1.I’ve never applied makeup or any other cosmetic product to my skin my entire life. I tried applying lipstick once and ended up washing my face right away because it made me feel extremely uncomfortable as if I was wearing a mask. Instead, I’ve chosen to feel confident in my own skin.
2. I remained perseverant throughout class 11 and 12 which helped me get admission into my dream college, IIT Delhi! One’s teenage years are undoubtedly a time of tremendous psychological change and countless distractions, but choosing to ignore them for two years and focussing on JEE prep really paid off.
3. I’ve been doing yoga daily ever since I was a little kid, and this is a habit that has shaped me as a person. Physically, it has helped me stay flexible and fit and emotionally, it has improved my focus and concentration and helped me stay calm and composed in the face of adversity.
4. I chose not to sit for placements and applied to graduate school instead. This was a huge risk for me, since direct B.Tech to PhD admissions are extremely competitive, and many people had recommended getting a job for a backup. However, I chose to follow my passion and with god’s blessings, I got admitted to my dream university.
5. I read. A lot. I fell in love with reading books when I was in kindergarten and I’ve never looked back since. Reading transports me into an alternate dimension; I would often find myself curled up with a book after a long day.
The Last Bookstore, Downtown Los Angeles
6. I chose to take a break from IIT and study abroad in France. IITD has an option in which you can choose to study at partner institutions in the world for one semester as an exchange student. Flying halfway across the world, being thrown out of my comfort zone and completely immersed in a foreign culture, backpacking across Europe and making friends from over the world taught me major life lessons that textbook learning could never provide.
Skiing in the French Alps
7. I’ve never smoked or consumed drugs. Not only are these extremely harmful for health, but are also very addicting. Despite a lot of pressure from my friends, especially during my time away from India, I chose to respect my body and say no to both drugs and smoking.
8. I learnt how to code in my first year of IIT. Learning how to code has been so empowering, it has helped me do things as simple as making an android calculator app, all the way to programming a medical robotic device that can save the lives of individuals with diabetes.
Working on the Artificial Pancreas Simulator, Harvard SEAS
9. I’ve adopted a no-fucks strategy towards life and have chosen to be brutally honest with people. This gives a lot of peace of mind, trust me.
10. I started writing on Quora. Quora has introduced me to a wonderful community of diverse individuals, and has given me a platform to share my experiences and learn from others 🙂 🙂