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Tara Patwardhan (she/her)'s blog

Motivation vs. Self-Discipline

Tara Patwardhan sheher

By Tara Patwardhan sheher10 Jun 2021

We’ve all been plagued with the feeling of being #unmotivated. When the feeling of not wanting to do anything, apathy, and sheer lack of interest in anything arises, how do we proceed? How do we make it through? The #answer is self-discipline. #Motivation is fleeting, but #self-discipline is a skill that can be built, nourished, and grown. According to Second Nature, a world leader in #behavioral sciences and change, it takes around 66 days to build an automatic habit. We need to start small. In order to truly make change in our lives, we need to build our habits in small, manageable steps. For example, if my goal was to read one book a month for a year, I would set a much more reasonable, manageable goal of 1 chapter a day before bed. This would, firstly, create the #building blocks that lead me towards my #ultimate goal, and secondly, create a timely habit in my head that would remind me to read every day at a certain time. You might be thinking: does anybody actually like being self disciplined? What does it do for them? It’s easy to think that the person who wakes up at 5am every day and goes mountain biking does it out of pure self-hatred. The truth is, if you ask them about it, they’ll tell you how much they actually love it. So it’s important to make self-discipline fun for yourself and make it a routine that you’ll look #forward to every morning. I am of the belief that everyone has it within them to be the best #version of themselves. Whether this means staying self-disciplined or even #understanding when to take a #break, only you will know what works best. Good luck, because it’s brutal out there.

What's your why?

Tara Patwardhan sheher

By Tara Patwardhan sheher29 May 2021

Throughout my life, I have felt like I've been wandering aimlessly going through the motions of life. That is, until I found my "why". Why am I doing what I'm doing? Growing up, my parents always taught me the value of a good education, and the light it can bring into someone's life. Education has the ability to lift people out of hard situations. I know this because my mother has told me that if she hadn't received a quality education and performed to her best ability in grade school, she wouldn't be where she is today, living in the US. This put things into perspective, and most importantly, it reminded me of the immense privilege that I have living in the US, getting a college education. It gave me a chance to realize that not very many people have the ability to "do whatever they want". This is my why. I want to succeed in order to help out those who may not have been blessed with the opportunities that I have. What's your why?

The Importance of Mentorship

Tara Patwardhan sheher

By Tara Patwardhan sheher11 May 2021

How can we #learn from others’ #mistakes? Where can we go for #advice when we don’t know what the best #path is for us to take? Who can we talk to when it feels like to world is against us? Enter mentors. #Mentors know what’s up, because they’ve been through it before. They have been through the trials and tribulations of #college #applications, job searches, and building a name for yourself in whatever field you want to get into. Think about a time when you had to lean on someone for advice. Whether that person is a parent, friend, #professor, teacher, coach, or anyone else, we know that two heads (or 3, or 4!) are (almost) always better than 1. I was thinking about how our world has changed so exponentially within the past 200 years. The reason society as a whole has been able to progress such leaps and bounds is because of shared #knowledge and shared learning. It’s because we know, for the most part, not to repeat the mistakes of the past (take the dust bowl and advances in agriculture afterwards). History is taught in order for us to learn what worked and what didn’t, and how we got to where we are today. The same principle can be applied to mentorship. A mentor-mentee relationship exists to benefit both parties, but the reason it benefits the mentee is clear: mentors provide knowledge, help them improve, and are there to help the mentee broaden their #professional #network. They are also there to provide much-needed encouragement, lessons from their experience, and a shoulder to lean on when the world feels like it’s going up in flames.

"Nature is Healing"

Tara Patwardhan sheher

By Tara Patwardhan sheher22 Apr 2021

Happy #EarthDay! Earth Day 2021 brings us an interesting perspective when it comes to eco-consciousness, as we were able to collectively see firsthand how our #planet was able to heal every so slightly during the months of (somewhat) strict lockdown in March, April, and May 2020. Though quickly made into a joke across social media platforms, the phrase “nature is healing” being thrown around last year gave us a glimpse into what our future could look like if we take action NOW. Firstly, air quality across the world greatly improved due to the enforcement of #lockdown measures in China, we saw an almost 50% decrease in levels of nitrogen and carbon dioxide. #Global increases in carbon emissions from the past ~150 years, starting with the #IndustrialRevolution, is directly linked to global warming and rising sea levels, events which greatly impact the habitability of #Earth for future generations to come. The current generation in positions of power across the world do not take the matter of #globalwarming seriously enough. It is up to future #generations to make a difference in terms of greener policy decisions, #advocacy, and #education in order to secure a livelihood for the future of this planet. Of course, on the flipside, we have seen a greater increase in trash #pollution from the coronavirus #pandemic. PPE such as “disposable” masks, gloves, and face shields added even more trash to the world’s estimated 269,000 tons of trash floating in the ocean. That doesn’t even include the amount of trash in landfills, which is an estimated 40.32 million tons of trash in California ALONE. All of this is to say that we can do better. We can advocate for change from our policy makers, work towards building a greener future with #clean, #renewable #energy sources, and in the meantime, we can all take strides towards living a more #eco-conscious lifestyle.

Lessons I’ve learned as a College Graduate

Tara Patwardhan sheher

By Tara Patwardhan sheher9 Apr 2021

As someone who has been through the trials and tribulations of an undergraduate education, I’ve picked up a few important tips and tricks along the way. My experience as a #student for four years at a large public #university has taught me more than in my 18 years of elementary through high school. So without further ado, here are the most important lessons I’ve learned as a #college #graduate: 1. Get involved! I spent about 2 years of my #undergrad being “too busy” to get involved in clubs and organizations on campus. It wasn’t until my 3rd year that I finally took the step towards getting involved in my school’s Greek community and in #research labs on campus. Being involved on campus will allow you to meet like-minded individuals who share the same values as you, and might even introduce you to your friends for life. The reality is, everybody has enough time with the right time management skills. This brings me to my next point: 2. Manage your time effectively. Google Calendar was my best friend throughout college. Balancing a job and a full load of #classes wasn’t the easiest task. Time blocking out my schedule to study, go to work, go to my organization’s events, and have a social life became my holy grail. I was on the quarter system, so classes moved fast, and if you were behind by even a few days, you were forced to play a game of intense catch-up. Not fun. 3. Going off of my last point, study your notes for class immediately after/ within 24 hours of lecture. By spacing out your studying this way, it makes material much easier to retain and understand when midterms/finals roll around, and trust me, they come much faster than you’d expect. Take a half hour to organize your notes and review them, and you’ll be thanking yourself when it comes to #exam time. 4. Write your notes on pen and paper. According to a 2014 Princeton/UCLA study, students who write notes with pen and paper reframe the concepts in their own words, which benefits retention of course material. This helped me out immensely, as I was able to summarize information quickly. 5. Don’t participate in the “Who got the least amount of sleep” olympics. It’s not worth it, I promise. For a long time, it was a point of competition between my peers and the conversation usually went something like this: “I’m so tired, I only got 4 hours of sleep last night” “Oh, yeah? You think you’re tired? I only got 2 hours of sleep!” “You think YOU’RE tired? I pulled an all-nighter!” Yeah, not the nicest conversation. Sleep is so important, even more crucial than you might think. According to the NIH, ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, and obesity. You will have to make many sacrifices in your time in college, but try not to make sleep one of them. Trust me. Coming from someone who would brag about getting 3-4 hours of sleep, it’s not cute, and does more harm than good to yourself and those around you. 6. #Relax. You will figure it out. If you’re feeling even a little bit anxious about your future, you’re in a good place (I know what you’re thinking, is she crazy? Anxiety is good? A little bit of anxiety and stress gets the job done, just seek help when it gets overwhelming). You don’t have to apply to #internships in your first semester at school. Take time to get yourself acquainted, and later on down the road, apply to internships and jobs that will help with your #career. There are a lot more lessons that I’ve learned throughout my time in college, but these are some of the most important things to keep in mind as you embark on this new #journey.
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