The Road to Take: Some Necessary Guidelines for the Newcomers in the Campus

                 Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

                 I took the one less traveled by,

                And that has made all the difference.

That was what Robert Frost said in the last stanza of The Road not Taken, one of the most famous poems in the pages of world literature. There are not merely two roads rather many roads ahead of the students who will start their university life this year or already started their journey. Though the roads are blocked by many hindrances but those can be overcome with confident and disciplined leap! In the last few months it became clear in which subjects and departments you are going to study. Already classes have already been started in most of the universities. In Dhaka University classes are going on in full swing and all the private universities are running fast with their academic train! It was and is a fundamental question to the newcomers and discontent distress them whether they should study in the department they are allowed to study? The concerns and anxieties behind these are the result of not getting their desired subjects which in most of the cases violated by the university authority. In this year Dhaka University has experienced a new spectacle; only two of the thousands were eligible for studying in English department. With a special edition to the rule students were admitted to the department.

Forget everything and all the hard fights you fought in the last couple of months to make yourself eligible for being a university student. At first receive my warm love and congratulations for your hard work in the admission preparation. Those who came out successful in this tough ordeal of admission test are surely the most brilliant students of the country. Let me at first congratulate you for being a student of any university of the country. What subjects or disciplines you are in matters little. You are a university student that is the most important point of your life and for your family and the nation at large. You become universal by being a student of a university! See the prefix ‘uni’ in front of varsity. By being a university student you are already universal. Congratulations, dear university students! I welcome you on the vastness of university.

As a university student the very necessary question arose in the mind of the newcomers that they find only a few and chosen section of students from public universities can chose the discipline/subject of their interest. Those who place the top positions in admission test were the lucky guys who can chose the discipline of their interest provided the seats are available. Other guys should choose whatever empty bowl before them. There is little choice in front of the students to make. So most of the students suffer from discontent and displeasure what they are allowed to study. This displeasure hampers their study at the beginning. Even some of them stop studying at all! Some were lucky enough to re-admit in the next year in the departments and disciplines of their choices. But most of them have to stay with their earlier subjects/disciplines of their “displeasure” or “discontent”!  And this year also come with another bad news. The applicants will not be able to seat for admission test for the second time from next year! There are many debates going on for and against this decision.

Now let’s focus what is ahead of us. You may be told about a lot many tits and bits of academia by your elders, seniors and ‘boro bhai’s. Naturally, some questions poke you hard: “Which subjects are so called royal, which are minor?” Is there any difference or hierarchies among disciplines? How one can get extra benefits in studying in some specific disciplines? Or will anyone suffer in their career if one studied in so called lower subjects?

So many concerns, complexities and crises haunted the parents, guardians and the students at large. Some even thought if they don’t get the department of their choice they will fail in life and their career is bleak! How one can fight this social stigma and this disgraceful vice?  How I can shout to my dear concerned, panicked, discontented brothers, sisters and parents that there is no classification of good and bad subjects! In every disciple there is a future and hopefully a bright future.

Every discipline is important and every discipline has a future. On the other hand subjects or disciplines doesn’t add greatness to your credit rather you, yourself can add greatness to the disciplines you study! It surprises you, no? If you just read the traces of the national and international heroes of Bangladesh you will get ample examples which will prove and show you the meaning of my words.

So don’t be upset if you are not provided with the subject/subjects you sought. If you think you have the chance to appear for admission test again, than pursue it. If not then there is no way out rather than studying in the subjects you are allowed. If you want to master yourself on those disciplines you have to know the tiny bits of it and love it. If you trace through the heart of your discipline you will find that all disciplines are connected to each other in one way or the other. On the other hand you can still pursue your dreams by studying in any discipline.

If you want to be an artist you can be one if you study history and not music. You can be literary tycoon if you study sciences and not Bangla, English, Urdu, Persian and Arabic literature!  You can be a film maker, a singer, an artist, a cricketer, a government officer, a journalist and many more in whatever disciplines you study in the university. If you just make a survey you will find that subjects never appear as a problem in front of anybody in pursuing one’s dreams! And moreover in most of the government and private jobs your door is open. You can be a highly paid banker or an NGO worker, or a person who work in different international organizations like UN, UNDP, Amnesty International and many more.

There is always a place for you. Don’t be too worried about your future. Your future is written in your present. If you work hard and study well in your discipline you will master in your discipline and hence you can connect through all the branches of knowledge which is one of the true purposes of university. In addition it is in your hand what you will be in future.  Let’s stop talking and enjoy the vastness of university and pursue your goal, your own destiny.


Sabidin Ibrahim

Central Coordinator

Bangladesh Study Forum (BDSF)

[email protected]


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