Why I Almost Quit College After The First Semester

Penning down this uncomfortable part of my life for any student who may be in a similar situation.

Ironically enough, I am going to start this rather personal article telling you how I’ve never quit on anything in my life. Professionally speaking, working in startups requires 100% commitment, a can-do attitude and a strong-as-stone determination level. And I take pride as a hard-worker. Getting in the University of Melbourne (referred as unimelb) was definitely one of the best things that happened to me. But it also didn’t just happen, there was a lot of hard work and wishing that went behind The Decision.

Leaving the comforts of home is hard.

When I left my work-life and social circle in Delhi, I had no idea what I was in for. They say, you get more and more comfortable as you get older and it’s harder to study after working for a certain period of time, or to even live in a new country. And they’re right. Maybe different people react differently to dramatic changes, but this step was exceptionally hard for me.

My first semester at uni was tough.

They were the longest 4 months of 2016. I had anticipated difficulty in assignments and to be honest, it was a bit of a struggle to get used to the referencing style and citations but I thoroughly enjoyed the advanced level at which our professors made us think and research. I’m pretty proud of most of the essays and took the liberty to publish them on LinkedIn and my website.

Accommodation was another struggle but after a decent semester I was ready for the next.

For a lack of a better word, in the first week of our second semester I realized I was scared to commit to living a life in Australia after I graduate (which made sense after having spend thousands of dollars on education). Did graduating from unimelb hold any value if I didn’t see a future here to begin with? Of course it did. It’s one of the best universities in the world but who could explain that to someone having a major panic attack?

I talked to noone – just went ahead and withdrew from the course. Just. Like. That.

…The next day, I spoke to close family and friends who reminded me of the core reason I was pursuing post-grad in Melbourne – To be a qualified PR professional. People are unaware of how anxiety can play a large role in your demeanour. I came across a Quartz article elaborating on a significant percentage of graduate students in different countries suffering from depression.

A lot of people don’t know this but getting a job at LinkedIn was a huge motivating factor behind getting a post-graduate degree. No surprise that I absolutely love the platform that LinkedIn provides millions of people and it would be amazing to work for the largest professional network in the world. In the middle of all the craziness I also wrote to Mr. X, a senior guy at LinkedIn, asking for his opinion on whether I should continue at all. To my surprise, people, busy people, do reply to panic emails! And it was really nice of Mr. X to emphasize on me completing my degree.

Needless to say, I am thankful that my uni has a grace time period where you can apply for re-admittance. If you are a student and you have thoughts to quit college, do not panic. Easier said than done – but it’s better waiting a couple days and talking to people you look up to before signing yourself up for a ton of paperwork.

Remember why you made The Decision.

The following quote by Anne Lamott inspired me to write this article:

You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.

Entering 2017 with Edelman: My Internship Experience

There’s a lot of weight in the name. Known as one of the best communications marketing firms in the world, what sets Edelman apart from its counterparts is the company’s culture that always look to the future. They are ahead of their game simply because they are always on their toes. Edelman not only analyses the current coarse of PR, they also predict future trends. And when they think PR, they don’t limit themselves to a city, country, or continent.

So how was it interning at Edelman?

At the risk of sounding cliché, here goes.

The moment I stepped in the office, I knew I was at the right place. This was exactly where I wanted to be. But I had never worked in a corporate setting before, leave along a giant like Edelman. It was exciting and nerve racking… soon after, I was introduced to my team members and jumped right in the middle of non-stop work. In the two months that I interned there, whoever asked me how I was settling in my new workplace, I could not help but mention how new it was for me to be handling work for more than one client in a day. While I attempted to find a balance multitasking, my colleagues were already pros.

A typical day in the office started with a quick inbox check, scanning for client news through print and online media, heaps of research and word/PowerPoint edits. Most of my tasks included connecting with journalists and bloggers to pitch stories and being a part of the ideation team while working on creating PR plans for new clients.

For public relations enthusiasts, here’s what I took away from my Edelman experience.

PR is bigger than you think.

There is genuinely so much team-work that goes on behind-the-scenes. Work is divided between departments and executed neatly. Edelman offices worldwide are connected in a very organic yet mythological way. All Edelman employees are interconnected – bound by international clients. Adding imperative value to this PR community, the president & CEO Richard Edelman regularly shares his futuristic views on the Edelman 6 A.M. blog – one of my personal favourites.

When a leader regularly communicates the company’s vision with its most important stakeholders – the employees – he creates a breathing machine more aligned with the company’s mission.

Don’t think before you say yes!

Yes – is the default answer. The moment you say yes, you open yourself to the possibility of getting things done. There are many instances where I noticed my brain hesitating for a micro-second – Did I know how to create a dossier in my first day at work? Nope. But I was open to learning and saying ‘yes’ got me places – always.

Get a glimpse of ‘the future you’

When I arrived at Edelman, I was instantly inspired by the strong, intelligent women who surrounded me and made me want to be a part of this team-based environment. A work space that Edelman offers enhances an individual’s PR strengths, and helps them realize the kind of work management style that suits them best. You might even decide the kind of work you’re interested to pursue and catch a glimpse of the future you working at the office, like me!

If you’re someone who’s going to start your internship at Edelman soon, don’t forget to own the moment.

This post was previously published on PRmoment and republished on the Edelman website.

PMS Is Real And It’s Everywhere

When we talk about hurdles women face everyday, we mention gender disparity, the wage gap, harassment at work, etc. What we almost never mention, are our bodies. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a women. I love my body and the fact that I have the ability to give birth to another human being makes me feel more powerful than all the Obamas of this world. But, this also means that I am an unwilling slave to my body.

I don’t know if its because of the embarrassment or whether we see it as  some sort of weakness, we almost never mention how this monthly routine affects our mood.

You will not be surprised to know that originally PMS was seen as an imagined disease. Women who reported its symptoms were more than often told that it was “all in their head”. Only in the 19th century did researchers start studying the Premenstrual Syndrome.

PreMenstrual Syndrome is mostly a collection of emotional symptoms, with or without physical symptoms, related to a woman’s menstrual cycle. Welcome to the world of irritability, dysphoria- in other words unhappiness, anxiety, difficulty in falling asleep (insomnia), mood swings, increased emotional sensitivity, and changes in libido – ALL for (excuse my language) no God damn reason.

Are you sympathizing with us yet?

If anything, women are more powerful because with all the external and internal crap going on, in just a few decades we are heading companies, running countries and basically doing everything we were told is “not our job”.

Can PMS be used a reason to justify criminal actions?

A woman charged with murder who had shown ‘cyclic pattern to her violent behavior’, was found guilty with the plea of diminished responsibility since being PMS forced her to ‘act out of character’ turning her into a ‘raging animal’.

Another woman with no history of crime, after getting in a fight with her lover (a married man) drove her car over him.

Both these women had their sentences reduced due to their severe PMS.

The controversy that surrounds PMS especially affects feminists who are faced with a dilemma. Although they don’t want severe PMS sufferers to be dismissed and categorized as crazy or neurotic, the main concern will always be that people might just go ahead and generalize, thinking the same for all women.

While I leave you in a pickle, here’s a short video featuring the famous YouTube celeb iiSuperwomanii on how contrary to contemporary assumption, PMS is not experienced when you get your period, PMS settles in 7 to 14 days before you date.

Written by Prachi Tyagi & Shubhangini Arora

sources: wikipedia, “PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME
(PMS) IN THE COURTROOM” http://www.aic.gov.au/media_library/publications/proceedings/16/easteal2.pdf, Picture courtesy- http://solariswholehealth.com/

Time’s In A Rush, But Sucker’s Got Nowhere Else To Go

All our lives, growing up, we tend to have an understanding with ourselves, a relationship with our inner voice that comforts us along the way. It is based on this relationship with one’s self that we make all our decisions, our choices and make the absolute contrast distinguish between wrong and right. One situation, another circumstance and voilà!  You suddenly find yourself in a grey area.
This is quite unfamiliar. 

You spend some time here. Ultimately, deciding this is not as comfortable as it seems, its rather a vague nothing you are now in. It doesn’t feel so good anymore. This space either propels you to shoot out stronger, better or you become the victim of its slow but sure fall.So… How do you save yourself from yourself?

You make your choices, one event in your life altered, and then another. As far as I’ve understood life, the mind craves peace. Stability. Marry your morals and principles and you will never drift off from the core you. It is impossible to lose yourself on the foundation of such strong beliefs. Marry your life. Commit to the one person you want in your life forever – You. Commit to self made rules and you will avoid the risk of going insane.

So… How do you keep yourself from being nobody but yourself?

Salvation is in the mind. God might judge our lives and make of what was black and white. But where does God live after all? You are the evergreen judge of you. Salvation is within your core. You have the key. Question is ..Are you living up to the person you really are?

So… Now that you’re here, what are you looking for?

Acceptance or affection or peace? We all come back to the universal answer – Happiness.

So… How do you define Happiness?

Creatures that almost desperately but definitely need something to believe in. Whether call it God, Energy, Power, a certain person or a group of people. Almost magic how one thread of rejection can tear our world down. And that one thread can bring us one level above.

Kaskade: In The Atmosphere Near You!

It’s been a smooth ride for the well-known DJ/Producer Kaskade to where he is today- an incredibly evolved artist beginning his career with releases of deep-house grooves to collaborations with other equally talented artists and touching the top of the charts with his siiick electronic beats. In 2000, Kaskade started working for Om records where he released his first single ‘What I say’, which was only the beginning of numerous other singles that reached top 10 on the billboard magazine while some just missed. Even since, Kaskade’s career has only grown and so has his music.

 

Little known by his real name Ryan Raddon, Kaskade is an American DJ from Chicago and has lived in New York, LA, Tokyo, and San Francisco which earned him the nickname “Big City”.
Only a few years later in 2006, Ryan signed up with Ultra records and went on to collaborate with Electronic DJ Deadmau5 only to come out with their famous single ‘Move For Me’, which became his fifth top ten hit on the Billboard’s Hot Dance Airplay Chart, then their follow-up single ‘Angel on my shoulder’ also found success on the dance charts and finally ‘I Remember’ peaked the UK singles chart.

 

 

In addition to all of this, Kaskade is also associated with names like Summer of Space, The Sellars and Late Night Alumni with the angelic vocals of Becky Jean Williams. Kaskade’s work and Late Night Alumni can be heard together on their single called ‘How Long’.
Kaskade blends himself with other artists almost too smoothly. Kaskade does not fail to give every song he produces its own charm, having its own distinct tune, feel, it inevitably grows on you.
His album Dynasty has some of the most amazing work that describe his music on a whole. I still remember the first time I heard Fire & Ice, and instantly favored Fire more.
Kaskade with this album, it seems, has tried to expand his sound which explains why each song appears twice — once with a more uptempo fuller “Fire” mix, contrasted by a stripped-down “Ice” version.  A captivating album, like the previous works by Kaskade, Dynasty is a collection of the most impressive vocals with the unique touch of his quality and production polish. Its styled like your average Saturday night adventure which only slowly grows on you as you move more late into the night.
With the title track sung by Haley Gibby, Kaskade adds to his credit another number one on the Billboard Hot Dance Airplay track. She can also be heard in other tracks like ‘Only You’ which is in collaboration with Tiësto and another mellow upbeat song ‘Don’t Wait’, along with her more popular song on his latest album Fire & Ice  called ‘Llove’.
You can hear the stunning vocals of Polina Goudieva on songs like ‘Human Reactor’ and ‘To the Skies’. ‘Start again’ with vocals by Becky Jean Williams has a magical outset and rides on those notes throughout the song.  But when it comes to setting the dance floor on fire no track does it like ‘Fire In Your New Shoes’ featuring Dragonette and the electropop edge she brings to the song. ‘Say It’s Over’  featuring Mindy Gledhill is another track that makes you fall in love with it, also featuring in Fire & Ice  on the famous number ‘Eyes’.

From the collection of Kaskade’s work apart from his albums, ‘Can’t Stop’ from his mix called The Grand  is a personal favorite, along with Kaskade’s remash featuring Tommy Trash (& Location Location) with the name ‘Step One Two The Day Before’.

 

Fresh off his It’s You, It’s Me Redux Tour, not so long ago, last year, he earned the distinction of the first Electronic Dance Artist to ever solo-headline LA’s STAPLES Center venue during the biggest North American tour of his career, the Freaks of Nature Tour.
And this 42 year year old is not done yet. Be expecting his new single, “Atmosphere,” from his forthcoming album on June 10th through all digital retailers. The album, Atmosphere, will be the follow up to Kaskade’s GRAMMY-nominated 2011 album Fire & Ice.

 

Even though, on his albums, the listeners are presented with a range of vocalists, each and every song manages to have its own persona. It brings with it, its own appeal and ties you up in its own rapture That’s the magic of Kaskade’s music and this sort of impressive artistic command over his music is the reason why Kaskade is here to stay.

Spacing Out In Your 20s

 Spacing out.
Oh wait. I was 19 the last time I checked. How does one get to turning 23 in a blink anyway? The transition from your late teens and early twenties is way too smooth for you to even realize it just happened. And that phase my friends, is known as the spacing-out-phase. And I am speaking from it as I jot down a few experiences of my 20s.
Following through plan A’s always gets people to what paths, I will never know. My life is all about plan Bs. Even after my Bachelors I had in mind was a Master’s degree but ended up with plan B instead which was learning mandarin in Beijing.
Living in China has been such an experience. And everyone has different ones. I have met so many different people. And when you start living in a new place and come across new people as often, you have no way out but to discover new things about yourself that you never knew before. And how could you, being in your comfort zone. Having a glass of rum & coke, talking about the likes of International Politics to Ancient Aliens with interesting company, ending with dancing to great music is my definition of a night well spent.
By the time you get to your early twenties you realize the kind of different friends you have and how different you can be with them. We are still going through the rollercoaster of friendship, trying to hang in there with our besties and making too many new friends at a speed never known to us before. And this condition being with friends, with your boyfriend/girlfriend it is ever more so erratic.
With the new lifestyle that this generation has adapted to comes cannabis, with legalize-drugs-please comes crazy music, with this self-conceived genre of music comes bed-heads and skanky heels. And no one is complaining. But who doesn’t feel the pressure of 2012? The obvious bad economy, but thank god I have something to blame not having a job for. The greatest downside being is having a conversation with dad about money. But at times it does occur to me, why is that the number one downside for me when getting a job is actually a dream that I want to achieve selfishly for myself.  Good question. Moving on.
I am shamelessly a part of the generation which is online. We are everything from online social activists, signing petitions to save the dolphins (atleast 2 continents away from us) or as for now the internet itself. Ireporters (thank you CNN), we are the online friends (trying saying hi to me in a mall, yea try it, I dare you). We are also shopping online for food and clothes minus mentioning the explicit stuff.
I’m not complaining but here’s where I do. The turn of events are just getting worse. As time goes-by, time is also flying-by at a surprising speed. (Am I the only one feeling it?) Why is there constant war in Syria right this moment? Why are the US presidential elections the unofficially most important highlight of this year? What does education from a famous university really get/make you? And ultimately what are we really looking in life?
Agreed the level of intensity of each question differs but honestly all of them really put me to think deep with the same level of curiosity and a pinch of frustration which, after you add the job factor to it, leads to mind numbness hence leading back to cannabis and we’re back  into the circle of our generation.
Really makes me think, was it ever so easy for parents and theirs to be born, educate, get a job, get married, and raise a family? If it was, then I am jealous.

Moralism: How right are we?

You and I think different, there’s no doubt about it. What is right according to me might not be so right according to you. There are so many choices we make on a daily basis, some small, others that can change our life, perhaps, forever. It used to kill me to know whether what i was choosing to do was justified or not. A few months back, I read these lines in one of the books my grandfather gave me:
“No question more urgent arises in the human mind and cleaves the heart so deeply as the question of what is right and what is wrong.
What we formulate as the ultimate purpose of existence determines the foundation upon which we build our definitions of good and bad.

 

Thus, of tantamount importance to the issue of ethics is the determination of our personal goal in life.”

That’s my answer right there. What we take as the ultimate purpose/goal in our lives, we tend to choose accordingly judging what is good or bad. It shouldn’t be of any surprise when people think and judge things differently than us, its just what makes us individuals with different definitions of how we want life to turn out to be.
What’s more? There’s a word to this. Moralism. I believe in it. According to Wikipedia it is defined as – a belief in morality for a reason other than religiosity. There is a group which clings to this idea and they define themselves as firm believers in the ideology that humans are instilled with innate moral characteristics, a quality unchangeable, only ignorable. They simply implore man to follow his or her morals to the greatest extent possible, and by doing so, not only create a utopian social cohesion, but also a chance in a possible heaven. I’m not sure you understand what exactly what I’m trying to say through this blog, I’m not trying to imply anything, but for some reason I just think we should abide by some morals and principles so that its easier for us to define our life, our-self.