Introducing Bubbles

Last week, the WIT cohort 1 girls had a call which went great and Bubbles is a fictional character that took birth during that call.

During the first activity that gave our WIT Cohort — to create an intro video, Adheetha wrote t me and said, “I’m not too comfortable speaking in English”. She somehow felt that to be Scholar material, you need to be able to speak fluent, impressive english.

Anusree had written in her TWTW that she thought all scholarship winners were excellent writers and she wasn’t one, which is why she’d never really be able to be a scholar.

What I did realise is that everyone has this image of how an ideal scholarship winner looks like. During the call, I had the girls describe the ideal scholarship winner in their head.

This was attempt to understand what they thought about these scholarship winners. To make it easier, we, put together this fictional character who is a scholarship recipient. We had to give her a name and we converged on #bubbles!

So bubbles is this fictional character who is an ideal scholarship recipient.

Bubbles is different for different people. Like Adheetha’s bubbles spoke excellent english. Anusree’s bubbles wrote really well.

When we had the girls describe the bubbles in their head, these are few traits/attributes they threw at me:

  1. Expert in Technology
  2. Does good for the community
  3. Has huge aspirations
  4. Is a researcher
  5. Always hunting for opportunities
  6. Never sits idle
  7. Is the class topper
  8. Is an achiever
  9. Speaks and writes great english!
  10. Has been wanting to get into tech since the day she was born (like really? :P)

This is the Bubbles of our Cohort 1 🙂

Well, honestly no scholarship winner in real life is like this. Yes, some of them have some of these qualities, but largely, no!

Let’s look at some Real life Scholarship Winners 🙂

Felix Josemon — Google Venkat Panchapakesan Scholar, 2016

To those of you whose bubbles is a Class Topper, checkout Felix.

When applying to the scholarship, Felix had a standing supplementary from Semester 4. He still applied and got selected as one of the 6 students form India 🙂

I Failed in S4 and How I feel?

Felix in his interview also mentioned that he was super skeptical about his ability to speak and write in English. He started working on this challenge and has eventually improved quite a lot! In fact in our interview with Felix, he wrote about his challenges in public speaking and how he managed to overcome them in his Google Scholarship application.

That right there is an excellent example of how someone can turn their weakness into their strength!

Sharing the video that got Felix selected for his Venkat Scholarship below.

WeTech Qualcomm Scholars, 2015

So we were 18 girls selected across India for the WeTech Scholarship in 2015.

It really struck me that no two of us were similar. We had super diverse profiles, backgrounds, skills and interests.

Most of us have open sourced our winning resume and applications in this wiki. We’ve also done interviews sharing our experience.

I Failed in S4 and How I feel?

Do take a look at the Resume shared by all of us and look particularly for experience/awards before November 2015. Because what all of us did until Nov 2015 is what got us the scholarship.

You should totally browse through all interviews as well. Checkout Meghna, Jeshvi, Deepthi, Nimisha in particular. All these girls were very down to earth, humble, not over achievers, not really the class toppers. They have been working towards causes they cared, doing things that they were interested in — mostly within college that too. But finally they made it to the scholarship.

Basically the cohort had a good mix of all these people — Fausya, Pooja, Myself — We fall majorly in the hustler category. We work with people and particularly women in tech communities.

We had Nimisha Chinnu, Parvathi — Who were super into tech, wanted to pursue research.

We had Aparna — Who is the class topper, really into academics kind.

And then we had a lot of others who dibble-dabbled into all of these or were multi-skilled.

What I did realise is that there is no specific kind of scholarship winner. Everyone stands a chance to get selected, honestly. What really matters is the student-program fit. Who is the scholarship team really looking for comes into play.

If I apply to a research based scholarship, then I know for a fact that I wont qualify. Because that’s not my forte. But if I apply for a scholarship that is looking for community leaders, then I have a shot. Now not being selected to the Research scholarship does not mean that I’m not skilled or smart. It simply means that I’m not a fit for that particular scholarship 🙂

You create your Bubbles — Use her to your Advantage

So is having bubbles in your head good? I think it is good to some extent, if you earn to use her well.

Coming to think of it, bubbles is a semblance of who we wish to be. Someone we are not right now, but someone we aspire to be.

Swatiii’s Bubbles

This is great in terms of helping you realise what skills you need to pick up and improve upon. Striving to be that bubbles is going to ensure that you keep improving.

But here’s the catch — Are you sure you want to be like your bubbles?

For instance, if I keep feeling that only students into research do well and I badly want to be someone like that just because I think that’s the only way I get a scholarship. But I also know that I personally don’t want to research. I like building products/tools and helping more women come to tech. So now, me trying to be like my researcher bubbles is a bad bad idea!

But let’s say my bubbles is someone who is an elegant leader, who knows how to inspire her people to get into technology and do well, someone who can get stuff done — then I’d love to be like that bubbles and should try to be like her, anyday!

You get what I mean?

Ensure that you have a realistic bubbles in your head to help guide you and improve yourself. And don’t let an unrealistic bubbles bother you or pull you down.

A simple check for you to evaluate if you’re doing well or if you’re thinking realistic is assessing how you feel about your bubbles. Feeling intimidated by bubbles is normal. But does she make you feel bad about yourself? If yes, kill her. She is upto no good.

But if she is positive, welcoming, friendly, encouraging, humble and all that you want to be eventually, she is a keeper 🙂

There’s this thing called as self-fulfilling prophecy — Your thoughts guide your actions. You become what you think. If you keep thinking of yourself as someone you would like to be, it will come true. So watch what you think and ensure you only think of positive things.

Personally, I’m a super negative person. I used to (and still sometimes do) beat myself up for things I do wrong. But I’ve realised that it makes me even more negative and leads me to screw up things even more. And now, I consciously try to make the voice in m head positive.

Finally, what I want you to realise is that you create your bubbles! So you get to decide what or who she is like.

It is natural to give in to our biases and let some unrealistic, nasty bubbles bog us down. But it really is upto us to observe our bubbles, catch her when she isn’t the person we want her to be and change her persona.

On that note,

Make bubbles a good friend of yours and let her help you in improving yourself.

But don’t be afraid to kick her A** if is she’s bad to you!

And that’s my bubbles 🙂

Bhairavi’s Bubbles.