Keep that spark on!

Anudeep Durishetty, AIR 1 UPSC 2017, recently shared about his visit to a government school in a small town of Telangana. He was impressed by the students there and shared that their talent, energy, and curiosity is praiseworthy. He also added that India’s future looks bright. This experience isn’t limited to only him. A visit to a secondary school and meeting the jubilant kids have made the day of many a people. Perhaps most of the students when at school are bright, talented, and curious. But this leads me thinking what happens to these kids when they grow up and enter their college life and beyond. How many of them actually go on to pursue their dreams and try to use their talent and energy to make India brighter?

It’s really unfortunate that the number is rather limited. As these kids grow up, a sense of responsibility towards their nation, a feeling of enthusiasm to try something new, and a sense of optimism to make things better, gets killed somewhere. I know it doesn’t stand true for all the students of India, but it’s the truth of many. Let’s explore the reasons behind it, and how each one of us can help to avoid these reasons from our near and dear people's lives.

1. Rat race

Over the years few people in society have drafted their own definitions of success. They blatantly advise their younger ones to pursue particular professions in order to gain money and fame more quickly. The students, not enough to help themselves, go for it, and soon a bandwagon of rat race follows; competing with their peers to pull off a mechanical and monotonous way of life. This results in loss of individuality, poor performance by the students in their careers, and a feeling of being helpless and directionless.

Guess what, with a sense of individuality and a career of interest one could perform better in their lives, and gain their own definition of success rather quickly and happily.

2. Pessimism

I know our country is difficult, and we are grappling with challenging issues like corruption, hygiene, communalism, infrastructure, etc. As the school students grow up they confront these day to day realities. And as they hear and observe their elders’ and peers opinions, they also learn to oversee these realities with a veil of pessimism. They might be upset over it, but refuse to see a hope that things will get better around them, let alone make some efforts for it. Consumed in their own world, they forget any sense of responsibility they have towards their nation.

Well, a nation is built by the people in it. Saying words of encouragement and doing small optimistic things for the society can make a world of difference. Seeing things with hope and with responsibility is what builds leadership in students.

3. Wrong influence

The adolescent age is a very impressionable age. While the students can do wonders under the right influence and support, wrong influence often misleads them. We all know that youth has a superabundance of energy, but everybody’s company decides whether the energy is diverted towards the productive side or not. The students choose their peers and accordingly choose if they would like to spend their college time learning skills, discovering their talent, using their energy to build something new or spend it by misusing freedom, indulging in unhealthy habits or settling for the mediocre.

When people say that choose your company right, they aren’t lying. According to a highly acclaimed survey, a person becomes the average of the five persons he/she spends the most time with.

So, all the college going students let me have a word for you. You had the sparkle in your eyes when you performed on patriotic songs as kids; don’t let that sparkle fade away. You are seen as the bright future of tomorrow; don’t let that be a disappointment. You have endless distractions today in your phone, but you also have a limitless reservoir of potential within you; it’s all up to you. Choose right, use right!