A good old Apple ad calls the people who think differently rebels, misfits and troublemakers. But the powerful black and white images that play along show the people that we today love, respect, admire, follow. Gandhi, Einstein, Lennon, Branson, to name a few. Perhaps because, for years now whenever someone has wanted to do something new, only a few have understood.
If you want to be on a track like that, begin with an out-of-the-box course. Though be assured that the journey may sometimes get lonely. Surely, not everyone will understand. In fact, they never may. And imagine having your mum explain your plans in life to your dad. With concern, they may wonder why you just couldn’t study engineering or an MBA like the neighbour’s son. And why not? His well-known job is prestigious and secure. It will guarantee him proposals from daughters of family friends, will bring his loved one’s praises and envious glances too. In spite of all that, let’s look at the other options in life. Imagine the drama at home when you first announce that you want to become an actor. Nevertheless, once you have dealt with that, head out for the lights and camera. To become an actor, you’ll first need to attend an acting school. The National School of Drama in Delhi, FTII in Pune and Mumbai Film Academy are a few schools that you may want to know more about. It helps to first graduate though. With practice you’ll have to master acting, if you want to go far. Acting isn’t about only the big screen anymore. You could audition for anything from game shows to TV ads as well. You never know where you’ll get your big break. You can sharpen your skills by joining theatre and dramatics while in college. Learn new dance forms and command more languages and accents too. It is a struggle, for sure. But if God’s kind, you never know who may spot you in the mall, like a few stories go.
Now let’s move on to something adventurous. Like, really. Climbing mountains, swimming with sharks, jumping off cliffs: the usual if you are unusual. Adventure sports’ pictures make beautiful Facebook pictures with natural filters that’ll make your friends in air conditioned offices rethink their safe but boring jobs. For any adventure sport, you’ll have to be more than just physically fit. You’ll also need to be emotionally strong too. The snowy Himalayan peaks will dwarf you now and then. It’ll help if you know more languages as a course instructor. You’ll be dealing with people like you from all over the world. For mountaineering, you’ll have to complete the Advanced course with an ‘A’ Grade. Other adventure sports training courses like rock climbing and river rafting are becoming popular too. While there is the beginner, novice and intermediate level if you want to learn paragliding. With Adventure Sports as a career choice, you could study to become an Adventure Instructor, Event Coordinator or a Marketing Professional. In the meantime, you could begin with a 5-7 days course then perhaps get more adventurous. Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling, Wings and Flights in Mumbai and Pune, National Institute of Water Sports, Goa are a few names that you could check online. After that, maybe go live somewhere far away. No one in a closed office will have stories as beautiful as yours for their grandchildren.
Speaking of limitless, how about a course that allows you to cross all the boundaries in your mind? A copywriter’s job is just that. Here’s you’ll have to think up new ideas quickly and sell it with creativity. Like the popular ‘Zoozoos’ and other whacky ads on TV, you too can push your imagination and think up great campaign ideas: that you can craft into Headlines, Activation ideas, TV ads or Digital ideas. Imagine getting paid handsomely for thinking of a cat that barks or a dog that talks. To begin with, you can graduate from any field. Then you could join the Post Graduate Certificate Programme in Crafting Creative Communication at MICA. Or you could straight away sit for a copy test in an advertising agency and become a Copy Trainee, and learn on the job. However, while you are still in college, I suggest you live life to the fullest – read more books, travel more, watch more movies, have all sorts of friends, be curious and fascinated by just about everything. They’ll help you gather insights for later on. And save every work that you are proud of creativity-wise, whether published or not. They’ll speak for you. So while your other Artsy friends try to paint a picture worth a thousand words, you’ll think up a line that can paint a thousand pictures.
Now with all that thinking, a few will believe that there are times in life when you should think of nothing. You, as a yoga instructor for a career could quiet the noisiest of minds. For that, you need to be a good listener and must have an interest in the lives of others. In this case, you must practice what you preach: do good, be good and think good. Maybe, once you start practicing a healthy lifestyle, the aura that most Gurus have will naturally come to you. I said Maybe. Yoga Vidya Gurukul in Nasik has Yoga Parichaya (Certificate in Yoga), Yoga Praveen (Diploma in Yogic Studies) and Yoga Pandit (Bachelor in Yoga) as well. With learning in the midst of nature, you could master the centuries-old practice and help others find a purpose as you live yours.
Now if your purpose isn’t the silence that yoga brings but the languages in which the world speaks, you could study a Foreign language. You would be sought-after as an interpreter, a translator, an online content writer, in the hospitality industry or you could land yourself an embassy job. The languages mostly learnt before were French, German, Russian, Chinese. However, Japanese, Spanish and Korean are in demand these days. A certificate course, diploma course or degree course is what you can choose from. If you plan on making it your career and not just an advantage to the career you already have, you could also think of a getting Post Graduate Degree and PhD too. The good news here is; you can start straight away after your 12th standard. Do look for School of Languages at JNU in Delhi, BHU in Varanasi, CIEFL in Hyderabad. If you want to teach any of these languages later on, you should also have a teaching degree.
There are many more out-of-the-box options for you. All you have to do is know what you like and then look. Do Photography, Animation, Jockeying, become a Sports Writer, become anything. Doing these courses in middle-class India won’t be easy. A lot of people may not understand. But hey, living a life that you don’t understand, for someone else’s sake may just be even tougher.