One of my best friends had joined the 5-year MSc Physics program at IIT Kanpur.
He loved physics but his parents were very unhappy with his decision. They considered a science degree sub-par even though the physics program at IITK was highly coveted.
They wanted their son to be an engineer and put so much pressure on my friend that he decided to leave IITK. But since he did not want to write the IITJEE again, he requested a transfer to IIT Bombay on medical grounds, which was granted.
So he left IITK and restarted the next year at IIT Bombay, from where he graduated as an engineer.
That is how I lost my good friend. After he left, we probably talked once or twice on phone. Then, we lost touch. Today, I have no idea where my friend is.
It is incredible how much we get taken in by preconceived ideas: Engineering is apparently better than science. Physics is better than maths. Mechanical engineering is better than chemical engineering.
Really? Who decides that?
We have not been given this life to blindly follow conventional wisdom. Life is an opportunity to experience and explore, not an obligation to follow the herd, like sheep.
We are not sheep – we are humans. We can think for ourselves. We can carve our own path. Let us do it. To hell with what others think.