It Is Okay To Be A Small Town Girl Or Boy : Interaction With Govt School Students

5:47 AM

When I started working I always used to think about going back to schools and talking to students about the choices we make when we are young. I always wanted to shout out this loud that it is okay to be a small town girl or boy, just dream big and work hard to make your dreams come true.
Over the past few years I got the opportunity to work in different cities and in different organizations. I met people from metropolitan and small towns or villages. I see a lot of youngsters hiding their identities  if they come from small towns or villages. I feel sorry for you all , I know we all want to belong to some familiar places . But , trust me nobody will kill you if you belong to a place which people have not heard of , then it is your responsibility to tell them about the place you belong to right ? Talent has no boundaries and there are so many examples which has proved it. A P J Abdul Kalam, Y.S Parmar , Nirmal Verma, Kinkari Devi, Maya Angelou, Barack Obama , Virginia Woolf  and many more. We know them because of their actions. We should bother about our skills, knowledge and exposure not about the place we belong to, people will eventually come to you and will ask you about your heaven .

Interacting With Students 

Recently, I got the opportunity to visit yet another government school in Sirmour , Himachal Pradesh. Sanio , Deedag is such a wonderful school and has amazing faculty , I felt so good after interacting with the staff , everyone was so energetic. My first session was with girls under " Kishori Manch", I could talk to young and talented girls about health & hygiene, and boldness among girls . I always wanted to share my stories how I did it and how it is very much possible for them to reach where they want to. I poured my heart out and told them not to stop if people around them tell that they can't do it or can't get into particular profession or so.

Career Counseling / Personal Experiences

After "Kishori Manch" there was a combined session with girls and boys who were now in 11th and 12th standard.  I knew students were curious to now about my career and how I found out what I want to do in life. So, I told them about my interests and how they have to see what are their interests, skills and capabilities. The one thing I wanted to say loud enough is to dream big and work tirelessly towards it no matter what and I did the same.  I feel so happy to see such subjects and topics are being addressed in government schools now. 

Which Profession to Choose ? 

I know all of us struggle a lot  the when it  comes to  choosing the right profession. While interacting with the students ,  I
didn't tell them what they should become. All I did was I just asked them to respect each profession.  I asked each one of them to find out what they like the  most and then see if they have the skills to pursue it. And skills can be learned as well.  Also I asked students to go for the profession they feel they can give their 100 % in. Agriculture was one of the main discussion topic because I see a lot of people looking down upon Khetiwaadi / agriculture. I made it a point to motivate youngsters to feel proud about being a citizen of a country whose's livelihood depends mostly on agriculture, I told students to find out the institutions which offers courses in agriculture. If they have enough land and want to increase their production and find out what else they can grow in same land , they should get into agriculture courses right after their studies without wasting time and money. 

Use of Internet & Choosing Idols 

I know how much me and generations before us had to struggle when they didn't have enough information and education.  So , I requested students to use internet for the right purpose. In this day and age everything is available on the  internet , all one needs to do is find out what is best for him/her. Also, we need to have idols in life whom we look up to . We all need constant motivation and having an idol is the most important thing. Books are called best friends and it can actually do wonders. I tried to give some of the references that I thought students should read. Sometimes, we seek motivation from books and it is always good to have a collection that inspires us to pave our path no matter what. 

About Having  A Goal 

I concluded the session by sharing my experience of starting first job where I used to earn  five thousand only.  By this, I wanted to tell them that we should have  an ultimate  goal and we need to work hard  towards achieving it. There are students who's parent won't be able to support them financially but if you are stepping out for studies and having limited money you can always work part time. We all think parents have to spend money even if it is hard for them to earn it. Focus on your ultimate goal and on the way if you have to work extra, part time or manage a lot of things own your own do that, because it is worth it at the end. Nobody ever achieved something without working hard for it. So , it is okay if you don't look cool among others by working part time or taking a path no one else has taken.

Have Faith & Work Hard 

Have faith in yourself. Feel proud of your roots, this will take you only higher. Today, there is no difference between small towns and big cities. Its all in the mind. If people don't recognize or never heard the name of the place you belong to , it is okay. You got to tell them by first  being proud of your roots and identity. I know your struggles are going to be the real ones, but you have to work little harder and at the end it all becomes a life story to tell others that how you did it even facing all the difficulties. I felt so good after this session as it was like a dream come true, I know we all have insecurities especially when you are called or known as small town girl and boy. I held my head high from the beginning and worked harder so that my work speaks for me. It hardly matters if people know how your heaven looks like , make sure they know you by seeing your work.
I tried to talk to students in English, Hindi and Himachali (mostly Himachali) so they feel comfortable and learn that how important it is to compete with the world and improve your skills. I just loved this interaction, it was a day spent well.
P.S- I am quite open to such interactions with government school students :) Have you ever thought of doing something like this ?

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