Do you feel uncertain of a career option? Do you lack the freedom to choose a subject that you really want to pursue? Do you always feel low on self-confidence? Are you constantly doubting yourself? A Q&A column to assuage your doubts.

I am pursuing my graduation in political science from DU, and I am now interested in studying international relations from a foreign university like Nanyang technological University. What should I do to ensure my admission, along with scholarship, in such universities? — Abdul Rahman

Dear Abdul,

Admission into a master’s in international relations, overseas, depends on the university, institution and the national educational norms of the home country that you are applying to. The qualifying criteria to these programmes focuses on assessing the candidate’s diverse academic background, core interests, overall grades, relevant skill sets, extracurricular and overall knowledge, that he/she can showcase, through the application essay and the intent in the interview, later. Sometimes, professional experience also helps. Once you have shortlisted your choice of college, write to the admission officer to understand the college’s expectations of the admission process and the scholarship criteria. Most of them are student-friendly and encourage international students.

I am 18, and in my second year of B.Com. I am also preparing for the civil services exam. However, my English is not up to the mark — I am not able to frame simple sentences. I want to improve, but I am incapable of managing time to do so. I considered preparing for CSR through Hindi medium, but I do not think that is a solution. What do I do? — Sumit Jindal

Dear Sumit,

Please do not get demotivated and feel rejected. Work around the problem. By dropping the problem, it won’t just go away. Yes, you might be able to escape it for now, only to feel more miserable about it later. You are just 18, you can make it happen. Many stalwarts in our Indian cricket team have undertaken spoken English classes to develop their spoken skills and master the language. It is doable. The issue here seems to be time management and not your intent. How badly do you want to learn good English? Identify why 24 hours are not sufficient for you, and where could you find a good class and a competent teacher who can help you enhance your skills and make you feel confident.

I am 22 years old and have completed my bachelor’s in mechanical engineering. I still don’t know what my passion is. Engineering is surely not my interest. I don’t know what to do in life. Please guide me — Mohamad Salman

Hi Salman,

What would you rather be doing? Please try and find a good career counsellor who can help you identify your core interests, aptitude, skills and values, so that you are able to find a course that you like at least now. You are young and you can still do a sound course and get back to enjoying your interest.

I am a 25-year-old postgraduate and am interested in becoming a fitness instructor and start a quality gym. How do I start a career in that field? What course do I have to study? — Vinesh Kumar

Dear Vinesh,

It’s a great move. Fitness is massively popular and sought after today. People are willing to invest (at a premium if needed) in their overall physical and mental well-being and adapt to a healthy lifestyle. Be it yoga, tai chi, outdoor quads, cross-fit training, working out in a gym, cycling, running, swimming or building their endurance and strength, fitness enthusiasts are all over the place, today. Sign up to a recognised certification course from a well-known, established institute at the earliest, and acquire the necessary skills. This is a prerequisite. Many famous schools and fitness brands today, offer a variety of fitness training courses with written and practical exams. After this, you can train for a specialist certification and expand your fitness training expertise in your desired field of interest.

To start on your own, look out for business opportunities in your area and speak with local fitness instructors and gym owners. Many established, branded gyms are always on the lookout to set up services for independent individuals who wish to start their own business in the fitness industry, or open their franchises. Fitness training is not only rewarding but also deeply satisfying and lucrative, as you will always motivate and inspire people to accomplish their fitness goals, and will always have enough and more members making personal fitness goals and signing up.

Disclaimer: This column is not a substitute for long-term therapy. It is merely a guiding voice. Some issues may need medical intervention.

The author is a practising counsellor and a trainer. She will answer questions sent to The subject line should be: ‘Off the edge’

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