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What students want

Over a lakh students are vying for physcology course in 11 DU colleges. A surprisingly large number are opting for courses in the Humanities, without worrying about career prospects

As the yearly admission rounds take place at The University of Delhi, there is a lot of hue and cry about the first cut-off list. As usual, hordes of students are uncertain about making it to DU.

“Personally, I am not intimidated by the prospects. DU is not everything. We as Delhi students are made to feel that DU is the thing. But there are so many other universities too. There’s Ambedkar, Jamia and so many others,” says Gospel, a Class 12 passout.

The competition to crack seats for courses like Journalism and Psychology is intense. Take the example of Psychology, for which the cutoff has soared to as high as 98.75% in Lady Shri Ram College.

The college ranks sixth when it comes to attracting students. The larger picture is that 1,12,312 applicants vie for the programmes being offered in 11 colleges of the prestigious university.

The eye-opener in this year’s admission cycle at the University is the Journalism course, which has the highest applicants-to-seats ratio — 1,12,233 for 306 seats across seven colleges. This is so even though a career in journalism is not considered very paying.

Patriot spoke to a Class 12 passout and some who are just entering Class 12, to find out their reasons for opting for the Arts stream, and not going for Science or Commerce.

“It’s a myth when they say that a successful career lies in Science or Engineering. I don’t see it as doing the right thing when you don’t have interest in a field and find no success later” – Ashi sharma

Gospel chose Arts stream in Class 11, going against the general notion around Arts as a stream that it’s not fulfilling in the age of technology and several other professional courses. She thinks otherwise.

“What I personally feel is that this is the 21st century and gone are the days when there were career prospects only in science and commerce. I feel nowadays the Arts field is booming. I am interested in the field of journalism.

Becoming a clinical psychologist is part of the “plan” for most, if not all, after pursuing Psychology. The median salary for a Clinical Psychologist in the country today stands at Rs 3.5 lakh per annum.

So what makes a student choose Arts stream in school, knowing that it will give them less remuneration than a fresh MBA or Engineering graduate?

Gospel, since Class 10, had his eye on Journalism. “Especially as a creative person, I would enjoy a field which will bring out my creative energy. I feel my skillset lies in this career. I feel I’m a good orator, and have skills in writing,” he adds.

Oftentimes there’s a situation where parents pressurise their children when the time comes to choose a stream in school or a course in college. Some students out of sheer pressure give up on their dreams and choices, and lead a life, which has been forced on them.

However, that’s not the case with Gospel. He comfortably says that he got an affirmation from his parents, when the time came for him to choose a stream after Class 10 board exams.

“My parents had a very clear logic that, buddy, if you’re not earning and come to us for money, we’ll kick you out. They’re fine with whatever I do as long as I don’t bug them for money. They’re cool,” says Gospel.

He certainly did not come under peer pressure as most of his “friends were in humanities anyway.” “I wasn’t cutting off from my friends and doing something entirely new.”

There are many who choose Arts stream over Commerce or Science without any fireworks. Aashi Sharma also very confidently told her parents about her liking towards Arts stream.

“I got really interested in studying Social Studies in Class 9, although I scored 88 marks out of 100, but I was phobic of Mathematics. I was afraid of it. I also had to keep an eye on my percentage if I would have chosen Science,” says Aashi.

Sharma is a student of St Joseph Academy in Savita Vihar in East Delhi and has been a bright student always. Although she used to score well in Mathematics, oftentimes, it scared her. She knew it cannot be her thing in the future.

“Now I like Political Science and History. I found the material that was in the books quite interesting,” tells Sharma.

Her parents also understood her situation well, and told her “whatever you feel will be right for you, take that.” Her friends too, understood her doubt over choosing Commerce, which would have required her to study Mathematics. They told her to go with the stream she’s keen to learn.

She remembers how one or two questioned her choice of taking Arts stream. “They asked me why am I choosing Arts even after scoring 91% in Class 10 exams.”

Aashi says that she wants to become a clinical psychologist in future, part of which she gives away to the websites which check a person’s aptitude for a specific job. “I checked those and the result was Clinical Psychologist,” she adds.

Not only this, Sharma is an avid reader when it comes to reading on Psychology. Till last year Sharma was confused between Journalism and Psychology, but after her father showed support towards the latter, the choice was cemented.

“It’s a myth when they say that a successful career lies in Science or Engineering. I don’t see it as doing the right thing when you don’t have interest in a field and find no success later,” tells Sharma.

Like her, Sannidhya Bilwal, a Class 12 student of St. Mary’s School in Dwarka also chose humanities for his fascination with Psychology. “I always scored much more marks in social sciences and other subjects. Also, Psychology interested me,” he explains.

“Going or referring to a psychologist is still considered a taboo in India. Due to this, Psychologists face a lot of consequences in their profession” – Sannidhya Bilwal

The decision making for him started in the beginning of Class 10. His interest in History too, helped him choose Humanities over other streams. Like others, Sannidhya too had complete support of his parents, who told him: “Whatever you want to pursue, it’s your choice, it’s your life.”

He says that his parents always gave him a free hand while he’s in formative years. Although he will be applying for the Psychology course in Delhi University’s colleges, his eyes are on other prominent Institution — Jamia Milia Islamia.

The course at Jamia Milia Islamia has 42 seats which are filed on the basis of minimum marks required. Sannidhya has developed a strong liking for the course which is known for its amalgamation of “Science and Psychology.” His focus is clear as he is aiming for a PhD in Psychology in future.

He states clearly that he wishes to pursue a Master’s degree in Psychology abroad, for the fact that “going or referring to a psychologist is still considered a taboo in India. Due to this, Psychologists face a lot of consequences in their profession.”

While he plays guitar as well, however, he doesn’t see a career in the field of music as of now.

As many as 23,000 students sought admission after the first cutoff was released. Currently, 40,000 seats are still left.

Even in the second list, the cutoff hasn’t gone below 95% in colleges where Psychology is on offer. The chance for most students remains grim as the University sees an influx of students eyeing coveted seats.