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Embrace the detours | Dear First Year Me

Kenisha, an undergraduate student at Ashoka University, writes a letter to her first-year self, asking to embrace the detours and nurture her passion.

Hey, it’s me—or rather you—just a bit further down the road of life. I am about to begin my second year here at Ashoka University and am overcome with a flood of memories from the beginning of this incredible journey. I wanted to take a moment to reach back through time, to hold your hand and whisper some heartfelt advice into your ear—advice that comes from the heart, learned through both laughter and tears.

As you embark on the next four years, take a moment to reflect on all that got you to where you are now. The challenges you conquered in high school, the lessons you learned, and the growth you experienced—have all paved the way for what lies ahead. Just like the swift passing of high school days, brace yourself for the whirlwind that is your first year and beyond. It might seem as if time has put on wings, and before you know it, your college years will have gracefully soared by, leaving behind a tapestry of memories, some of which you might not necessarily want to cherish, but that is honestly all right, you will get through them( albeit with some difficulty). Those tough times, those tears you will shed in the quiet of the night, and the countless late-night doughnut runs to find solace—they will all be etched in the mosaic of your college experience. They’re a testament to your strength, your resilience, and your capacity to embrace even the uncomfortable parts of growth.

I know you are worried about choosing the “right” path, about making decisions that will impact your future. Let me ease your mind a bit – there’s no one “right” path, especially here at Ashoka, with its never-ending options. Your journey will take unexpected turns (you are studying Computer Science right now ), and that is where the magic happens. Embrace the detours, for they will lead you to passions you never knew existed and opportunities you never thought possible. I know you are a bit of a perfectionist and a know-it-all, always striving for that elusive “A” in every subject. While your dedication is admirable, do not let the fear of failure hold you back. It’s okay to stumble; it’s okay to not have all the answers (you will learn to cope with a B+). Each setback is an opportunity to learn and grow. Trust me, some of your most significant breakthroughs will emerge from the moments when you felt like you were falling apart.

While everything around seems to be changing every waking moment, try to welcome it . Attend those club meetings, hang out in the common areas, and strike up conversations with strangers. You will find yourself to be a very talkative and social person soon enough and will actually have a lot of friends (I know that sounds unbelievable). This version of you is the beginning of the “you” you have always wanted to be. Sure, you have bad days, club rejections, health scares (and bad grades oops!) but you are happier than you have ever been.

Lastly, remember that you are here for a reason. You earned your spot in this incredible institution, so you better own it well. Always keep your dreams alive. That spark of passion that fuels your ambitions—nurture it, feed it, and let it guide you. Don’t let anyone or anything extinguish your fire. You have the opportunity to create a future that aligns with your heart’s desires and while you are at it enjoy every moment (especially the Thursdays!).

With all my love and the promise that you will not only survive but thrive,


Study at Ashoka

Study at Ashoka