Meet Aaliya, a student of an Akanksha run school, Abhyudaya Nagar. Aaliya is an inductee of the prestigious college UWC Singapore.
Read her interview where she talks about her visit to Pakistan, her school, her teachers and also about her admission process for UWC Singapore.
Aaliya, you were a part of the first ever cohort graduating from Abhyudaya Nagar School, can you share your feelings about the journey with the school?
I had 10 amazing years with the school. My school has been like a second home to me. I always loved going to school as my teachers were such amazing individuals. My school helped me transform myself from a shy to a confident girl. Being a part of the first batch you move out of Abhyudaya School is not just a moment of pride but also a responsibility. I was very lucky to be a part of the school where not only academics but also extra curriculum activities were given importance. What I love most about my school is how our Principal Chitra Didi and all our teachers worked very hard to build a strong value system and taught us to stay humble. Everything that I have achieved is only because of my teachers and my school.
Tell us about how did you prepare for your board exams?
We started our board preparations a year ago in Grade 9. Our principal always wanted that all of us pass and we have a 100 percent result. The idea of giving board exams always frightened me. In 10th grade, there was a point where my academic scores fell drastically. It was very disheartening. I got myself together and focused entirely on my studies. My class teacher always pushed me. She was always approachable. To encourage us, alumni from other Akanksha schools were called for discussions. The different exams conducted in our school helped me to be prepared for the final examination. Also, an extra class was conducted for us. I used to get up early in the morning at around five to study. What worked for me was the constant encouragement and motivation I received from my teachers.
Can you please talk about a teacher in your life you are very close to?
I really look up to Jesal didi. She is someone who has had a positive impact on me. I have always loved attending her class. She has never restricted herself to certain books. She has gone beyond boundaries to teach us. Always ready to wait after school for us. You won’t see her sitting idle. She is always on task. She is one of the most creative, hardworking and honest people I have met.
Please talk about how you are feeling about the next chapter of your life, UWC Singapore? Share your experience with the admission process at your new college?
I always wanted to utilize my potential and I think UWC provided me that platform to push myself. The interview process was difficult. We had several trials in our school. We practiced in front of our teachers and some office staff. I was asked a lot of questions and given feedback on the answers. The day I went for my interview, I was actually very nervous. I was thinking, the outcome didn’t matter and all I had to do was give my best.
Aaliya, can you share your experience about Root2Root exchange program where you visited Pakistan?
I was very excited when I got to know that I was going to Pakistan but at the same time, I was scared because we have a certain mindset when it comes to Pakistan with so many conflicts and terrorist attacks.
My parents supported my trip completely but my relatives didn’t and tried to convince my parents to refrain from sending me.
But my parents realized it was also a great opportunity for me and stuck to their decision. When I went there, I thought people won’t accept me as I was from India but surprisingly, they were very warm to me. They asked me about Mumbai, Bollywood and so many other things.
During my exchange program, I realized Pakistan is so similar to India. The schools, the way we live and anything and everything you can see around. Only one thing which stood out to me was you couldn’t see a lot of women out in the markets or in public places.
I remember when I asked a student from Grade 5 if he would like to visit India he just said no without giving any explanation.
We tell the future generation that we have certain issues and we need to stay away from few people but we forget that our only identity is that we are humans first and we must give the same message to them as well. The message of love, harmony, brotherhood and friendship.
Aaliya, can you also share your dreams? What do you aspire to become and why?
I don’t know what I will do in the future. I am yet to decide. But one thing I know is that whatever I will become, I will never forget where I came from. I will always be thankful to Akanksha and would really want to give back to it!