Taking a gamble

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There comes a point when your whole life rests on one big decision. The choice once made could either make or break you. All it takes is one little signature on a stack of papers..
You outweigh the pros and cons. You spend sleepless nights wishing you could take a quick peek into the future, hoping you would find that little string of self-assurance you can hang on to. The risk in question excites you while at the same time deflates you. You feel as though you are signing away a portion of your life.
You find yourself wishing someone would make the decision for you, but at this point even your parents can only offer advice. They seem to be as unsure as you, and this revelation brings their own humanness to your attention. You look back at those last few carefree days spent at university and wish to turn back time if only for a few hours of peace. Though this future prospect has the potential to open up avenues you would have previously deemed impossible, it also has an element of uncertainty. This fear of one-day regretting the decision hangs overhead like a pendulum ready to drop.
And so all that’s left is to wait. The grace period looms in the distance and you begin to wonder whether you will take the gamble, hoping whatever path you take will be worth it.
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On Graduating, end of University life and some startling confessions-Brace yourself

               Can't wait for my convocation ceremony!

Can’t wait for my convocation ceremony!

Day 8..

So its been 8 days since my result was announced and I officially became a graduate. Having gone through the British University system, I was awarded a first class Hons.Degree in Information Technology. *Proud moment*

Tick Tock.. The time is 3.40 a.m! I should have been asleep over an hour ago, yet here I lay in a darkened room staring at the illuminated screen of my laptop hoping I can make it through this post without having to correct those pesky typo’s. *Bear with me please, I have no patience for editing*

Its been about a week since I’ve stepped out of my house.Literally. Those eye bags I acquired over the course of my final year due to lack of sleep and the insane tan I got from this extreme amount of sun we seem to be having this summer, are finally disappearing.Hurrah!

Those daily, four-hour train journeys have ended. That mounting sense of responsibility, dread of being a failure, inability to comprehend people’s bullshit and hours of struggling with coursework as well as that added exam stress has momentarily lifted.

Yes I know, I should be euphoric at this point – planning a wonderful future ahead, mentally checking off that long list of countries I promised myself  I would visit, exchanging mushy messages with a lover/potential husband/fiancée, basking in the freedom of a worry free future with the world at my fingertips… But here I am instead tapping away at this hour of the night churning out my frustrations to the world. (And I call myself an insanely private person, but I am)

Graduating is weird. It’s a silly overrated concept of finally entering the best years of your life, when in actuality its a kick in the ass and a great big shove through the door of adulthood-ism.

Through the course of your education you may have thought expectations surrounding you were high, but now suddenly you’re on the highest level of the expectation barometer! Questions such as ‘So when are you getting married?’, ‘Why isn’t your daughter engaged yet?’, ‘Let me introduce you to my son-so handsome, he’s perfect for you’, ‘Don’t you have a job yet?’, ‘What are you doing these days?’, ‘So what next?’, ‘What’s the plan?’, ‘You’re 21 years old, about time you settled down no?’ etc pour forth and drown you, left right and centre.

So here I am, plan-less, lover-less (Trust me, I almost had the perfect one and its killing me!), Job-less, Money-less, but completely content at being unemployed for now, just floating between escalating moments of relief, hopelessness and a constant feeling of being completely stagnant both emotionally and mentally..

The fact that I graduated feels like a distant memory, which resurfaces now and again bringing back that much-needed sense of accomplishment.

dog-graduation (1)

 

Nadia Nawaz

 

 

Musings of a sleep deprived, preoccupied student looking for an outlet!

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Exhausted is a word which barely begins to describe my state right now. To say I’m physically, emotionally and mentally spent would be an understatement. Yet here I am, busy hammering away at my keyboard despite having a back load of reading to catch up on, exam revisions to undertake, pages upon pages of learning to do and a million other things on my mind, which if I were to begin to explain, would literally take me the rest of the year maybe more.

As students we are given deadlines to work towards, assignments to complete, projects to undergo, presentations to give and of course the exams, which simply passing is never enough for me; I have to get that top mark or distinction. This need to excel and perform better than the rest is probably a genetic malfunction I would happily blame on my parents any day. But don’t take me wrong, I’m not complaining. In fact this growing sense of ambition which seems to get stronger day by day is one of the biggest blessings I have been given for which I am truly grateful.

Something which is completely beyond me however is my unwillingness and desire to revise. Throughout my education I have come to notice that whenever exam time approaches, each and every single student will do their hardest to make excuses for not sitting down to study. Be it catching up with old friends, replying to emails, sorting out your wardrobe, even doing house chores will seem more enticing than opening those bland text books or lecture notes and making yourself concentrate on them. Focusing at this time seems beyond us all. Facebook seems to be visited more frequently, mobile phones are checked every other minute for no reason other than to while away the hours and don’t forget the food; gouging on fast food, downing lattés like water and generally feasting on every single thing we can lay eyes on becomes something of a compulsion for students of all ages.

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It’s strange really. When being forced to do something, in this instance revising for an exam, we begin to resist and look for any outlet which will allow us to spend as little time in doing the very thing which ultimately needs to be done at every cost. However, be it any other day that very same activity will seem to capture our interest and cause time to pass us by without us caring. For example the subject we took a lecture on, will seem exceptionally interesting on any other day other than exam times ,so much so that we might spend an extra hour just reading through extra material for basic general knowledge. 252272_385510414830202_528117318_n

Being unable to grasp the strangeness of these occurrences, I will simply bring it down to the nature of human beings to resist any form of forceful constraints which we are bound by and must uphold. Either that, or a general unwillingness and fear of facing the consequences and results of our actions which are a part of every one of us. This trait is displayed particularly during the result announcement day.

As for me, for now I must tackle that back log once and for all!

nadia nawaz

Does the name really matter?

A couple of weeks ago I met a girl who is studying at Oxford University. She also happens to be the same age as I am. What really struck me about her right away was her ability to get along so well with everyone in the room. Being a rather quiet person myself, I admire this trait in people; to be able to adapt so well to any situation. I appreciated her confidence, and friendliness. However that friendly manner didn’t last for long, especially when I became the microbe under her set of lens.

Right from the onset of our conversation I could see her evaluating me, carefully watching my every move. Since girls tend to do this when they first meet one another, I didn’t take much notice of it and carried on talking, trying to keep up the flow of conversation.

All was good until the subject drifted to that of our respective universities. I knew she was studying at Oxford and for lack of anything else to talk about, asked how she got in. It was a simple question, put out of curiosity and admiration of her achievements. The last thing I wanted was to make her feel confronted. However, that’s exactly how she took it. Her entire behaviour towards me suddenly changed, as though she were challenging me to somehow prove otherwise- I decided to overlook it-not long after though, realising I wasn’t studying in Harvard, Cambridge or even Oxford for that matter, she seemed to undermine me. Her way of conversing with me changed as though she thought I was incapable of following her through. Or that my intellectual capabilities didn’t quite match up to hers. Throughout the evening I could feel her eyes on me every time I said something or added anything to the group conversation we were having.  Calculating every response I gave, judging me, slowly matching me up against a list she had laid out in her head.

Though very pleasant and formal on the exterior, I could tell her behaviour towards me had changed and that she no longer liked me. I began to analyse myself, wondering whether I had said something to upset her. But after backtracking through the entire evenings events, it finally hit me. Somewhere along the line of our conversation she had decided that I fell way beyond her standards, and my ability to portray myself didn’t add up to hers. This was solely because I happen to be studying at a good university, instead of studying at the very best one with the crème de la crème; way up top where she is.

Realising this disappointed and annoyed me. These day’s people seem to judge your intellectual abilities and mind-set based on the organisation you studied at, be it at college or university level. We also seem to mentally rate a person based on the job they have or the particular company they work for and the level of their responsibilities within that company. People seem to favour you based on this very fact. The ‘name’ matters, whether you match up to the set standards of the place or not. For example a person studying at Cambridge may be a rubbish speaker and completely inept at dealing with people where as a person studying at Imperial may be extremely eloquent and able to portray themselves with excellence when put in any situation. However many people seem to overlook this and will favour the Cambridge student, assuming them better and smarter than the student from Imperial.

a person studying at Cambridge may be a rubbish speaker and completely inept at dealing with people where as a person studying at Imperial may be able to portray themselves with excellence when put in any situation.

a person studying at Cambridge may be a rubbish speaker and completely inept at dealing with people where as a person studying at Imperial may be able to portray themselves with excellence when put in any situation.

When I first started college, I went through many such incidents where I was undermined and thought less of, simply because I went to a less popular college. The person in question would come up and ask me where I had gotten admission. After hearing my answering, I would be looked upon with a mixture of disdain and pity, followed by the question, “Didn’t you study hard enough in school?” This troubled me immensely. I always felt the need to justify myself; explaining why I wasn’t going to the best college in town, since it was over an hour away from my house and extremely inconvenient and I had a just as good college down the road. But no, the aunties didn’t get this. They always loved hammering home the fact that their daughter got into that “best college”, trying to imply the fact that I wasn’t good enough for it despite my having better grades than their daughters.

However, the irony of the situation three years later is this; all my friends and class mates who ended up at the said “best college” in town, once there, no longer felt the need to study any more since they were already as high up as they could be. This ultimately led them to early engagements and now most of them are: a) already married, straight out of college without a university degree or b) engaged, no longer interested in studying but sucking it up at the same college trying to get through some useless degree just to please their parents.

I on the other hand, despite being at an average college for two years had to work hard which has ultimately benefited me in the long run.

I’m sure many of you can relate to this situation, if not something similar. The institution you study at should not define who you are. This is not a big enough or valid enough reason to demean someone or make them feel somehow inferior. Stereotypes such as these will only cause a person to develop an unnecessary complex which cannot be justified.

In the long run employers may not even ask for the name of your university. What matters to them foremost is the way in which you come across to them as a person, your ability to converse well and handle a situation as well as the level of your degree. A person having a first class honours from Brunel University may be preferred over a third class degree holder from Oxford.

Another important point people fail to consider, is the rank of the department or school within the university. For example the math department at Imperial is just as good, if not better, than the math department at Oxford and is often preferred by students as it saves travel time, hence proving to be an advantage in the long run.

What matters most is studying something which you have a knack for, and are happy at doing. These three or four years will pass by in a whiz and years later down the line, all we will have left is memories.