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

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Challenges..

The world is such a strange place. The life we live can be so frustrating at times; it has the ability to test you to the limits of your existence all the while mocking your unwavering resolve but somewhat pathetic attempts of persistence.

Growing up, we’re all somehow made aware of the unfairness of life and best equipped to face the many disappointments and setbacks with a brave face. Yet along the way, through repeated trial and error we each learn by our own mistakes and I believe that sometimes it’s necessary for a person to face the shame of failure. It not only highlights the absolute embarrassment and disgrace of being a complete let-down, but enables a person to build within themselves a passion and drive to never want to go through the humiliation of failure again.

However what really gets to me is the unfairness of how certain systems can completely rid a person’s chance of success. How, through sheer laziness and incompetence, one person can single-handedly destroy another’s chance of accomplishment.

What’s worse is when the person being let down deserves much more than they are being given. When they know that they are right and the other person is unwilling to listen, or even let them prove their point. The very unfairness of life comes to light at certain times. The disappointment at such instances is enough to make a person want to drown in self-misery.

A person begins to question their own competence and capabilities. Questions which had such definitive answers seem to lack the credibility they once did.

I suppose at times like these it’s important to remind ourselves that dreaming big and aiming high comes hand in hand with disappointments, setbacks and challenges. That being focused and driven is imperative. Life is a test and was never meant to be easy. But the finish line is in sight and maybe, just maybe, one day the tables will turn and we’ll each get what we deserve.

“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.”
T.E.Lawrence

“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.”

“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.”

nadia nawaz

2012- Overview. This one’s for you, yes you; the one reading this title right now!

I sit at a university computer amidst a row of dusty workstations, discarded wrappers,crisp crumbs and empty energy drink cans left over from the bunch of students working late into the night.It is yet too early for the cleaning crew to make their daily round or for the surrounding computers to be occupied. Soon the place will be abuzz with conversation, excited chatter about the up coming holidays and agitated students rushing through last-minute submissions. The university library has become somewhat of a second home, forever open; 24/7 to the ever seeking. Today I try not to cringe at the sheer laziness of how someone could refuse to pick up after themselves especially when the trash-can happens to be a foot length away. My mind is preoccupied with wandering  thoughts as my eyes witness the beauty surrounding me, separated only by a wall of glass.

Pure Bliss!

Pure Bliss!

For once the sun seems to shinning, but I have learnt that is merely an illusion. For if you were to stand outside, the icy winds would cut right through you, chilling you to the bone. Today the water is neither calm nor aggressive. The waves seem to be moving in gentle ripples, carried by the wind. The sun streams in through the clear glass windows lining the wall from floor to ceiling. As I sit and watch, a plane slowly makes its decent, its wheels slowly turning, moving to a  rhythm as it begins to glide down like a bird, so elegant and mesmerizing.

The moment of joy when you click the button and get the perfect shot!!

The moment of joy when you click the button and get the perfect shot!!

Today happens to be the last day of this year’s semester A. Two more exams stand in the way of moving on to the next semester. When I first began it seemed such a long long way to go, yet now time seems to be moving more like the river I sit overlooking.Fluid and fast paced, its passing by in a whirl. 2012 has almost come to an end and so has my cycle of fast paced madness.

The rapidity with which this year has passed never fails to stun me. It seems as though it were only yesterday that I was standing glued to my television screen watching the fireworks erupt over the London eye at 12 a.m. Too warm and comfortable at home to brave the cold, rush and traffic in an attempt to be at the actual monument.(Truth be told,if I remember correctly, my dad was under the weather and my mother just refused to drive us all the way there).

Nevertheless  here I am, a year later feeling pretty much cheated over by time and its cleverness, barely struggling to keep up with my ticking clock.

Looking over the year, all I see is a flashback of events. So monotonous and similar. Naturally I’ve had my fair share of shitty terrible days which I would rather not think about any more than I have to.  Having said that, what I cannot deny is the number of opportunities which have come my way, the people I have met and the laughter I have shared with them.

Along with this, I have also learnt a lot about myself, my capabilities and how blessed I truly am. I understand that not everyone is lucky enough to have a knack for writing and expressing their thoughts and emotions through their words. What’s funny is how I’ve learnt more about accounting, shareholders, stock exchanges, film industries and fashion-through helping friends in their course work-than I ever cared to know.I have never felt more humbled than when acquaintances and friends have considered me skilful enough to  ask me for help with their final year dissertations. (Being a junior, and in a year below them, this really meant a lot). The appreciation people have shown thereafter is the best reward I can dream of getting.

I have decided to end this year on a good note, focusing on all the positives and trying my hardest to be as optimistic as I can. I conclude this, hoping and praying that the coming year will be a form of happiness, and a source of inspiration for us all out there, hoping to achieve something worthy in life.

Note: A big thank you and lots of love to anyone who ever makes the effort to read these posts. Getting a comment is like unwrapping a surprise present. Meaningful criticism and counter arguments are always embraced with pleasure. I love the thought of someone challenging me with their own thoughts and views.It’s one of the best parts of writing! 

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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.