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Chicken Soup for the College Kids' Soul

Garima posted on 04 December

By Garima Bakshi

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,

I took the one less travelled by

And that has made all the difference.”

When my parents, and parents’ parents were kids, they were told that the career paths one could take were limited. Like maths? Become a CA. Like science? Become a Doctor or Engineer. Otherwise, one could always become a Teacher, or start a business. Few deviated from these opportunities back then. My generation, however, has grown up hearing that we can be whatever we want to be, and do whatever we want to do; as long as we’re passionate about it. The paths that have opened up for us are limitless, and it’s wonderful, and a bit scary, to see people my age taking charge of their respective passions and having these guide their career choices. It’s no longer about the most lucrative option, but about what makes us the happiest, and keeps us that way.

From writers and politicians, to painters and singers, these people have moved away from the traditional, and are happy they did.

Avadh Nagpal | 20, Aspiring Politician


Avadh Nagpal is the Secretary, North Campus, of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and also a third year student at Khalsa College, DU. He aims to take his political career further, while studying law, from next year on.

He chose to become a politician because… I got a huge platform when I joined college. So I gave it a go and found that I was good at student politics. As I kept getting promoted, I saw a huge untapped intellectual student base where I could establish myself. I want to work for the betterment of students, and then, if I make it to mainstream politics, for the betterment of the state and the nation. But, I also do it because of the rush it gives me, and to be honest, it’s actually quite fun!

Who/what inspires him the most… The Delhi University vote bank runs into thousands. To see my senior leaders from the Student Union dealing with such a vast demographic really inspires me. If I have to take one name in particular, it would be Anurag Thakur, who is the President of BJYM, which is the youth wing of NJP.

What he's doing to achieve his dream of becoming a politician… I’m currently the Vibhag Mantri, North Campus, of ABVP’s unit, the highest post a student can get. I will be contesting the Student Union elections next year as part of ABVP. If I win, it’ll be a huge stepping-stone to mainstream politics. Despite what people think, student political parties do a lot of work throughout the year - we organise protests and events; We’ve organised an awareness campaign called Bharat Jago Daud to increase voter turnout. {It’s on 10th November; A 3.5 km run and 13000 people from North Campus are participating, out of which 4000 are students.}


Devanshu Mishra | Aspiring Author of Fiction


Devanshu Mishra is studying English Literature at Kirori Mal College, DU. The manuscript of his first book titled 'Not Quite the End of the World' is currently going though his editor, and he hopes to have it published soon.

He chose to become a writer because… It gives more creative control than all other creative mediums. It’s not easily limited, and there’s no need to work with anyone else. It all began back when I was in the third grade - there was a really huge recitation competition and they needed to send only one kid for it. They told us all to prepare a poem to recite, but I wasn’t paying attention and I ended up writing a poem instead. The next day, they didn’t like my recitation but loved the poem, and weren’t willing to believe that I had written it! When I finally convinced them, they told me that I should consider writing seriously.

Who/ What inspires him the most… That’s a slightly difficult question. My father influenced me to the extent that he instilled a sense of discipline in me, but when it comes to writing, I have a list of people who have inspired me. Among my inspirations are Douglas Adams, David Mitchell, Stephen King and GM Muktibodh.

What he's doing to achieve his dream… Obviously, one cannot become a writer without practice. I feel that it’s very important to take time out for writing, even if I don’t necessarily write in that period. On days when I am inspired, I shut the world out, and nothing can deter me. Like Stephen King said, “Write with the doors shut and edit with the windows open.” Recently, I’ve finally finished a manuscript on my own. This book is attempting to do something new in terms of narrative technique - it’s a compilation of short stories, and a whole novel, at the same time. It’s a self-aware parody of romantic love stories about a guy who views romantic relationships with rose tinted glasses. Every minute, little act gains so much significance for him, and after a guy like this gets dumped, what does he do? It’s a science fiction and fantasy novel as well, and it’s titled 'Not Quite The End of the World'. It’s the phrase we use to console our friends when they go though a rough breakup, and also connotes the scientific meaning of the end of the world.


Damini Parasher | 20, Aspiring Painter and Art Teacher


Damini is doing her BA in Visual Arts from MSU Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda. She loves colours and wants to one day become a renowned painter.

She chose to become a painter because… I had a horrible bout of meningitis in class X and I couldn’t really do anything besides lie in bed. There was so much going on in my head that I needed to let out, and I found that painting was a medium that really helped me. I discovered that I was actually quite good at it. I’ve always liked to play with colours, and I can combine so many things and put it on a canvas, it’s sort of like reading my mind on a board.

Who/ What inspires her the most… Well, no one really inspires me, but that spell of meningitis did! It was so horrible that I actually flat-lined in the hospital, and had to be brought back to life by the doctors. In a way, it was my own death and being brought back that really inspired me to make the most of my life. My favourite period of painting was the impressionist period. Besides that, I really like how Degas paints. I love the German Pop Culture movement.

What she's doing to achieve her dream… I feel like as long as I’m painting, I’m achieving my dream because my dream is to paint. Another dream is to teach children art , and I’m already teaching a few kids that live in a slum. They’re so good at it! I really enjoy what I’m doing right now, but eventually I want to become a successful painter and start my own art school. I’m also working on my portfolio, which has a lot of installation works and video films in it. I’m trying to do something with music and art together - measuring wavelengths of a sound-piece and putting in colours according to that. I love painting to live music, and do it as much as I can.