“Excuse me, Sir,” she raised her hand, “Will you tell us what the practical application of polynomials is?”
In the two months of being her classmate, that was the first time I heard her speaking with outright tenacity. Or possibly the first time she ever interrogated a teacher. She had a newly developed aura about herself that smelled of self-confidence. Not to say that she lacked confidence prior to that. She did not let me tell you that. But something in her always held her back from speaking her mind.
A simple yet fun-loving girl from Chitwan, Alisha had come to Kathmandu to grow and achieve her dreams. The first time I saw her in the class she didn’t speak much. But she greeted me with a warm smile as if she had known me for a very long time. In my conversations with her thereafter, I found out that on her very next day in the college she had joined the research department as a volunteer. Well, that’s pretty impressive, I thought to myself and told her the same.
Despite all this, she couldn’t habituate herself to the so the called ‘Kathmandu ways.’ A lot of times, she felt lost in a city that throbbed of countless dreams and ambitions. Everything she tried to convey was half-explained and half-felt. Her voice got muffled in the loud whispers of people around her.
No sooner she joined the 10-week Mentorship Program offered by Mentorship Pathway, a department at King’s that looks into emotional intelligence. The department helps individuals become more aware of themselves, cultivate meaningful relationships, and find fulfilling work. Initially, she found it a little difficult to communicate with others in her Mentorship group. But gradually, she started sharing stories, she started interacting with her group mates.
She shared how she missed her family. She shared how slowly but steadily she had started to enjoy the life of Kathmandu. She shared how she had found her best friend Manshi. I remember how she laughed out loud sharing her travel adventures. In sharing all these she gradually realized something. Wondering what? She realized that she was no longer afraid to speak her mind and convey what she wanted.
“I no longer feel the hesitation to go and speak up to someone. I have even started participating more than before in classroom activities. I would say that joining the 10-week Mentorship Program was a really good decision that I made. I’m also thankful to Azad Rana – my friend and alumni of the program for recommending me to join and experience change for myself. Thanks to you guys for guiding me and helping me grow,” said Alisha, speaking to the mentors in her exit interview at the end of the 10 weeks.
Mulling over her great story, I realized that nobody is born with a silver spoon called confidence and nobody can even build it overnight. Confidence is what we acquire in the process of performing, making mistakes and learning.
Of course, people are responsible for their own choices and also their growth. But Mentorship Pathway team is more than happy to have mentees like Alisha who relish platforms like the 10-week Mentorship Program which the team works hard to continually revise and upgrade.
Aprajita Jha is program assistant at Mentorship Pathway, where her team helps nurture emotional intelligence in individuals. To know more, you can contact Aprajita at Room 505 or contact Mentorship Pathway’s Facebook page.