• Arpan Dey

Why Did I Decide To Continue My Higher Studies In India?

Updated: 2 days ago

I have tried to evade this question for a long time. But now, I think, is the time to reveal the answer. I am honestly tired of people asking me about my future plans and which US university I would like to go to. At one point of time, I wanted to go abroad, Princeton being my top choice. But I have decided to complete my undergraduate studies in India, and think about the next phase later, despite the fact that, forgive me for the lack of modesty, there is at least one good US university which would have accepted my application with a good scholarship, had I applied.

True, I have been rather fickle-minded from the very beginning. When I was suffering from ITP (Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura), a rare blood disease which results in a decrease in the amount of blood platelets, I, for the the first time, boarded an airplane to visit Vellore (known for its outstanding medical college). (I had to be hospitalized on that occasion, had to get a bone marrow test done, and I have suffered a lot and watched the people around me suffer as well. But it is all part of being human.) I have travelled by air several more times, even entering the cockpit (on request) twice and chatting with the captain. Aviation became my temporary obsession, as anyone who has been following my YouTube channel from the very beginning must know. I started reading about aviation and airplanes (both the physics of flight and aviation as an industry) and even prepared a - for want of a better word - book on aviation. But since I was young at that time, this book was not, of course, fit for publication. I started collecting airplane models and soon had a pretty large collection (you can take a look here).

The point is, some people wonder whether physics and consciousness is just aviation all over again. A temporary obsession. I have faced this question many times as well. The answer is no. However fickle-minded I may have been in my life, I have, at last, found my true passion in physics and consciousness. This, I can say confidently, is more than a temporary interest. But then, why did I not choose to pursue these subjects abroad, where there is, I admit, much better scope for research? Number one, I felt I am not yet ready to shift to a different country. This may be due to my shortcomings, I don't deny that. But I always keep my mental health above anything else. I know lots of Indians go to the US and other countries for undergraduate education, and in my heart of hearts, I also know that perhaps I could've managed it myself if I really wanted to. But I don't want to, not now, at least. This may turn out to be the biggest blunder of my life, yet I stand firm in my decision. I have work to do in India, I need to spend time with my parents and I admit, I am a bit home-sick. I am just not ready to go abroad now, that's it. Your question is answered.

Number two, the internet, accept it or not, has put all the information one click away. I regularly correspond with a number of very great scientists, and I believe most of my research can be done online. College can only give you a platform to lift off, but to actually lift off, only the platform will not suffice, you need to have the fuel inside you. As I always say, if you really want to learn and you have the internet, nobody can stop you. (Of course, you need to filter out the junk from the really useful stuff, for there is a lot of junk on the internet.) And number three, I still have time. I still have time to go abroad at a later stage. My undergraduate education is not the final phase of my education. But for that matter, I will always try to remain, or at least settle, in my own country. Believe me, whatever I have done so far, I have not done all those stuff to add to my list of extra-curriculars and get into a prestigious university. I did them simply because I loved doing them. I still am not sure whether this is a wise decision, choosing not to go abroad while most of my (online) friends have done so, but I am still proud of myself for standing firm in my decision even when most of the world has been against it.

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