Taking a gamble

image

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.
image

Advertisements

You’ll be missed one day!

Goodbye exams!!

Goodbye exams!!

The long hours in the library! The beautiful view kinda makes up for it..

The long hours in the library! The beautiful view kinda makes up for it..

It’s over!! The semester which seemed to take forever to pass has finally come to an end amid much anticipation and joy on my part. All exams have ended fairly well and I have to thank God for helping me to get all my submissions completed and submitted in time, regardless of it being by the skin of my teeth.

Despite marking another huge tick off my calendar towards an exceedingly fast approaching finishing line, I couldn’t help but be glad when I came out from the exam hall this Wednesday completely exhausted, entirely spent, yet over the moon! The subjects I had to complete as part of the core modules of my degree this time round were dry enough to have me weeping tears of frustration and gulping down lattes half way through the night, for the sheer lack of  focus and concentration I could barely muster. For the most part they consisted of three boring, theory based subjects relating to professional issues and legal aspects of computing, data modelling and Information technology infrastructure. At one point, the data protection act, its dates and amendment’s had me stuck on one single line for almost an hour-Yes it was THAT mind-numbingly tedious!

However, now that I look back over those weeks they seem nothing more than a blur. I spent the entire night and half the day catching up on lost sleep, woke up after 2 pm  and smiled at myself just thinking of the three weeks of holidays I now have left to enjoy before the next semester begins sometime next month.

Living on Latte's!!

Living on Latte’s!!

The first thing I did today was to transfer the tons of random pictures of friends I took these last couple of months from my phone onto my laptop. I have come to be known as the photographer of the group, based on my love for pictures. I just feel this need to ALWAYS take a picture of the moment; it’s like an urge to click away and capture it, simply helping me to stop time in its tracks and enclosing within it a memory which if treasured well enough can last a life time.

Looking through these pictures always gets me laughing. The funny faces, silly poses, and the very act of remembering that moment in its essence no matter how recent, is always so beautifully invigorating.

Any picture, however insignificant at the time stirs memories like no other. It brings back that smell of coffee on the morning of the exam day. The reminder of anxious, frustrated students, with filthy habits; smoking by the main entrance. That heavy stench of weed which fills the air often attempted to be concealed by chewing gum. The loud music blasting through the speakers in the early evening just as the sun begins to set and the Caribbean students come out with their roller blades, carefully manoeuvring through the outdoor benches, pulling somersaults in the air amid applause from other students.

IMG_20121109_205129

Nothing beats reminiscing over such instances which bring with them hope and faith for the future yet sorrow at how fast time seems to be passing.

I can’t help but think of how quickly I will be out of this place, away from all the people and moving onto the next phase of life. Though I may be happy this semester is over, I’m still sorry it went so fast…

“I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am going. And I have trained myself to love it. Because it is only when we are suspended in mid-air with no landing in sight, that we force our wings to unravel and alas begin our flight. And as we fly, we still may not know where we are going to. But the miracle is in the unfolding of the wings. You may not know where you’re going, but you know that so long as you spread your wings, the winds will carry you.” ― C. JoyBell C.

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” -Leonardo Da Vinci

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” -Leonardo Da Vinci

Nadia Nawaz

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

sleep

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.

6a00d83451c27169e20120a74b932b970b-500wi1

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

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! 

smile-famous-quotes-sayings_large

Working at the Olympics (London 2012) – Those little Accomplishments!

The summer of 2011 took my life though a complete twist. The set plan, around which my life revolved, was completely eradicated bringing about a complete transformation. Throughout this year many things around me changed, bringing with them a stronger resolve and new-found confidence in me which I lacked before today.

One of the things which I discovered is my absolute love for writing. Through my written words I have found the courage to express myself completely and without hesitation. Writing has caused that uncertainty to slowly fade away,bringing out with it the new-found ability to verbally express myself and genuinely capture people’s interest while conversing.

Call it lack of confidence, an absence of self-esteem or maybe a mixture of both, but before my twentieth birthday I never would have imagined myself working at the London 2012 Olympic games,let alone being able to get through an interview and express myself without going red in the face and causing myself ample amounts of embarrassment and unease.

At the end of my first week working at the Olympic and Paralympic Games,I was asked by the University of East London to write an article, sharing my thoughts and experiences to help motivate other students to take part in such activities.This was to be published on their blog created especially for the Olympics.

Located around twenty minutes from the Olympic Park, UEL have been at the forefront of the whole event.They had a brand new sports dock and gym built-in specifically for the Olympian athletes to train and practise during the games,and are also providing their premises for the athletes to stay in.

So here’s my humble little attempt at doing justice to my summer job, my experience and the amazing people I’ve had a chance to meet and work with.Click the link below, this will take you directly to my article.

UEL Student works at Capture the Event , London 2012

Denial!

A few weekends back (22 June-24 June) I attended a seminar. You know one of those boring long lecture’s where you go and sit, make yourself comfortable and then the lecturer enters the room, mounts the podium and mumbles away for hours while making random motions towards the projector screen spread out behind him. I’m sure most university students are familiar with the scenario, despite often using that very time to catch up on their sleep-Yes university has taught me to sleep with my eyes open! Except THIS seminar was not boring. It was a completely unique experience which left me in awe of the speaker and his intelligence.

The seminar took place at the Grange Hotels  in London and stretched over the complete weekend, starting from 10 a.m. till around 7.30 p.m. in the evening. The event was extremely well organised, well-coordinated and pre-planned to the utmost detail.

Each individual was given a pen,purple wrist band,note pad and booklet containing all the main pointers and power point slides! Not bad eh?! :D

Each individual was given a pen,purple wrist band,note pad and booklet containing all the main pointers and power point slides! Not bad eh?! 😀

The speaker was a very intelligent young Egyptian man by the name of Dr. Reda Bedeir. He spoke for an hour at a time, after which there was a ten minute interval. The “coffee and bathroom break” as I called it. (I must confess I drank so much coffee, that by the end of the day I had lost track of how much caffeine I had consumed-but Hey, who says no to freebies right? Okay now I’m grinning guiltily)

The hall in which the seminar was held and my pretty purple wrist band for the event!

The hall in which the seminar was held and my pretty purple wrist band for the event!

Freebies aside, what inspired and left me completely enthused was the beautiful speech delivered by Dr.Reda Bedeir over the three days. This has made me realise how important it is to focus on the bigger picture and to live each moment with the very thought that it may surely be my last.

My memory isn’t exactly as sharp as I would like it to be, and despite making notes throughout the seminar, I may have missed out quite a large chunk of it. However, I will share all I learnt from this man, in a summarised list below, in the very hopes that someone out there will be motivated to take what life offers and give it their best shot. So here goes:

  • God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve. I found this point rather amusing. These days’ people are not only denying their true origins but have also completely drifted from the true balance of life. The way he explained this was not only cleverly put together but also had a hint of humour encompassed in it, and was a great way of captivating the audience’s attention.
  • Outer appearance is important but the most crucial of all is the beautification of the heart. In today’s world people concentrate so much on their outward looks, the embellishment of their clothing and other such petty matters that they forget what really counts. A beautiful character and a pure heart is what really beautifies a person. In contrast looking well maintained and smart is also imperative but a balance between the two is what really matters.
  • Man has been given free will. And for those people who believe in destiny and the fact that all is pre-written cannot use this as an excuse to do whatever the hell they please. Some people use destiny as an excuse. They argue that since man’s destiny is already written, they have no say in what crimes they commit or whatever wrong action they perform since it is their fate. However Dr.Reda helped us understand this through a practical example: We were asked to stand up and slap the person next to us. Now this was the point where we could choose to slap the person or not, it was our OWN decision. God didn’t come down and force us to slap the person standing beside us. This very example helps negate the view that man has been programmed to function according to a set plan. In fact the very opposite of this is true, we are all free to do as we please, and are each accountable for our own actions.
  • The concept of what a real man should be like has been distorted to the point that people can no longer differentiate between what’s essential, looks or character. Today people believe that a stud with huge biceps, a booming voice and commanding and controlling nature is what an ideal man should be. That Hollywood image of the well sculpted hunk, with a perfectly toned hairless body is not what a true man is. Understanding this very point is important. A man is defined by the way he behaves, his nature, life goals, attitude and most importantly the very way in which he treats his family and the respect he shows them. Looks are important too, I agree. But only to a certain limit. They shouldn’t take precedence over character because anyone could tone their body to a great shape but also remember that with time that empty shell will soon grow old but that pure heart and love will only grow stronger. A real man acts the same way behind closed doors as he does in front of people and doesn’t need a pocket full of cash and a pretty girl on each arm to feel complete.
  • Our life will be over in a matter of minutes, in a single blink of an eye. If you close your eyes and try to picture your complete life until now, be it twenty, thirty, forty, fifty even sixty or seventy years, the longest it will take you to back track and preview all your life’s events will be around 70 to 80 seconds, give or take a few. That’s exactly how miniscule our life is. That’s why it’s so important to not only focus on what counts but to try to do as much good as possible and make that difference be it as tiny as cheering someone up (or so I tell myself).
  • Our heart is capable of loving, it is divided into a number of compartments which filter out and love each individual element up to a certain degree and in the order we place them. The order of our love is a key issue. Be it the love of God, his prophets, your Holy book, your parents, your spouse, your children, your wealth, your homes, your relatives, your job, or your car. All things should be in perspective and in the right order. For example loving your job more than your spouse will only bring disharmony in the relationship. Hence getting those priorities set in the right order is crucial.
  • Last but not least, the root of all evil in this world starts off with DENIAL. Be it denial of good, denial of doing the right thing, denial of the truth etc.Denial is that very action, that very word which can make or break everything that counts and realising that will help us through all that awaits us be it good or bad.