It’s a quiet Saturday evening. I have a water bottle next to my side and a few sheets of paper. Sheets of paper that give a glimpse into the interests of the newer generation of Mongolian youths.

I have been blessed with higher level education and the opportunity to learn, which many of us take for granted or dream about. As I go through these sheets, I am amazed and inspired to see the diversity of different majors each student wants to pursue here at Albion College.

Almost 5 years ago, when I started thinking of what I wanted to do with my life after high school graduation, a prestigious university or college was all the craze. My parents and teachers, having lived through a socialist era, had a different kind of mindset. Reputation of a school name and hard work got them through life, so they advised me to apply for respectable schools and bigger universities.

Most Mongolians only hear about Harvard, Princeton, etc. Some of my friends applied and got accepted into the Ivy Leagues. It is a great feat and something to praise, but I always wanted to venture into the unknown. Albion College was barely ever mentioned there. I hadn’t even heard of it nor would have ever considered even applying had it not been for Lewis Cardenas, the former Albion College recruiter. I am forever grateful until this day that I applied. My heart has always belonged in a smaller school that challenged me to think, a school that allowed for excellence of education and creativity. The relationships that I have developed with people over the years have been wonderful.

Anyways, enough about my story, but most often in our country, majors in business, economics, and finance are encouraged when studying abroad. As a developing country it makes sense to root for practical majors that will be of use in the future for development. I don’t argue against that, but if that’s all we emphasize on, our country will crumble. What about the scientists? What about the engineers? What about the architects? Teachers? Philosophers and so much more? Where is the encouragement for the younger generation to create and to build? However, I am more than excited to realize there is a shift in paradigm!

As I read through the forms of potential Brits, I see students interested in majoring in:

Biochemistry, Biology, Psychology, Environmental Sciences, Arts, History etc, and this gives me immense joy. I can’t wait to connect with them and guide them through their application process. The future of Mongolia depends on us and the younger generation. We have been fighting hard to remain as an independent nation from China for over 90 years, but if all we can do is business and sell out of our country to foreign influence, we’re headed towards a dark path.

To all my Mongolian brothers and sisters, I say go against the traditional norms and create a path for yourself. Do what you feel is right and purposeful to you and your country. Some will say there are no jobs back home where you are going to be majoring in or how are you going to make money with that degree? But, let me ask you something; something to think about. Why can’t we create those jobs? Why can’t we be the first to open doors for many to come? We need thinkers, builders, innovators; we need a diversity of people majoring in different things with higher degrees of education for the betterment of our country.

All I am asking is for you to consider the possibilities. Be rational to a point; do listen to your teachers, do listen to your family members, do listen to your friends, BUT MOST OF ALL, listen to YOURSELF even more!

What do you want to do?