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INDIA: +91 080 41234927 | WHATSAPP: +91 6366 834954

Not even a year ago, you were wondering if you should even apply and look at you now!  Tell us a little bit about your journey through the college application process.
College applications look pretty easy to some and really hard to the others. For me it was the latter, in my head I had made the whole process look like a monster and that is why I kept postponing everything related to it. If there is anything I wish I could change about the way I prepared my college application, it would just be the time and schedule. I wish I had started sooner and been more responsible with the schedule I had prepared for myself.
Jen had once told me that college essays are all about self-reflecting and at that moment I really didn’t get it, but now when I re-read my essays & I see what she meant. This whole process isn’t just a college application, somewhere you have that “aha moment” where you see the growth in you and you find out things about yourself, your strengths and weaknesses. I was never good at taking criticism but I learnt to, during this process. It made me a more responsible person.  It helped me change and take another step towards growing up.
At the end of it I know that I have never worked this hard for anything in my entire life.
And your major – it’s quite unique.  Can you tell us more about why you picked your area of study?  Were there any challenges that you faced with such an “unconventional” area of interest?
Every time I tell someone my major is communications media and journalism, I am doing broadcast journalism or film making… I see three expressions, one of fascination, one of disappointment, disappointment that I am not doing something that will guarantee me a job and a fat paycheck & one of faith, faith that I will make it big one day. It’s the last look that I keep in my head, that there are people out there who believe I will be successful in my life.
I am fascinated by movies. I love movies. I love the idea of so many different people from all over the world finding a common ground. Movies speak a universal language which is heard by everyone. I want to understand the aesthetics of this common language called movies. I want to get a closer look. Instead of being the listener, I want to be the speaker of this language. This subject isn’t just about studying for me; there is a bigger picture behind it all. I have had this dream for a really long time and never have I ever felt like taking a different path, that surety that I feel is the main reason behind my decision for my chosen major.
Criticism would be the major challenge I faced with my decision to study films. There would always be someone or the other trying to change my mind about it. Like I mentioned earlier that I got three types of looks and one of them was disappointment. Almost all the “grown-ups” would give me example of people who are really successful who did something like Business Mgmt. I just stood my ground no matter what. Today, more than half of those grown-ups, pat my back and the look they give me is of faith.
What is your big dream?
BIG dream, what’s the difference, isn’t dream a dream, big or small…
I want to direct a movie that brings out the emotions in people that I feel when I watch movies like Notting Hill or Armageddon or Love Story.
If not that…  I want to work for NBC or ABC in New York City.
I just want to be that woman who gives interviews about success and is on the cover of magazines, is an inspiration for girls to do something with their lives and is looked up at. I want to be that person who is on the hall of fame, the person people are proud to know, who is not just somebody in the crowd but somebody leading it, inspiring it.  Being that person is my big dream.
Ahem.  You were also the star on a current reality TV show on Channel V – what did your experiences on university campuses mean to you?
Not every international student gets a chance to experience university campus life on different campuses in US. I feel really lucky that I got this opportunity.
The best part of the whole experience was the people I met, the amazing friends I made. I have always loved meeting people and all the three campuses we visited I met different types of people, learned about different cultures from different international students. All the people I met shared different stories with me about their college life till that day, the scary parts and the fun parts. I felt like I belonged there, whether it be Ohio, Nebraska or New York.
I got a lot of words of wisdom for my upcoming college life, the dos and donts. This whole experience just made me even more confident of my decision to go and study in USA.
How did you finalize your college choice?
I had a list of things I wanted in a college, like scholarship, college town, subject choices, campus etc. When all my college decisions were done it was time for me to decide, I shortlisted the colleges that matched my ideal college.
Geneseo, is a college town, SUNY has given me scholarship, NYC is five to six hours drive from Gen, internship opportunities are great if you are that close to NYC. And most important, it was the place I could totally imagine myself being a part of for the next four years.
And now, you’re almost there!  What are you doing RIGHT NOW to prepare for going abroad?
I am trying to meet all the people who I have grown up with and have been a part of my journey from the very beginning till today, people who had seen me as a toddler. I am trying to get back in touch with people, write emails, and make phone calls. I am making sure all of them know how much I appreciate, them being a part of my journey and how I hope that they will be part of it in the future.
I am also trying to be a little independent, like a few days ago I did my laundry myself so that I am not completely lost at college, I am learning how to cook five minute food such as grilled cheese or mug cake. I am taking baby steps at this whole independence thing.
I am slowly packing, making lists, coming up with ideas for my dorm room. I am doing research work on Geneseo, trying to find out about stores and boutiques, transportation, local businesses, etc.
How does your family feel about you moving to New York?
My parents and I have never really stayed away from each other. My brother went to America at the same age and you would think, it would be easier for my parents send me away, but it’s not. I am the younger one in the family and a girl, it trumps everything else. My parents never wanted me to leave them and go study abroad but they know that it is what I wanted, and it is good for my career. I can see they are really sad that I am leaving but at the same time I know that they are happy I am living my dream. I know my dad is going to miss someone to have pointless arguments with and my mum is going to miss someone to take care of and gossip with, but they know I am just a phone or Skype call away. They are proud of me and love me, they tell me that every day. My parents are going to drop me to New York, not for my sake but their peace of mind and heart.
And you – how do you feel? I’m sure there may be a mix of emotions – tell us about them.
I am counting down the days, less than a month left. I am excited but I am sad, leaving all these relationships and friends behind.  I am excited about starting fresh, starting a new life but I am stepping out of my comfort zone and I am really scared. It is all too new for me. I am going to miss being with my family, but I am really looking forward to making a new family with my new friends in college, experimenting with life, new experiences and independence. I am looking forward to growing up.
Is there anything that you really want to do before leaving India?
Eat all the awesome street and home food. Travel in the local buses and auto rickshaws. And do photography; capture this beautiful country or at least one city for my dorm room and for my friends in college to see, what a beautiful country I belong to.
What are you looking forward to the most about studying abroad?
The liberal education, independence and opportunities.
Wow.  I can’t believe you’re on your way – you’re going to soar!  Do you have any last words of wisdom to students who may be trying to follow in your footsteps and go abroad?
First of all, start as early as possible, it’s never too early but it can always be too late. Make a plan or a schedule, it is completely fine if it is vague, but make sure that you stick by it. Keep yourself motivated, every time you feel like you want to give up, just think of the life you would have in US, think of the big picture, think of your dreams and ambitions. Just give it all you have, because someday you will know it was all worth the dream.
Secondly, no matter which university, just apply if you want to, because who wants live thinking of what if-s right! Some universities, you might feel are out of your league, financially or otherwise, but just apply and work hard for it, leave very little points for them to reject you. I had poor SAT scores but I tried to make up in my essays and extracurricular.  I applied to universities like Notre Dame, even though I knew I couldn’t afford it, and you should know my ratio of acceptance to rejection is 10: 1. Just apply and let the universities do the thinking.
And finally, don’t get demotivated just because you didn’t get into your first choice, you have a second choice for a reason; so just cross your fingers and wait for the rest of your admission decisions to come, to shed tears of grief or joy.
I read a quote somewhere, it said, “Hard work beats Talent, where Talent doesn’t beat hard work!”  Read into this folks, you might just find the answer you need somewhere in it.

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