Walking Left to Walking Right – A Thousand Miles Away #8 (Life of an MS Student)

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  1. Cheers to a crazy week:

A week of wedding, works and wandering.

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This was at Shannon, Ireland

6 months ago I begged my parents not to keep my brother’s wedding in April. Anytime but April. But as any second child growing up in a conservative environment, the significance of your request decreases starkly as soon as they start looking for auspicious days. I went on an undulating decision cycle from “I’ll skip the wedding” to “I cannot miss it”. In hindsight, this week gave more than what I could have asked for.

1. Witnessing something magical: Two days I saw people running around the marriage hall, making sure that every tiny detail is taken care of, from getting the right flowers to ensuring that everything started on time. These two days burnt such a huge hole in the parent’s pocket. Is it worth it? Definitely not. Do the people know that it’s not? Of course. They do it anyway. Why? Because it gives them immense joy and happiness, watching their kids tie the knot, sharing the vicarious joy of having accomplished something. Personally, I felt that I witnessed something very special.

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An hour before they tied the knot 🙂

2. Doing work away from college: I realized the importance of keeping your professional life away from personal life. You never succeed at both when you try to mix one with another. I spent most of my days doing the work which hindered my time with my family, and when I was spending time with my family, I still kept thinking about what was unfinished. In the end, did not end up succeeding in either.

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This was me at 4:30 AM at my home (partly also because I was jet-lagged and couldn’t sleep)

I dearly hope you make it a point to keep them separate.

3. A few other reasons why I (surprisingly) loved the wedding:

a. Getting to meet people – After over a 100 of my relatives remembered, came up to me and asked about my life, I realized how blessed I was. Whether it be superficial or not, you need these people.

 

b. Food. Food. And more food – Needless to say, Indian weddings lavish you with very rich food varieties. Although I kept seeing how a ton of food was being left over after every meal. The supervisor informed that it was not wasted, rather given away to a corporation. (still suspicious)

 

c. Puppy at a wedding (!) – I was psyched to spend time with a month-old Labrador puppy that was brought there. Life is truly not complete until you own a pet, whatever animal it may be, and learn to love it unconditionally.

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Unadulterated joy 🙂
  1. How to succeed in a team

    Having worked in more than a dozen teams now (ranging from technical clubs in undergrad to project teams in grad school), I’ve noticed something. To succeed in a team, to be respected by everyone, and to be liked, you need to do three things (although I haven’t practiced them every time):

  1. Work efficiently. Not just hard. Working hard shows others that you value the team enough to dedicate your time. However, working efficiently shows them that the team would not be the same without you.
  2. Build relationships. It is the tipping point in being successful. There are many ways you can fail at this even after having good relations, but there is no way you can succeed without it, in my opinion. This requires being genuinely interested in your team mates, and finding that common ground from where you can hit it off.
  3. Bring a new dimension to the project/team. Infuse some positivity into the team, initiate ideas and wait for people to hear them out. Make the others feel important by helping them work on their strengths and most importantly, listen when someone is speaking. Do really simple things and be unique.
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Right at the entrance to the University (onset of a march by students)
  1. All good things really do take time

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Sitting and writing content for the video

I had previously written a short article on the three things that went through my head when I got my internship offer on April 2nd.

Some of you who have read my previous articles/follow my social media accounts would know that I’ve been planning on making a video about this experience for the past few months (even before I got it!) to hopefully help the upcoming batches of grad students.

As soon as my finals are done, I’m planning on putting all my time into finishing this and publishing by end of May. The problem about doing anything for the first time is this: you never think it’s perfect enough. I hope I overcome this somehow.

  1. Community of knowledge seekers

A few weeks back, I realized that I’d been reading a few spectacular articles and I was excited to share it with some of my friends. For reasons I cannot explain, it gave me a lot of energy when I did that. I decided then that I would start sharing these articles on my social media stories.

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Waiting for the days when my head is buried in a novel

I completely understand people check Instagram and WhatsApp stories to escape from their lives for a few minutes, and don’t really look to read articles. But the most amazing thing happened – a few of the viewers started responding back with articles that they read. And this trend has been continuing. That was the cherry on top for me, sharing some to gain even more. To those who did this, I’m really grateful and if any of you ever read something noteworthy, I’d love for you to share it with me! (and in turn, share it with others)

My far-fetched idea is to create a group consisting of such people. The sole purpose of the group should be to share the most abstract ideas, thoughts and content that we come across every day. Isn’t knowledge, in any kind, wealth after all?

  1. You only get closer, but never reach there.

Those who shifted their career focus at some time in their lives will understand this. And those who are constantly in a battle to figure out what they’re passionate about.

I still haven’t found a job or activity I would die for. But I’ve realized a lot of things that I love doing, and a lot that I don’t. Specifically, I would encourage people to work on team as well as individual projects to learn this aspect.

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Finding your perfect job is like Spring in New York.

It is completely okay to not run after one job or role that fits your requirements perfectly. Take up opportunities that interest you, always give your best and then reflect upon it every 6 months. When you feel you’ve stagnated or your weekly mood is not happy anymore, switch to a new role.

This doesn’t come from me, but multiple professionals who’ve have decades of experience. I strongly feel there’s some truth to it.

P.S. Some nice pictures to look at!

Do you feel like talking to me?

Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pooja_balasubs/

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Cheers! 🙂

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “Walking Left to Walking Right – A Thousand Miles Away #8 (Life of an MS Student)

Add yours

  1. This is going to be quite a long comment 😅, thanks in advance for your patience. (I’m going point wise)

    1. I’m not even sure I can comprehend how crazy that week must’ve been, but I’m sure that at some point in the future, you would recall this week with fond nostalgia. Also, congrats again to the married couple! 😁

    2. Beautiful points regarding teamwork. Definitely a to-do list for anyone willing to climb the subtle ladder of humanity! 😀

    3. Actually I’m of the opinion that it’s a good thing that all good things take time, because we not only get to value that particular good thing once we get it, but we also end up cherishing the whole process we undertake to achieve it.😄 Also, what you said about doing stuff the first time is very true, it’s always so scary and enthralling!

    4. The idea of a community of knowledge seekers is so amazing yet simple. I might be overstating, but this is exact kind of ideas that change the world (or atleast make you give a TedX lecture 😅😂). This is awesome!! Let me know if I can be a part of it. ☺

    5. Ah, the Achilles-tortoise paradox of life!! What you said about it is so true!

    So, yeah. That’s the end. 😅

    All the very best for your finals too! 🙂

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