new-years-day

What I Did in my Gap Year? – II

Dear Emma,

Along with my application process activities, I dedicated my time to Rotaract Club of Patan South. It is one of the several Rotaract clubs spread around the world. Rotaract is a service, leadership and community service organization for young men and women between the ages 18–30. I joined Rotaract because I wanted to experience the society from a different perspective and wanted to give back to the society. During my time at Rotaract, I volunteered in several activities conducted by this club including several blood donation camps, career counseling, and health awareness programs in public schools. I also took part in Puppetry workshop, Proposal Writing workshop, Futsal tournament and Public Speaking forum organized by Rotaract to enhance the leadership, writing and communicative skills of its members.

From grade nine, I have been helping my father in his electric shop after school. And I continued this activity in my gap year as well. He repairs electronic devices like television, microwaves etc. When he went away to customers houses to repair those electric devices, I looked after the shop, dealt with customers and sold the electronic goods as well. In spare time, my father taught me his work. I learned how to solder, how to study a circuit board. I learned about resistors, transistors, capacitors etc.

In July, I volunteered in a 10-day residential Vipassana meditation course in Nepal Vipassana Meditation Center.  I had previously taken a 10-day course myself and felt grateful for the volunteers who made my stay comfortable during those 10 days. I too wanted to make someone else’s stay comfortable as it had been mine, so I volunteered in one of the courses there. During the course, I was in charge of the dining room and had the responsibility to serve the food and clean the dining room. I was also in charge of the Russian group of meditators. A lot of foreigners come to this meditation center to learn Vipassana and they are segregated into groups according to their preferred language. During the discourse sessions and important instruction sessions, I lead those Russians into the designated halls and also catered their small needs.

Yours,

Sushil

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new-years-day

What I Did in my Gap Year? – I

Dear Emma,

Today, I want to talk to you about a fruitful year I had outside of academics.

After completing my final board exams in April 2014, I patiently waited for my results which were due to arrive in September. I consulted my parents and friends for higher studies and after considering several options I found studying in the USA as my best option because I wanted to get an experiential education.

To get more information about studying in the US, I attended a Friday group session at USEF (United States Education Foundation/ Education USA center) which gave me an overview of the entire application process to US colleges. I realized that applying to US colleges and universities is a long process and I was already late to apply for the 2014 fall session and hence I took a gap year and am applying for the 2015 fall session.

In the past eight months, I spent most of my time in the application process; preparing for SAT, researching about colleges and writing my essays. I went to USEF daily, along with two of my friends, to practice for SAT. The USEF has a library which provides resources on SAT, TOEFL, US colleges and the application process. USEF also conducts several Info Session on different parts of application process like an essay, standardized tests etc, College Info Session and Get Inspired Session (A session conducted by people who have or are going to US colleges). I attended these sessions throughout the year whenever they were held and they gave me a lot of information about different colleges and about the experience of studying in the USA.

To be continued…

Yours,

Sushil

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The Day I Cried

Tears find it hard to roll by,
Maybe because I’m a guy.
But then, when my grandfather died
I saw my father cry.

I thought when someone dear to me dies,
Tears will automatically come by.
But then, death is a part of life,
I don’t see why I should cry.

Tragedy, failure, hardship: there must be a reason,
For my tears to flow by.
But then, I realize,
I have all my life to rectify.

I tried hard to remember the day I cried.
I don’t remember.
But the day I was born as human,
That was the day I first cried.

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introvert

The Perks of Being an Introvert – II

Dear Emma,

For the next seven years at GEMS, I continuously received a checkmark in introvert. It bugged me a lot. I always had the notion that I needed to get a checkmark in extrovert and my parents, teachers, and friends didn’t help me think otherwise. They were always nagging me about not talking openly, or not mixing with other groups. “Why don’t you speak?”, “Sushil doesn’t speak much”, were the common comments I heard most of the time. Some of the teachers even made me participate in debate and extempore competitions while my father wanted me to be in the dance club. [I negotiated with him and we settled for singing club.]

With all the nagging and the embarrassment that came with it, life was frustrating. At times, I felt like something was wrong with me, and at other times, I felt angry.

Even in my high school years, I was a quiet person. But, this time being an introvert didn’t feel so bad. First of all, the mark sheets didn’t discriminate among the students, secondly, with all the drama, fights and tragedies that were going on around me, being an introvert shielded me against it. I was a distant observer enjoying the free theater show. As I didn’t talk too much, I got better in listening. My friends use to share their problems with me and I would be a good listener to them. They would appreciate my act and being an introvert suddenly started to feel like a prestige.  I started to get more comfortable with myself.

Looking back down the years, I feel proud of being an introvert. Introversion defines who I am today. It has taught me to be independent, to listen, to appreciate other’s ideas and more importantly, to cherish being myself. As a child, I was always made to feel that being an extrovert was better and it’s sad to remember that I wasted so much of my energy and time to achieve that. If only, I wasn’t made to feel that way, then maybe I would have learned to appreciate myself during my childhood.

Ten years later, people still make comments about me not talking more. But, now I don’t feel disappointed or angry rather I answer with a big smile and no words.

Yours,

Sushil

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