Ayesha Bhatia

My journey in undergrad started like any other "typical" South Asian. I was a pre-med student studying biochemistry stuck in a continuous cycle of waking up, going to class, meeting up with friends, and going home. Slowly by my sophomore year that cycle began to have less visits with friends, sleeping more, and dreading to go to class every day. I wasn't happy attending classes. I wasn't happy with my major. I had put an enormous amount of pressure on myself to do well in my classes, but I saw opposite results and my grades began to drop. I put up a mask for friends and family to see how "happy I was", but in reality it was far from the truth. I was scared to let someone in. It took a lot of courage to reach out to my parents but I eventually did after a really turmoil year. I was surprised with how encouraging and supportive they were, when they had stated that they would support me in any decision I would make with my future. I realized that all the wanted for me was to be happy and to be able to open up to them every once in a while. For me, that was a turning point, I ended up switching my major to psychology, still graduating on time, and even now attending graduate school. Friends, family friends, and family have noticed the change in me and have all commented of how relaxed I look and how ecstatic I appear compared to sophomore year; it's clearly shown on my face. I do still have moments of self-doubt: that I will not be successful and I may not pass that class. However, one thing that I have learned through this journey is that it's important to find someone to talk to and to not be afraid to open up, because you may be pleasantly surprised of the reaction and the love you will receive.

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