Whoever said “don’t grow up, it’s a trap!” was absolutely right.

When I was a little girl, I had many dreams. I wanted to be an astronaut and visit every planet in the Milky Way. I wanted to become an actor, and wear shiny gowns and sparkling jewels. I wanted to be a journalist, and report all the wrong doings going on around the world. But, most importantly, I believed that I had the freedom to decide what I wanted to be.

As I grew up, I understood that I couldn’t be an astronaut, actress and a journalist at the same time. However, I still believed that I had the freedom to choose a career that would make me happy for the rest of my life. I told myself that I would chase my dreams until I caught up with them. I wrote my first poem when I was 12 and, to my joy, it was published in the local newspaper with my name. The sheer delight of seeing my name in print was immense. I sent a steady stream of articles to newspapers and magazines, and felt elated whenever one was published. I knew what I wanted to do in life. Nothing in the world gives me as much happiness as writing.

But my dreams took a backseat when I was forced to study Engineering after school. Apparently, studying English Literature wouldn’t “take me anywhere”. But I promised myself that there was still hope, and that I would pursue a degree in English later. However, I am currently pursuing my MS in Civil Engineering after a one-year stint in a software company. I gave up writing for almost three years and found myself becoming socially withdrawn. I don’t know if I am disappointed with myself, for not having fought harder for my dreams, or with my parents and society, who let me dream when I was a kid only to brutally snatch it away later.

Parvathy Chandrasekhar is a II year student of MSc. Civil Engineering at Delft University of Technology

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