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I am writing this to express my gratitude and thanks to the Coursera team. You have not only provided us with support or material or expert assistance, but also hope to fulfill our dreams. I am pursuing 3rd year Law University (Undergraduate). When the brain starts to develop and we begin to dream, I dreamt of being a good lawyer. That dream became strong after watching movies and TV shows. From 13 years or maybe before, I just wanted to be that lawyer who fights for rights, does welfare of the good, helps the one in need, brings smile to the world. However, I constantly experienced that doing languages, General Knowledge, English, presentation and argumentation are not what I am good at. But despite this, I just wanted to be a good lawyer. I used to get the bottommost grade in General Knowledge, average in social sciences, and below average in English. I worked hard and still the productivity level was very low. On the other hand in subjects like Maths, I had a rate of never getting less than 95%. My productivity rate was so high in that. So I had to choose between my talent and my dream. I just dreamt, and worked a lot 15 hours a day and got into the top 5th Law University of India. I thought nothing could now stop me from being a good lawyer. However, after 2.5 years of studies and internships, I have realized that this field is not for me. I can achieve what I want by hard work, but I can’t raise the rate of my productivity. At the Undergraduate college, the course gets enhanced, and I do hard work for 18 hours and my productivity is less than the productive student working for 10 hours. A man just has 24 hours in a day. I sure can work hard for all these 24 hours, but I cannot change my nature and productivity.
Another issue was my emotional nature, it was so part of my nature and I could not change it. I went to the High Courts, the Supreme Court of India during my internship, but I realized one thing, for Law you have to be bold, unemotional, practical and strong. You have to have good memorization of section numbers, case-laws, the ingredients of important section. And the most important a person has to be bold in social networking. In a nutshell, like social sciences, a person should be a better social person. I never was, and after realizing this in my internships, I understood my nature. I was never an Arts person. My family, like other families did not wanted me to go the Arts side. They persuaded for engineering. But my dream of being a good lawyer and always working hard made them believe in me. They allowed me to pursue the Law entrance exam of India, do best internships and above all provided me with financial assistance(which you know..Law is very expensive course).
After internships, I broadened my thinking and concluded that being a good lawyer is not the only way to do good of people. I just know that this side of Arts and Humanities was not for me. On the other hand, my productivity in Mathematics and Science was excellent. My Mother always told me that in the childhood I never did a single sum wrong. I always topped in Mathematics. In 14 years, I got the title of Miss Intelligent of my class. Later, when during the age of 16-17 years, I went for studied Physics-Chemistry-Maths as an optional subject (we have to choose between one amongst Commerce batch, Medical Branch and Physics, Chemistry Mathematics branch). And I got 95 in Physics, 92 in Maths and 95 in Chemistry, despite studying for 6 hours a day for them. However, in English I got 85, despite studying for 12 hours. Then in college where I had to study humanity subjects, I flunked despite studying day and night for that. I wanted to change my field, but I did not know how.
In supporting me to fulfill my dream in Law, my family (which was a middle class family having limited sources of income) is managing to pay 10 lack Rupees (2*5=10 lacks) or 11,111 Pounds or 14,285 Dollars. Now, if I ask them to change my field, it will be a very huge burden as well as tension for them. They will lose faith in me, and I don’t think they will support me. I had lost hope, however because of Coursera, I got hope. And the whole purpose of this is to make you know that how thankful people are to the work like this. It is really appreciated. After reading about the online Bachelor degree of Computer Science, I was again filled with hope. I could again dream a new dream, in which I do what my talented wanted me to be. I searched in Google how to change from Law to Engineering and there was not even a single option. However, on searching how to change from Engineering to Law, there were thousand available. Some of my mentors in Law, some of the Advocates, they did not liked Engineering and that is why they shifted to law. After hearing about my marks in Science, they asked me why I am in Law, I could have done Engineering. This is my story of 10 years. My teenager dream was a total disaster for my nature. However, Coursera filled me with hope that yes, I can work hard, earn some money and apply for the Bachelor Course in London University.

(Moved to the Personal Development forum by @Laura)

7 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +12
@Shruti Mishra – this is an incredible story! Thank you so much for taking the time to share here in the community. I have changed careers multiple times and I continue to study new subjects, too. I'm grateful for all the people, organizations, and resources that have given me tools to keep learning and developing myself, both personally and professionally. I hope your new engineering dream comes true!
Userlevel 6
Badge +12
You have such an inspirational story @Shruti Mishra on pursuing your passion and dreams with all diligence. Thank you very much for sharing it with us. Yes, it’s truly wonderful to have Coursera and other Moocs to provide us with such opportunities right in our hands.

I also know quite a few people who changed their careers a few times until they found the best one for themselves, even later in their lives. Someone who had studied law like you, became a very successful scientist. Another one who was a very successful scientist, became a lawyer after her PhD on clinical science, to give a couple of examples. She actually managed to combine the two fields, looks into law cases on medical/clinical fields. Perhaps, you may still be able to use your qualifications in law, in engineering field some day too.

Coincidentally, I just started a thread on discovering your passion/dream job before I saw your thread here if you wish to look: https://coursera.community/networking-social-discussion-5/have-you-discovered-your-passion-dream-job-for-life-already-do-you-know-how-to-reach-there-507

I wonder if the questions presented there could have made any difference in your choice to study law or engineering? Or could they make any difference to your choice now? I would love to hear your opinion with your experience if you don’t mind sharing, of course. Thank you. 🙂
@Laura... Thank you very much for your wonderful encouragement
@Denise. Thank You for insights about this. It is really encouraging. About the questions in the thread on discovery of passion, I completely agree that ones feelings and experiences are the best way to find their passion.
Userlevel 6
Badge +12
Thank you for letting me know @Shruti Mishra . If you have additional questions or comments or suggestions to the ones I wrote in that discovering your passion thread, please feel free to share here or there, as you see it fit. 🙂 Wishing you the best of success and breakthroughs where you need them in your future studies.
Userlevel 5
Badge +5
@Shruti Mishra An inspiring story! I wish you all the best for your new life path.

I am also a massive fan of Barbara Oakley who went from being a Russian Translator to a Professor of Engineering, then a hugely successful creator of MOOCs. Her MOOCs Learning How to Learn, Mindshift, and now Learning How to Learn for Youth are fantastic.
Userlevel 3
Badge +2
Hi shruti,

welcome iAppreciate your story ifind it wonderful and encouraging for anyone to be same you in the future your dream is successfully realised withe the coursera device who deserves alot of compliments its same here what All thought withe coursera

Best wishe


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