Lessons I’ve learned as a teenager

Being a teenager is quite an experience. Hormones are kicking through your body , you have mental breakdowns and one moment you are on top of the world and the next you hit rock bottom.

Here is what I have learnt during my teenage years-

  1. Don’t follow what others are doing blindly. Go where your heart desires and don’t succumb under peer pressure.
  2. Don’t indulge in alcohol just as yet.
  3. STAY away from smoking.
  4. Academics is important even if it is not everything.
  5. Pursue your hobby, be it writing, a sport or playing an instrument.
  6. Keep your friends small circle and don’t trust everyone.
  7. Listen to your parents and your friends. You are not always correct.
  8. Don’t do something just to prove someone wrong.
  9. Play video games but in moderation
  10. You can’t live without social media but don’t make it an addiction.Networking sites like Quora are much better than Snapchat and Facebook.
  11. Don’t demand products of luxury brands from your parents. If you want a Gucci bag, earn it.
  12. Be grateful for everything.
  13. You learn something from every single person and object in this world.
  14. Don’t just watch motivational videos and read philosophical quotes. If you want to follow them, be cautious
  15. Infatuation isn’t love so don’t fall for every other person.Get to know the person first.
  16. Have ambitions and dreams. If you don’t have something to be excited about or don’t have anything in particular to do when you wake up, you are wasting your life.
  17. Don’t oversleep or overeat just because you are feeling sad.
  18. Listen to music. It does help improve your mood.
  19. Express your feelings to your loved ones.
  20. You only have your family in the darkest times except one or two friends(who are basically family)
  21. Don’t over-trust. Your best friend can become your worst enemy tomorrow.

Over and out

Are grades everything?

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As a student, I find that the perception of people around me about intelligence is that they think students who get good grades are intelligent. If someone gets excellent marks just by cramming the entire syllabi, he is termed to be more intelligent than the one who gets 5 marks less but actually understands what he studies. I simply don’t understand this mentality.

My board examinations are just around the corner and while people around me say, “Study for your exams and stop writing your blog”, I consider it more practical to write a blog instead of going through the same things over and over again. I would rather expand my knowledge rather than cramming the same things again and again. Rote learning has no use. As I have already mentioned in one of my previous blogs , children don’t remember what they have studied the previous year. All they care is about exams and marks.

Now, parents especially in India find marks to be of utmost importance. Minimal regard is given to hobbies and extra-curricular activities. A budding footballer is not allowed to pursue his dream just because people think that here in India, pursuing sports will not lead to success. One of my friends isn’t allowed access to internet just because his parents say, “Internet is a distraction and would lead to a fall in marks.” Little do they know internet has more knowledge potential than the outdated books that we cram. In this world, access to internet and phones is really important. We can learn much more from the internet than what we can from our textbooks.

Agreed that exams might check what you have learnt in school. They can check your determination towards getting marks. Moreover, I am not saying that not studying and always partying, watching movies and hanging out with friends is of any use (You are just wasting your parents’ money by doing so). When people say,” Bill Gates was a drop-out too and thus education isn’t necessary” , I tell them that he is just one of thousands of successful people out of whom most received formal education. Also, he dropped out of Harvard University and not from some average institution. Nevertheless, I think having a productive hobby is really important along with your studies. Write a book, read novels, play some sport, participate in olympiads. Just do something. Just studying what is taught in school will seldom lead to success. Go beyond your own textbooks and research more on subjects you love. If you love physics, research on black holes and supernovas. If you love programming, learn new programming languages. So, go beyond your textbooks. Don’t limit yourself to formal education.

Now let me talk about my personal experience. I was always hungry for grades until grade 5. But then I realised marks aren’t everything. Now, I feel more satisfaction in having my article published in a magazine than getting good grades. I feel more happy studying for quizzes and olympiads than studying for exams. Talking to my friends about the latest happenings in the world gives me more delight than studying about different types of nouns and verbs. Learning how to file taxes is much more important than knowing who wrote “Julius Caesar”.

Now, getting good grades is not a bad thing but there are a lot of things that are much more important. People say that you won’t get admission in colleges without grades. I tell them that there is no point getting admission in colleges when you don’t understand what you study. You won’t be able to perform your job after college if you cram things and not comprehend them. Moreover, getting into prestigious universities is not only about grades but also about co-curricular activities. So don’t limit yourself to formal education and always try new things.

Over and Out.




Nothing comes before mental health!

What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor and more unashamed conversation – Glenn Close
“That man is consulting a psychiatrist. He is mad”. These words represent the mentality of the typical Indian today and is something which needs to be changed.

If a person is going through mental trauma and needs to visit a psychiatrist, the society says innumerable things about him/her. Mental illness is like a taboo in our society. People need to understand that mental illnesses are as real as physical illnesses and they should support the person who is suffering from depression rather than forming opinions about him. This is the reason millions of people in India are scared to get help for their depression or mental illness. They are scared that the society will laugh at them.

A lot of people around me say that they are depressed because they couldn’t buy shoes of their choice and then seem to be perfectly fine the next day. Please understand that depression is not a joke and don’t think that you are under depression when you are momentarily sad because of a materialistic thing. Depression is something else altogether.

Hundreds of students commit suicide every year because of depression. No one asks students if they are fine mentally and if they need help regarding any problem that they might be facing ; all people care is about what grades is the student getting and how well he is performing in his examinations. People need to understand that depression is a real thing. Having suicidal thoughts is not normal.

I, myself was not mentally healthy the last two years . I was constantly compared to my brother which made me very sad. I was told again and again that I am nothing compared to my brother , directly or indirectly, by my schoolmates and relatives. There was a teacher who said that I should become like my brother and follow him in whatever I do as if I can’t do anything on my own.It was a really difficult time for me. I wouldn’t say that I was depressed but I wasn’t completely fine either. A lot of my friends too are struggling mentally due to the extreme pressure put on by their parents, teachers and friends. Some of them feel that they are criticized to no ends by their parents, some of them feel insecure with their own friends and some of them have suicidal thoughts due to variety of reasons. I can tell you that you can’t cure your mental illness by yourself. If you could, you wouldn’t be ill in the first place!

There are psychologists in almost every institution so don’t shy away from asking for help. Online help is also available easily. There is nothing wrong in getting professional help. Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of! Don’t listen to people who tell you that consulting psychologists is a bad thing. It is such type of people who shame our country. Nothing lasts forever so if you are suffering with depression, remember that it would come to an end.

Your mental health is much more important than grades and pleasing the society so take care of yourself!

Over and Out

Promote Entrepreneurship!

 

 

Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so you can spend your the rest of your life like most people can’t

 


The ultimate dream of most teenagers in our world is to get a job in their favored Multi-National Company and earn around $100,000 a year doing a 9 to 5 job. Such people live for weekends and a quarterly vacation. As Robert Kiyosaki aptly puts it in his book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” that these kinds of people are motivated by two things- fear and desire. The fear is that of being without money and the desire is of earning more and more. They are stuck in what he calls a “Rat Race”. And this is a major problem being faced by the youth of today.

We all are so busy looking for job security. Nobody wants to start their own company. Nobody wants to take risks. I have nothing against a secure 9 to 5 job but you have got to risk it for the biscuit! We wouldn’t have Uber and Facebook today had no one taken a risk to do the unprecedented. Working for a corporation will never give you satisfaction as owning one would. When you are working for a firm, you are basically working for the owner and making him richer and richer. In return what you get are simple wages whose rates are controlled by the owner. Especially when jobs are becoming lesser and lesser and everything is becoming digitalized, employees hardly have any space to bargain for more wages.

This brings me to the topic of unemployment and how entrepreneurship gets rid of it. In this day and age, there is a huge shortage of jobs in many sectors such as engineering. Many engineers are completely unemployed or are working in places that are totally unrelated to engineering. They complain of the unavailability of jobs and are totally unsatisfied with their present occupation. Now, had their been more companies and firms, they wouldn’t have faced such problems. So if you are starting your own business, you are not only doing yourself a favor but also helping provide a livelihood to many people.

I have a friend who builds highly innovative things that leave me dumbfounded but he is being forced to become a doctor by his parents. I believe that his talent would be wasted if he becomes a doctor on his parents’ insistence as his talent is not in the medical profession(according to me). So, society is playing a huge role in stopping people to start their own businesses. This mindset of the society that job security is everything and getting settled at a particular place is of utmost importance is something to be reformed. Of course, job security is important but if it is hindering your passion and aim to become an owner of a large MNC, don’t worry about it too much. I am not saying that straightaway start your venture without having any experience and knowledge regarding how a company functions. Join a company, gain some experience and then go do your own thing. There is no point in working for an MNC when you have the experience and knowledge to start your own!

You can become the founder of the next big thing that would change the world. You just need guts to start your own company. So, if you believe you have a great idea and can change the world for the better, don’t let anyone stop you from starting a new venture. Odds are that if you work smart and hard, you would be successful!

Over and Out!

Is Money Overrated?

“Money is not the only answer, but it makes a difference”- Barack Obama

We all seem to go after money. We all think that being ‘rich’ is the ultimate goal.We believe that once we have earned tons of money, our lives are successful. We dream of staying in luxurious hotels, dining in high-end restaurants and travelling business class with our OWN money.

It is very certain that money plays a very important part in our life. Nobody does not love having a comfy bed, a large T.V., having good food to eat and travelling and exploring the world. But is money everything? My answer to that is a big NO! The goal isn’t to earn money but being happy, satisfied and living lives on your own terms. Having money does not equal to being happy. I would rather have a middle-sized house and have freedom to take my own decisions in my job rather than having a big house but being under my boss’ command regarding all decisions. For me, if I am not free, I can never be rich even if I have lots of money. People say that they might cry in a Lamborghini than on a bus but I say to them that if you are sad and depressed, you would never care where you physically are because sadness doesn’t discriminate on basis of how much money is in your bank. Taking part in unethical activities and earning millions would never give you the satisfaction and you would always feel guilty deep within. People who earn billions commit suicide because they are depressed due to drug or alcohol addiction or they are not happy with what they are really doing in their life while people who are not so rich are often found to be the happiest. While some of us groan for the latest phones in the market(myself included), the poor always are often found to be happy and satisfied because they enjoy whatever they have.While me and my friends want the latest games for PlayStation and are still not content even after receiving them, the eyes of my domestic help’s son glitter when he receives a bar of small chocolate. Money does help but ultimately it is your mindset and thinking that decide how happy you will be.

Once you become rich, you realise that being rich does not feel that great to what it seemed like earlier. Fine-dining, Five-Star hotels and lavish villas would slowly start boring you. But if you help someone to stand on their own feet, the satisfaction you would feel would be immeasurable. You would never see billionaires like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg flaunting their wealth by wearing Gucci belts or Louis Vuitton shoes. But what they are often found doing is helping the society in some way or the other because for them, happiness isn’t just money but it is the satisfaction that they get using their money in a meaningful way and doing something for the benefit of others!

Your goal shouldn’t be to be rich but it should be to be happy and to do something exemplary for society. Having money won’t make you extraordinary but changing the lives of others for the better will!

Over and Out

Are we really allowed to live our lives our own way?

We live in the world’s largest democracy(India) but I often wonder that are we being allowed to live our lives our own way in this country? The answer that comes to my mind is a starightforward ‘NO’.

Now my argument has 2 aspects. One legal and one moral. Let me talk about the moral one first. This is based on what the society and the public expects of us. They, in a way, force us become doctors or engineers when we might not be interested in these professions. If we don’t take either of these professions , we are regarded as a failure. They control our personal lives. They tell us what to do and what not to. If you want to go out with your friends which might involve both girls and boys, they start judging us. They regard us as shameless and a disgrace to our families . If we don’t want to celebrate some traditional festival and if we go against an old meaningless tradition , we are considered to be as someone who goes against his/her own culture and are condemned to no ends. If we get good grades, we are thought to be a nerd. If we don’t, we are thought to be a spoilt child.They decide how much we should learn. If we want to stay at home minding our own business, they regard us as an anti-social person. They decide how much time we get to stay out from our home. They decide our religion. They say, ” You have to follow the religion you are born into as it is a sin to change your religion”. You are thought to be a rebel if you get a tattoo. They decide how much affection you can show to people in public. It is they who decide what type of clothes you wear. You aren’t even allowed to choose whom you want to marry. “Leave it up to your parents and relatives.They know what’s best for you”. As if anyone know a person better than he knows himself. So the conclusion is that it is ‘they’ who control our social and personal life in this country.(“They” refers to the typical society) But I would like to mention that all these prejudices are changing slowly. But we still have a long way to go

Coming to the legal part, 3 of our states have banned alcohol for its citizens except for medicinal purposes. I am personally against the consumption of alcohol but according to me, every citizen has the right to decide if he wants to consume alcohol for it doesn’t have very harmful effects if taken in light amounts. The content that we might be creating in the form of movies, books, magazines etc is censored in such a way that it loses all its meaning. I myself fear writing blogs on certain topics due the growing hooliganism in our country. All these example show we aren’t being provided the rights we are entitled to in a true democracy. However I do agree that extensive rights given to us constitutionally are unparalleled and India is indeed amongst one of the most successful democracies despite the issues we face today.

I hope you will give a thought to my thoughts.

Over and Out.

Our education system

As my class X Board Examinations are approaching, I often see people around me discussing about how they can get good marks in these examinations. No one talks about what they have actually learnt. All they care about is good grades.When I ask my classmates who scored decently in previous year’s examinations any question from the previous year’s syllabus they are seldom able to answer it. I blame such behaviour of students on our education system.

I say this because since the time we have started going to schools, all they teach us is that good grades are of utmost importance. They don’t teach the students to think diffrently, innovate and explore new things. All what they tell us to do is copy what is written on the board, mug up the entire syllabi and vomit what you have memorised on your answer sheet. Our education system solely focuses on rote learning.
Schools teach the same thing the same way to different students who different minds and different capabilities.Now if you tell a fish to climb a tree, it won’t be able to do so but if it is told to swim,it would excel in that. Similarly,every child has different capabilities and interests but our education system focuses on uniform learning for every child and then we wonder hasn’t any Indian won a nobel prize(apart from peace) from the time we have gotten independence.

Moreover in the name of education, we are taught outdated things. For example many of my own textbooks have been last updated way back in 2009. In this era of quickly changing world, many of the things taught 10 years back have become irrelevant but our system persists on outdated learning.

Another thing that I fail to understand is the necessity to maintain notebooks and practical files.I don’t see any point writing down the same things what are written in the textbooks once again in your own notebook.It is nothing but sheer and utter wastage of time. Forcing children to write down practical activities in a dedicated file but not allowing them to do the same activities in real life on their own makes no sense to me. And to all those who say that making notebooks and files improves handwriting,there is going to be no need of having a good handwriting in the fututre(atleast according to me) since everything is going to get computerized and digitalized.

I want to share my own personal experience to highlight one of the problems in our schools. So what happened is that one of my classmates asked a teacher a question which was out of the syllabus. Instead of answering it, the teacher said,” Focus on what is in your syllabus and not on what you don’t need to learn”. I mean this itself shows the pathetic condition of schools in India.

This type of education system has made the society toxic in a lot of ways. Whenever you go to any weddings or parties, all your relatives ask is how much did you score in your examinations. Parents have started comparing their kids to others’ kids on the basis of marks. They don’t encourage their wards to learn other skills but keep forcing them to study and that too not for knowledge but for marks.

Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, was not wrong when he said that Indians lack creativity.India ranks 66 out of 140 countries. This stat shows how far behind we are in the world in terms of creativity thanks to our education system and its effects.

I do agree that good marks show that you are dedicated to what you are doing show that you have good memory , and allow you to experience what it is like to be under pressure but the high level of importance that we give to marks in our country is unwanted and is something that needs change urgently.

Over and Out