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TM Proj1: Icebreaker Speech

Aditi Silawat

Thank you, Ms. Toastmasters. Good afternoon fellow toastmasters.

As I stand here, Ive mixed thoughts and feelings. Some questioning me what am I doing here -
in a room full of highly skilled speakers and soon-to-be inspiring leaders?! and others reminding
me Im embarking on a journey to reach a destination. Ironically, the latter is more thrilling
than the former.

Sometimes the desired journey can take you to a polar destination. For example, my arrival here,
in the US.

After completing 4 years of study for a Bachelors in Engineering, I decided to pursue a Masters
degree. Instead of furthering my education in India, I wanted to get exposed to a foreign
education system. So, I ended up applying to different schools around the globe.

Based on my English learning from J.K. Rowlings fictions and being a huge HP fan, my heart
was set in UK. As it turns out, after sending my applications, while I was waiting to hear back
from the schools, I was in fact re-reading the same book for *pfffff* I-dont-recall-many-times
here it goes

Hermione Granger apparated herself, Harry Potter, and Ron Weasley to a road in central
London. They fled the followers of the dark lord on the evening of 1st August Wait a minute,
what day is it? March 31st? Didnt I send my IELTS score to the universities about a week ago?
Yeah, but I also checked my inbox about an hour ago, didnt I? Despite of the thought, out of
practice, I guess, or more like an impulsive habit, I switched windows from a Harry Potters PDF
to my inbox and I was petrified. There it was! An e-mail!!! It was from Kings College of
London. After breaking myself out of the full body-bind curse, I was straight-away struck by the
dancing-feet-spell. After all, it was my first ever acceptance letter

Following England, I started getting decisions from different lands: Scotland, New Zealand,
Switzerland, Ireland, Finland it was overwhelming. Hey, dont judge me - there wasnt any
application fee one less thing to ask of my parents and, of course, from my siblings share.

One program vs. another it was so hard, I tell you. After days of agony and a month of
research, I finally narrowed down to one university in the UK. Suddenly, some of the romantic
novels from the renaissance period started playing in my head, concocting some vivid images...
thats when Narnia emerged!

On the way back from the bank - the day I got my funding cleared - my parents said NO. Per
their colleagues suggestions, they wanted me to consider getting a Masters from the US
instead.

I didnt know whom to be more angry with my folks or their colleagues (?) So, I chose both!

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TM Proj1: Icebreaker Speech
Aditi Silawat

Fortunately, my friends words pulled me out of my despicable brooding thoughts. He told me,
Its okay if you didnt find a door open. You shouldnt waste more time staring or banging on
the same one You should explore other doors with a destination in mind.

Long story short, I somehow quit moping and started weighing my options. I had a fortnight to
take the GRE and TOEFL examsSo; I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and re-started
the entire application process all over again. This time with the same journey but a re-adjusted
destination in mind.

On Aug 1st, as I stood for over 3 hrs in the immigrations line, it hit me these are not those
alleys from London or anywhere around UK, I was in America. And one of those wide corridors
behind the officer is going to take me to Pittsburgh for my Masters journey which, in fact,
brought me here, in the mighty USA.

Come to think of it now, life happens to be a series of destinations. You can set forth on a
journey with a destination in mind but at the same time if youre accommodative of any
alterations, youll be fine. One journey can have multiple destinations. You never know? What
you do know is you have the power to re-adjust any destination and get there as quickly and
efficiently as you can with the resources you have.

After revisiting those memories and self-reflection, as I stand here I am happy to reassure my
scared and doubting self, its all going to be fine. I just took my first step. I got to nuke any
negativity and keep moving forward this is a journey and my destination or my destinations
desired or polar are all out there

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Title: Aditis Journey

Introduction:

From Central India to Central USA

From Carnegie Mellon University to Oracle

From Toastmasters to *pause* who know where???

As Aditi breaks the ice, to start her toastmasters journey, this is the answer shell seek to find.

Evaluators Feedback:

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Fellow Toastmasters Feedback:

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Pictures:

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