Adverse effects of exams: A Masters’ Student’s Woes

It’s the end of semester, exams are done and dusted. We’ve all consumed the mandatory, well deserved post-exam alcohol. Strangely enough, it seems weird not going to the Information Commons (IC), a place that has served purposes of socialising, sleeping, eating and occasionally studying during exam time. Anyone who has studied constantly in the IC can identify with this feeling, the adrenaline rush you get when you spot an empty space from a distance, racing towards it with the unprecedented grace of an Olympic runner; the extreme joy if you get the space or the crushing sadness when someone else manages to snag the space before you get there. Then you just end up feeling sorry for yourself, and after giving few dirty looks to the space-snagger (who couldn’t care less) you resume the hunt. Continue reading

Perception vs. Reality

Wikipedia defines reality as the conjectured state of things as they actually exist, rather than as they may appear or might be imagined. Ironically though, there are various versions of reality as well. So, is it okay to assume that we have various versions of realities? Are we all entitled to one? Or do we get more than one version at the cost of being labeled a schizophrenic. This is the zone where perception and reality fuse together in an incomprehensible way, an amalgamation of complexities. Perception is the organization, identification and interpretation of sensory information in order to understand the environment (Wikipedia again. Like anyone else knows better). So we can look at it as a sort of coping mechanism; everyone has one, unique way of making sense of the stimuli and dealing with problems. Continue reading

John Green and Falling in Love

There are times in your life when a simple incident changes your life forever and nothing is ever the same again. One of these incidences is falling in love and another that impacts you more is falling in love with an author’s writing style. At the risk of sounding pretentious, I would say that nothing fills me up with more happiness than a good read, and this happiness goes Four-Fold when I read John Green books and quotes. They are all over my social media. I guess the books and the quotations that we like do say a lot more about us, than what we are trying to convey by sharing those with people. Reading a piece of wonderful writing, letting it consume you and losing yourself in the plethora of words that are much more than alphabets on a piece of paper; there is literally no simple way of explaining this feeling. It’s like you can’t explain the thrill of zip lining to someone, you can’t explain the adrenaline rush or the freedom that you feeling soaring above at heights that scare the living daylights out of most people. Because that is how I feel when I read, the world around me ceases to exist, reality becomes a distant dream and the world in the book seems as real as the goosebumps I feel on my arms when I’m cold. I am a Nerdfighter, a fan of Nerdfighteria and I proudly say that I have no qualms admitting my obsession. Continue reading

New Friends, Fresh Perspective

I like fiction more than facts, fantasy more than reality and I believe that a bit of mystery adds spice to an otherwise ordinary life. Since I’ve come to Sheffield, I have had the opportunity to meet people from various cultural and ethnic backgrounds, which is largely due to the fact that I am doing my Masters in Public Health, which is a popular course among international students. I have met people from the remotest parts of the world as well as those from the popular cities and countries. Continue reading

‘Tis the season to be jolly: My first Christmas in UK

I had never experienced the allure of Christmas, up until I came to the UK. Hailing from a country which has vast cultural diversity and an average rate of one or two festivals per month, Indians are always in the mood for celebration. Like other festivals, even Christmas is celebrated in India, but for us Christmas was mainly clubbed with winter break and any kind of school holidays are reason enough to celebrate. Continue reading

First Impressions of Sheffield

I arrived in Sheffield almost two months ago. Yet it just feels so new. This picture perfect town with its picture perfect people. I came to Sheffield from India with two of my friends feeling cocky and confident that I would easily find accommodation without any delay. Little did I know that the following two weeks would be an endless struggle with hunting for houses, getting lost around Sheffield and lugging heavy suitcases from one guesthouse to another. This being our first time in the UK, we were pretty clueless regarding transport options and ended up spending too much on travel in our initial days. Coupled with falling sick due to climate change, I wouldn’t have said that it was one of the best times of my life – at least, not until now, when I reflect upon it.  Continue reading