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2023 Takeaways

Hello everyone! I’m sure all of us have had our own aspirations since young; be it wishing that we could do something we enjoy for the rest of our lives or dreaming about our future job aspirations! I myself am no exception, and therefore in this following testimony, I would like to take you on a journey through my 15 years of life revolving the aspirations that brimmed from within, and the challenges that came along with it as well. :)

Now let’s take a ginormous step back in time. Being a zookeeper was always a prominent ambition back when I was still in primary school, and I figure it was because of all the National Geographic TV programmes I used to watch every day. I thought that animals were so interesting, and wanted to give them a life full of comfort and care. If it didn’t work out, I'd simply become a wildlife photographer or filmmaker who produced documentaries for wildlife TV programmes. I was so sure it would be something that would continue to ignite a brimming passion within me till I grew up.

Nevertheless, it’s definitely normal for us to have a change of heart as we learn and develop further throughout our lives.

By the time I had entered secondary school, surprise surprise- My ambitions made a total 180-degree flip. New subjects came into play, and I fell head over heels for physics in lower secondary. Now before I continue, I must emphasise that I’m very much aware that physics is not the cup of tea for many. I myself find it difficult to wind around the trick questions that are often set in papers, especially in upper secondary. There were so many moments when I just wanted to throw in the towel and focus on something else. Yet, perhaps it was passion within the younger me that still continues to drive the current me to persevere in the subject. I figured that the infinite affection I’ve found towards physics when I was younger managed to bring out a whole list of ambitions that revolved around the field of physics, which I myself don’t think I can ever bear to give up now. Aerospace engineering quickly found its way into my list, and most recently, I had recently found a new ambition of taking up the profession of being a physics professor in a university in the future. After struggling so hard in physics, I wanted to take up the profession of teaching the subject to others in future, so as to spread the continuous passion that burns within me to others and show them that physics is not something impossible to overcome.

However, with ambitions come challenges. These can come in many different forms, and the most common of them all are expectations. Be it personal or other expectations, all of us struggle with them at some point. In my case, parental expectations were the most prominent challenges in my life.

Since young, my mother had often insisted on my being a doctor in order because it was a guaranteed successful future. Oftentimes, I assumed it was also her trying to live her dreams through me. She had once told me that when she was younger, she was often ridiculed by the rest of her family as they thought of her to be incapable. That was why she had put in all her hopes and dreams on me to succeed in order to show them exactly where she stood. Her hopes for me to become a doctor was something I didn’t think I could bear to defy.

Till now, if you ask whether I still have an answer when it comes to deciding what I want, I can never give a clear one.

With the passions that my younger self and the expectations that have been instilled in me, I struggle to juggle between them as I come closer to the age where I choose my course of study that would most likely determine what I would do for the rest of my life. I guess only time will tell as I slowly continue to explore and gain more exposure to more work aspects in future, and for everyone who are facing other forms of challenges, time will surely lead you to where you are in future. Though we may feel lost, whatever happens next, be it good or bad, is always meant to give you another option to choose what to do afterwards! :)

-Janelle, 15 year old, RMT Intern (June)

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