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New Voices – Episode 6

So, who’s watched Master of None?

In this critically acclaimed show, which has already garnered numerous awards an nominations including a Peabody Award, Aziz Ansari stars as Dev Patel, a 30-something year old guy who embodies this “jack of all, master of none” persona. He goes through his life sort of trying everything and loving everything, and through all it’s comedic quips and quirky limericks, Dev’s struggle to discover who is really is as a person is shown in full display. Now, I think we can agree that at some point in our lives we have been Dev Patel. In fact, truth be told I still am him. All throughout my life, I’ve sort of struggled to figure out who I really am as a person. All I really know is that I’m an incredibly blessed individual with a loving, supportive family, which is more then anyone can say. However, if someone asked me what I wanted to be tomorrow, I’d probably end up professing my desire to become a filmmaking- engineering-senatorial-entrepreneurial-activist. So basically, I have no clue. Although I deny it day in and day out, I’m a kid, and as a kid I’m expected to have the next 80 years of my life planned out and meticulously scheduled, when I don’t even know what I’m having for dinner tonight. I love everything, and I’m one of those people who tries to take every single opportunity given to me. But the problem is, in doing so, I also sometimes ignore the most important part of being a kid, which is getting and taking advantage of the most precious of opportunities: a good education.

When I tell everyone how much I love everything, they shower me with praises and sing tunes of the success that I’m guaranteed to have when I grow up. However, what they fail to see is the time that I’m not putting into studying for tests, standardized or school-based, and how that negatively impacts me as an individual. See, the thing I neglected the most is how difficult it is for a majority of individuals to attain the sort of education I was handed. No one understands this sacrifice more than my Indian parents. In fact, no one describes the struggle my parents faced more than Dev himself, who professed:

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Although it was listening to my parents that opened my eyes to the hardships they faced, it was through working at ProSTEM where I saw the hardships everyone else faced as well. Whether it’s racial injustice or financial hardship or the vast plethora of factors that impact different individuals, the vast majority of students in the United States face numerous hardships in obtaining the education necessary to advance in the world. However, sitting in the ProSTEM office, and watching my fellow interns bounce idea’s of each other, I see a bright future for those aforementioned individuals, where no matter where or who they are, they will get whatever support is necessary to achieve whatever goals they desire.

I know I have some time to figure out who I am as a person. I also know that, as my dad tells me countless times “no matter what you do, you’ll be successful if you put your heart to it.” The American Dream is one that emphasizes hard work and dedication to whatever you do. The problem is that some people experience hardships that we can’t possibly understand that prevent them from getting a good education, and fulfilling that dream. So, I think we should take this time to be thankful of the education and opportunities that we do have, and advocate for the people who don’t have those opportunities. It’s what we do here at ProSTEM, and its what I know that, no matter what profession I take up in life, I’ll be doing. Also, thank your parents, wherever they are, for everything they do. Boy, do they know a thing or two about making good decisions:

In short – If you got anything from this post, it should probably be this:

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— Rishi