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My name is Hana Nafis. I am 18 years old. I am currently pursuing my 1st-year degree in BSc. (Hons) Economics & Management from the Indian School of Business and Finance, Delhi. I am also a graduate of the School of Meaningful Experiences (SoME) and I would like to share some of my experiences in SoME.

The School of Meaningful Experiences offers three levels for all its programmes – Foundation, Advanced and Expert. The Diploma Programme (now renamed Teen Prodigy Programme) was a six-month course. We were taught about the Six Cs  – Confidence, Communication, Curiosity, Creativity, Collaboration and Competence. Every week a new concept was taught, and we had to perform activities like essay writing, reading, watching videos, writing speeches, and debating. The activities were a welcome break from the usual school studies. On a few occasions, we had guest speakers who joined our sessions and inspired us with their stories and speeches. We also visited the Tipu Sultan Summer Palace and learnt about its history, geography and architecture. The six month programme ended with a grand graduation ceremony, and we were awarded our diploma certificates.

In 2020, I joined the three-month Advanced Programme, a completely online affair due to the pandemic. The programme gave us a deeper insight into the Six Cs. We were busy creating videos, advertisements, and our own versions of the TED Talks. This time our graduation ceremony was a virtual one.

Now I had two certificates in hand – Diploma and Advanced certificates from SoME. But what did I really achieve from these courses?

Since my childhood, I have always taken part in extracurricular activities in school, but it was mostly limited to dance and drama. I always envied the girls who could give speeches and who were leaders. I never had the confidence to do the same. However, SoME played a significant role in changing me. I started with public speaking in SoME and went on to give talks in class. I developed the art of speaking in public and learnt to shed my fears. I gained more self-confidence and improved my communication skills. I decided to participate in everything, no matter if I win or lose. I participated in school elections and lost, but it did not break my confidence.

In my pre-university college, I stood for election in my first year. I lost the election again but made many new friends. In 2nd PU, I stood for election again but lost. However, the college faculty was impressed with me and nominated me as the Co-Opted Member of the Student Union because they thought I had leadership potential.

As a part of the Student Union, I applied my teachings from SoME. I improved my communication and collaboration skills and participated in various competitions. I had to play a key role in the college fest, which was conducted online.

By now, I had decided to pursue economics and applied to IBSF, Delhi. I had to attend a personal interview where they had questions about my extracurricular activities. This was the first time I had participated in an interview, but I was confident. That confidence came from the learning experience in SoME and my college union activities. The interview went well, and the interviewers were impressed with my performance in both studies as well as co-curricular activities. They were very interested in learning more about my experience with SoME.

SoME has played a big role in my life.  It has helped me to become a better student. To date, I cherish the memories I made in SoME. Before SoME, I was insecure about my flaws and feared criticism. Now, I am learning to improve myself every day. If possible, I will certainly try to pursue the Expert course at SoME in the future. I am grateful to my parents for encouraging me to join SoME during high school when students are usually burdened only with studies. I wish more students get an opportunity to join SoME programmes and become improved versions of themselves.

Hana Nafis is an alumna of Diploma in Six Cs programme (now Teen Prodigy Programme).