Flame Your Dreams

Image By Jiawei Chen

We are all made of the same atoms as the stars.

Passion is the vitality that channelizes our body and soul to achieve more. I can proudly say that the flames of this school’s passion, ignited new paths for me to explore.

School weaved magic for me. I believe I got my elementary groundwork from the great walls of my high school. Four years later when I returned to high school, I found the green corridors hold memories and life lessons. The wind in our school grounds was always a whiff of inspiration for me.

I was an average adolescent who was quite inquisitive about everything. Your Alma mater gives you an opportunity to go beyond and fortify your mettle. My English was hogwash back in middle school. But with the support of my teachers I was instilled with a new perception, I was fueled by a fierce passion for literature. Now, while I explore my college opportunities; I am a happy blogger and have earned a part-time job as a technical writer.

The next few years did not fail to surprise me. Freelance gave me an option to lavishly [Alright, I might be exaggerating] pay off my college rent; at the same time, I explored opportunities to learn more. I got involved in professional organizations which gave me a broader exposure. IEEE is a beautiful platform that crafts confidence. This niche gave me a chance to be technically strong while building on my managerial skills. My college life would have been entirely different and on a lonely road; had I not taken the first step to be a part of the same. My IEEE Student Branch is one among the colossal reasons for evolving my energy, for teaching the essence of team spirit and for teaching us to strive for collective growth. It taught me to take a strike for the team rather than strike a teammate.

I got involved in social organizations and worked along with volunteers from UNHCR to make refugee lives content. One among them, Letters of Love is a global initiative to send love and hope to refugee children of Syrian, Iraqi, Yazidi and other refugee communities. An act of empathy, it helped me realize the living conditions of refugee areas and how the smallest action can make the most significant difference. I closely volunteered with some of the best individuals I have virtually met from 16 different countries. Keeping myself busy was the best way to learn more. As days passed by, I was confronted with questions about why I was taking the pain to do socially relevant activities. I could only think of one reason: to spread smiles and to spread love; to make a difference.

Like a lightning strike, my writings caught the attention of some of the fantastic individuals I came to know in this journey, who works at Tata Consultancy Services. Next thing I know, I was featured as a guest blogger [first student anchor] on the TCS website, Campus Commune.

I met people driven by strong optimistic thoughts every day. It gave me the energy to transcend. Having a sheer curiosity to know more; one beautiful day I found a mail in my inbox stating that I was one among the 230 students from India who was awarded by the Grace Hopper Celebration India Scholarship. I was on cloud nine. The GHCI conference gave me an insight into the tech industry and how this booming industry provides endless opportunities in all aspects. I interacted with leaders from top-notch companies and experienced mentors who have been my stepping stones ever since. Around this time, I came to know about the Lean In movement.

Quoted by Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, “In future, there will be no women leaders, there will just be leaders.”; the words seem to hit the right chords.

Within a few months, I was volunteering for Lean In Women in Tech India. I came to know about some of the most influential personalities I have ever encountered with. Their actions taught me, mentored me as I volunteered along with them. Four years ago I would have never imagined myself in a situation where sensational leaders are mentoring me. My little heart was glowing. I knew I was doing justice to the time that was given to me.

It’s my final year in college. With a heavy heart, now I reminisce and smile meekly on my most cherished memories. Every day seems to be the last time, I’ll get to do something new. With tokens of appreciation given in my name for my little actions of [IEEE] volunteering; entire credit would go to the team. Each of them taught me that different is beautiful and what exactly crisis management is when you have one ball of ice cream for 21 people. Sending love to my A-Team.

Combating challenges and managing time are the survival skills you will get from your alma mater. Learn them right. Taming the beast called reality, is not easy. It takes time. It takes grit.

When your brain serenades you to retreat; remember, it is always okay to take a few steps back to move forward. Your mind is learning new things every day. It is human instinct to be scared when confronted with something new. Give yourself time. And, just stay dangerously optimistic.

Negativity takes all its chance to engulf us. Like a growing virus; the toxic thoughts can bring us down. Pay no heed. Keep moulding yourself. Keep growing. And never stop learning. With education as your weapon of mass creation, you can rewrite even a revolution. I thank my stars, for all the chances I was given and for those that are still out there. It is all about the choices that we make; that makes all the difference.

We are all made of the same atoms as stars

So, let’s fuel our ball of energy. Let’s power our dreams.

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Liyana Shirin

Liyana Shirin

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A day-dreamer and a Chai-addict. You could mostly find wandering thoughts of my brain in this feed. Find more at liyanashirin.wordpress.com