The Brand – Diary of an Undergrad – A2Z2019

April 2, 2019

Dear Diary,

I have experienced both sides of the spectrum.

When I was in school, I was always recognized wherever I went in the school, by whoever I met. Everyone seemed to know my name and it felt great.
At that point, I never realized why. There was one incident that I can never forget. When I was probably in the 4th grade, I was allowed to walk into the principal’s office and meet her. As soon as I walked in, she saw me, smiled and said, “Divya! How are you today?” The sheer realization that the principal knew my name, blew my mind.

Why was I being recognized? Why are they trusting me with work that, at that point, seemed to me as important as official work of the government?

I never realized why.

The tables turned completely when I entered into pre-university. Suddenly, I was and felt like a nobody. None of the teachers even seemed to care that I existed in the classroom. It was always about the toppers and the ultra-driven nerds that they seemed to care about.

I still didn’t realize why.

In the first few years of college, I was motivated only by the thought of improving myself and giving 200% to everything I set out to do. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and tried a host of new things. I became the CR, asked questions and put myself on the map. I also channeled my academic slump and regained the top spot. As a result of all of that, everyone in the college, right from my classmates, to my juniors, to my teachers and the management, seems to know who I am and more importantly, seems to know the quality of my work.

Why did this paradigm shift happen?

I finally seem to know why.

The brands that I seem to have gotten stuck with all these years – dependable, nobody and dependable – were a direct reflection of what I felt at that stage of life. When I was in school, I was eager to try new things an was willing to go the extra mile to do work. In pre-university, I had no direction and was always bogged down by the thought that I was not good enough, in comparison to others. In college, I channeled my failings into working extra hard and doing a good job no matter what. I was in a positive space.

The brands that I got labeled with were all purely because of the impression I gave to people. And I gave off that impression because I felt like that.

At the end of the day, what we get is what we project.

Mysuru, Karnataka, India

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