“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.” – Bob Marley.
Since I was a child, I had developed a liking for Robert Frost’s ‘The Road Not Taken’. Something about that poem always enchanted me. My classmates, I’m sure, would remember me reciting this poem every year for the Poem Recitation Competition.
In this poem, Frost talks about choices – Those big decisions which influence the rest of our life journey. Though I’ve always been enraptured by the brevity and elegance of this poem, it has proved to be even more special in the past few months – it being one of the reasons why I’ve decided to pursue ‘International Relations’ as my university major.
Coming from a middle-class Indian family, and having done my entire schooling in a school which caters predominantly to Indian students (the curriculum is Indian too), it’s difficult to find anyone who wants to study something other than Medicine, Engineering and Economics.
So why am I planning on studying something different?
Attending the Global Young Leaders Conference (GYLC) in USA last summer, for which I was nominated from my school, turned out to be a turning point in my life; I was exposed to the world of global leadership, international relations and diplomacy and the United Nations. And I took an immediate liking for it, putting across my viewpoints during group discussions and thus getting chosen as the country spokesperson during the mock UN sessions.
In these times of technological advancements and increasing globalization, a country’s policies may have a greater impact on other countries and societies than was possible a couple of decades ago. My GYLC experience taught me how important Politics and International Relations is in this ever-changing world and gave me a glimpse of the various challenges and frustrations that one faces when embarking on a leadership journey.
International Relations would help me to further understand these intricacies, study national psychologies and very much be a part of the policy making process; maybe be a part of the process that would change a region’s or world’s history.
I studied Science in high-school, and though I managed to ace my exams (sometimes by learning things without completely understanding them), I never developed a passionate liking for the stream. And I don’t intend to spend four years of my life studying something which doesn’t make me happy.
I’ve come to realize that, at the end of the day, life is like a movie. Every moment is a scene – you’re the lead actor, and the director. It’s your job and your responsibility to put careful thought into your writing and screenplay. You need to realize that you are in charge of your own life, and the burden of decisions and choices that come along with it.
And so Yes, I’m going to traverse The Road Not Taken – I’m going to study International Relations. This may be the best decision of my life, or the worst. Whatever it turns out to be, I’ll be responsible.
As Dr. Shad Helmstetter once said, “No one else can ever make your choices for you. Your choices are yours alone. They are as much a part of you as every breath you will take, every moment of your life”.