An old expression says, “what is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right.” Give an example of a time when you made a choice that was not popular, but you felt was right. Why did you make this choice? What happened as a result?
When you are in your teen years, going against the current of peer pressure is perhaps more difficult than at any other time in my life. I have an inborn dislike for open defiance of other people, but having a highly independent mind and a distinct set of principles and interests sometimes have to do so. This also refers to my wish to pursue a specific career and certain interests that may not always correspond to those of my friends.
My interest in Economics is one of such pursuits that set me apart from the crowd. Determined to pursue it, I had at one point to resist the pressure of my colleagues. In my school, it was considered really cool to go to a French club that attracted for some reason all the “yuppie” youth, being well-organised and running interesting programs. At that point, my friends and I were at the crossroads as to what else to choose for our extracurricular activities. We had already all chosen the Athletic Club, and, wanting to leave enough room for studies in our schedule, decided to pick one more activity.
As expected, they all proved willing to join the French Club with its rich entertainment program and network opportunities. Quite by chance, however, I happened to attend a meeting in the Economics Club delivered by a visiting professor. The speaker really felt passion for his subject.
With his enthusiasm, he took my fancy with the intriguing complexity of economic theories, which he presented in a consistent and clear manner. I decided that this would be my activity and enrolled in the club.
Most of my friends just laughed at my decision. The Economics Club, in their opinion, was a boring pastime for those to whom reading the books assigned in class was not enough. There was college ahead with plenty of studies to do, and in the meantime they wanted to amuse themselves and have fun. I did not give in nevertheless, staying with the club I chose. I never regretted my choice: that year, the club was headed by a different instructor who was able to breathe new life into the club by organising different events, inviting enthusiastic and knowledgeable speakers. The membership expanded dramatically in a very short time as over 20 new people joined the club. This development was partly due to my efforts, too, as I helped craft the advertising campaign for the club, hang posters, circulate the information among students.
Using word of mouth to spread the good news about our favourable experience with the club, I convinced some of my friends and other students to come. To my joy, two of my friends switched to the Economics Club, admitting to me that they felt interested in exploring this area to see if a career in this field was right for them.
As to myself, I understood that Economics was really my vocation after a few weeks of listening to lectures and participating in discussions about economic theories. I am still fascinated by this science that attempts to present intricate processes going on in national economies in a logical and coherent fashion. My choice to attend the club, although an unpopular one at first, has given me more than I expected – new friends, interesting experiences, and a clear career focus.
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