Counselling: First Step towards Higher Education goals.

Counseling: First Step towards Higher Education Goals.

Applying Abroad | January 07, 2020

We took stock of all the important sessions we had at Continental Leap in 2019 and we realized that of the many aspects of our services, selecting a field of study for a student is an area where most of the students and their parents flounder.
Read an incident, which we have generalized from the many that occurred at Continental Leap, and our analysis.

Student: Hello Madam, I am a student of humanities and am in grade 12. I do not like Mathematics and I am really good at photography and…
Mother: (Interrupting) And she is really good at English literature and writing too!

Dad: We want her to pursue her bachelors in English literature or journalism but she is keen on doing it in fashion photography.

Student: I will not study English. I like to read and write and score well but I do not want to take it any further than this. I want to do fashion photography. I want to go to London to study it and later work in Milan.
Dad: With all hi-fi phones and editing techniques, anyone can consider oneself a good photographer. I haven’t come across any professional who has pursued it for a degree. Why not have a substantial degree in literature or journalism and do photography as a hobby?
Mother: He is right. We have discussed it ample number of times at home.
Student: But I want to study professional photography and go into fashion industry. You wont understand, you don’t know much about it.
Dad: If you have an aptitude, you can learn it on your own and take up projects. Why bachelors in fashion photography? Besides, I have never seen you work that seriously for any project nor have you assisted any one. Simply clicking pictures of your friends in fancy dresses does not mean you have an inclination. Who will bear the cost?
Student: Of course you will, who else? I will return it once I earn. But I will not do anything else. I see no reason why I cant.
Mom: You cannot talk to your father like this. And stop giving those looks.
Dad: Please excuse us, but we need your help into options and fields in her case.
A classic case of Communication LOCKDOWN in an issue as serious as selecting a field of study for a teenager.
According to us, it is a problem of 4 Ds.
1. Difference in vision: The student has a dream but no vision. Without vision, she is unable to describe her goals and her future plans to the details which are necessary. Father can visualize the feasibility and consequences of the dream but could not think of a way to give clarity or help in redefining goals.
2. Difference in Exposure Levels: The father, considering fashion photography, to be not such a serious course of study, reveals his limited exposure. And the student, despite being aware of the field, getting attracted by the glamor quotient, shows her shortsightedness. Both have limited knowledge and exposure.
3. Difference in perception of availability of resources: Two main resources which have been clearly miscalculated are MONEY and TIME. The student assumes that the father is reluctant because he has to fund the program whereas father feels she would be wasting her time, effort and money on a course in which he does not see her having any future.
4. Differing Values: use of phrases such as ‘we want her to”, ‘she should” have an authoritative tone which was reluctantly acceptable a generation back, but repel the millennials a mile away.
Counsellors can play a significant role in resolving the first 3 Ds mentioned above. Instead of enforcing decisions, parents and students should take help from counsellors to make a wise choice.

Pauravi Varde

Author Pauravi Varde

Co-founder and Principal Consultant at Continental Leap

More posts by Pauravi Varde

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