Dear Dr. Archer,
I'm a 19 year old from Bangladesh and recently passed my 12 grade board exam. I had a dream to be an engineer. In my country, if anyone wants to apply to college for engineering, they must have a GPA of 5 in their 12th grade board exam. I only received a GPA of 4.30, which means I cannot apply to the engineering program at any university.
This has me feeling so down! I tried my best to get a 5 but failed, and now I'm depressed. I feel like I've lost my dream and it's hurting me so much.
I didn't lose hope, though. I wanted to take my 12th grade board exam again, but I have to wait a year. I'm okay with that, but my parents are not permitting me to take the exam again. They want me to be a doctor, but I don't want to be a doctor. I have always wanted to be an engineer!
Now I don't know what to do. Many circumstances are responsible for my grade. I was kicked out of college for failing a math class, and that made me depressed. Although I was admitted into another college, I couldn't recover because of my depression. That and my family created so much pressure that I got frustrated.
This was the main reason I didn't get a 5 on my exam, and not because I was a bad student. In 11th grade I was at the top of the class, but now I'm a loser and don't know what to do. If I don't become an engineer I will be broken. If my parents don't permit me to take the exam next year I will commit suicide, as it's the only way I'll find relief.
I can't take any more pressure. I can't seem to stop this dream, so what should I do? Please help!
Okay, you didn't make the score you needed for the engineering program. It's a setback, it's not the end of the world. You are in no way a loser, and you should never place the value of who you are on a test result. You must become flexible, Meem, or you're going to be facing a very tough life.
You have one year to retake the test, so make the most of your time. Instead of crying about what happened, set your sights on what you can do about the situation. Get a job, preferably one which deals with engineering or where you will be working closely with an engineer. Learn all you can, and whenever you're not working, study for the exam.
Your parents should know better than to force you into becoming something which holds no interest for you. Medical school can be grueling, and unless you're dedicated to being a doctor, you're going to fail at that. Tell them in no uncertain terms that you will retake the exam and ultimately one day become an engineer. If they don’t support this then get a job and move out, study and re-take the test. This is YOUR life, YOUR decision.
You're a man, so act like one. Do what it takes to get you to where you want to be. Read Since College, Surrender Has Become Angry And Uninterested and Hawwa Can't Stay Awake To Study, and be sure to follow the links. Have your parents read it both as well. The most important thing is to make a career out of something you like and enjoy. If that's engineering, then you should become an engineer.
Again, Meem, quit wailing about it and put your mind to what you want to accomplish. Quit making threats if you don't get your way. You are a man and as a man you are in control of making your life what you want it to be. All the best.
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