I did not have any specific plan after graduation but I had to do something I could be proud of. I always wanted to be an independent girl, both financially and socially.
Remembering the time when I had to choose college after high school. I was a science student and scored good marks in the finals but I was not willing to pursue engineering like every other student. Everyone I knew took different exams but I had applied for none.
It was like a dream to move to another city for a graduate degree, when I shared this with my family, dad said: “You are too young to leave home right now, we will let you go for post-graduation.” I had no option except to say yes to him. I accepted that that is what happens to 90% of Indian girls. Without thinking much, I filled a form for a course in electronic media at a local university. That’s how my college journey started.
My love for languages was deep. I find them fascinating and always strive to learn more. My brother suggested me to take up a French language course. As I had already studied that language for 6 years in school, I loved the idea and started my journey with French too. During college time, 3 days a week, I would go to French classes in the evening, skipping all the fun with my friends and the college life everyone yearns to live, by making myself believe I anyway wasn’t a big fan of it.
3 years passed and I had become almost fluent in French. During the penultimate semester, one of my good friends got a job at a popular media company. I was still waiting for a breakthrough, at times I would be left with sadness thinking about friends around me getting internships or jobs and I had nothing to flaunt. Destiny had a plan for me and I was yet to discover it.
One usual morning, our director approached me while I was entering the college building. He asked, “What is your plan after graduation?” I stood numb in front of him. I replied sheepishly – “I am learning French, I will probably do something with it.” He just nodded and moved forward. I felt so unconfident.
The same day when I was back home after a 12-hour long outdoor routine, I was still feeling gloomy. I opened my laptop, checked my email and everything changed in a second. The breakthrough I was waiting for, was right in front of my eyes. I screamed with joy as I ran downstairs holding the laptop. I shared this big news with my parents – “French embassy selected me for a program I had applied to 5 months back. I will get to teach English to French kids for 7 months.” Mom, dad looked pretty unaffected by the news but they sensed that something good happened to their daughter. Soon I discovered that they were proud of me as I was going to the youngest child of the family to go abroad for work. I was just 20. At the same time, they were a little scared to see me go to another side of the planet and be there for seven long months.
I was on cloud nine, so confident, so excited for the next phase of my life. The end of my 3-year graduation couldn’t be better than this. I was remembering Walt Disney’s famous quote – All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.