well recognized institution in foreign and unable to get a job in India. So I request "The Economic Times" to provide a proper interpretation to the reader.
kshi S (Bhopal) 1 Day ago coming to US was the worst decision of my life
B Venky Venky (Bangalore) 1 Day ago Very informative article. To have world class universities in India, the government should get out of the way. The quota raj in higher education has to stop. More and more private funds has to be garnered towards higher education by giving tax sops. But all this remains in the realm of fiction at the moment.
ketan m (mumbai) 1 Day ago study there, work here. sounds great!
thomas (india) 1 Day ago Yes, every Indian should go overseas for education - build up net work..learn how other s think..their style-quality etc. come back and start self employed business ... it will flourish. take example from china who are into A to Z of business and industries ,they make impossible happen...of course duly and completely supported by their govt..
Saswata mandal (kolkata) 1 Day ago still every good student wants to go abroad.. why is it like that??
Nanda Kumar (Chennai, Tamil Nadu) replies to Saswata mandal 1 Day ago ET pointed it out already..Global Exposure! and Farther mountains always seem smoother :)
Anupam (Bangalore) replies to Saswata mandal 1 Day ago Quick money
Mumbaikar (Mumbai) 1 Day ago It's not entirely the kids fault - some ambitious parents push out the kids too - 'we don't think there is a future here', they say. Now, some are stuck abroad and need to return home, as countries are on an economic downturn and/or are looking more inward now, . Complicated situation - but opportunities are here too, if you want to grab them. Not everything here is as bad as you may think.
Bharath Selvan Sukumaran (Chennai) 1 Day ago Good news for India. Let their knowledge be used for Indians in India
jgsemig (Delhi110007) 2 Days ago what about large numbers of foreign students studying in India? How could IIM-B professor be so insensitive? In a global world does this mean that Indian educational Institutions have already thrown in their towels? Does it also mean that Universities like SAARC and others have no futures?
也有很多外国学生在印度留学啊。 为什么印度管理学院班加罗尔分校(Indian Institutes of Management) 的教授们这么愚钝。从全球范围来看，是不是这就意味着印度的教育机构已经宣布投降了？类似南亚区域合作联盟（South Asian Association For Regional Cooperation）这类的学校就没有前途了吗？
Sriram B (Bharat) 2 Days ago Learn Globally and be back to improve India. Just as they say wait till the last ball is bowled in a cricket frenzy country; do not lose hope till you have tried your hands on what you want to transform the country into.
Ajay Kumar (NYC) 2 Days ago Only the people who have earned admissions into Indian Universities based on reservations, face problems studying abroad, as they are looking for concessions always. People who have earned admissions throughout based on their capability and knowledge, do not face any problem. Such students do not come back.
Ayush Jha (NOIDA) 2 Days ago Study in the US(OUT OF INTEREST in the field and/or spectrum, NOT parental pressure/peer pressure) , Work to repay the loans & then do your own startup in India. All the best :)
Mukesh Mishra (Haridwar) 2 Days ago It didn't work. My good grades made me eligible for plenty of jobs, but my non-European Indian passport was the problem," he shrugs.
Ashwani Kaushal (New Delhi) 2 Days ago righly said, getting an addmission in DU colleages are like dreaming in day time.... it is always good to go abroad and get certification and return back... but once the indian student get a better envoironment and facility abroad why they come back to corrupt indian culture, only few with family business background will come to share the same plateform with their parental company ....shamful for Indian corruption
Parthipan K (Chennai) 2 Days ago I agree with the fact that Indian Universities are not flexible. But intelligent students can acquire knowledge of any subjects of their own. So they should not blame Indian Universities. More over, not all institutes in abroad are of high standards. Even in Ivy schools, the standards are coming down like our IITs. My opinion is that if one works hard in Indian top universities, they can acquire global standards. Also all the premier institutes in US are putting their course material in the web and hence, by going thru them one can acquire high knowledge.
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