A Journey of Resilience: Katyayani Jha's Homeschooling Odyssey
Hello, I'm Katyayani Jha, and today I'm sharing a glimpse into my past, a narrative of resilience, self-discovery, and embracing unconventional paths.
The Early Years:
Turning sixteen, I am a homeschooling teenager in Mumbai, India. My journey began four years ago, a departure from a seemingly ordinary school life in New Mumbai, Maharashtra.
School Cliques and Challenges:
Navigating through a prominent school, I found myself amidst cliques – the high-achieving "Toppers," the admired "Sports" stars, the creatively inclined, and others. Unfortunately, I fell into the shadows of the "Forgotten Students" clique, often overlooked, bullied, and ridiculed.
Battling Bullies and Psoriasis:
The struggle intensified when I faced bullying and developed psoriasis at the age of eight. Enduring harsh comments and isolation, I faced a barrage of challenges that affected not only my academic but emotional well-being.
My mom, recognizing the toll on my confidence and well-being, considered homeschooling. Despite initial family reservations, we took the leap, and it turned out to be a pivotal moment in my life. Homeschooling became a canvas for rediscovering my talents and rebuilding my confidence.
Embracing the freedom to explore, I delved into music, writing, and instruments. The homeschooling environment allowed me to unearth my strengths, demonstrating that unconventional paths could lead to profound self-discovery.
NIOS and On-the-Job Internship:
I opted for the NIOS route, completing my 10th grade a year ahead. Amid preparations, my mother stumbled upon an advertisement offering on-the-job internships for teenagers offered by a Bangalore based company called Econstruct Design & Build Pvt Ltd. Intrigued, I took the chance, realizing the potential benefits.
A Leap of Faith to Bangalore:
Leaving Mumbai for Bangalore, I confronted fears and loneliness. The on-the-job internship, initially a solo journey, introduced me to a supportive environment. Shraddha & Sandeep Pingale ,founders of Econstruct are the guiding force, encouraged me to break barriers, even initiating daily vlogs that transformed my self-perception.I have secured a paid internship in Econstruct now.
At the age of 16, I never thought I'd secure an on-the-job internship. However, I was fortunate to join the team at Econstruct Design and Build Pvt Ltd, a Bangalore-based company led by homeschooling parents Shraddha & Sandeep Pingale. Specializing in Interior Designing, I gained hands-on experience with software like AutoCAD, Sketchup, 3DS Max, REVIT architecture, completing 4 to 5 live residential projects in less than 6 months. The founders provided excellent mentorship, and I expanded my skills by exploring areas such as event management, business management, and talent acquisition. Organizing placement drives in top engineering colleges of India was a rewarding part of my journey. This early exposure not only boosted my confidence for building a career but also highlighted the importance of cultivating good habits and practicing productive time management in both personal and professional aspects of life.
Overcoming Fears and Transformations:
Facing camera shyness head-on, recording daily vlogs became a catalyst for confidence building. The experience prompted positive changes in my routine, from early wake-ups to improved eating habits. Stepping out of my comfort zone, I am evolving into a new version of myself.
As I stand on this transformative journey of unschooling, I reflect on resilience, breaking societal norms, and embracing the unconventional. Life away from the shadows of school cliques and bullies has opened doors to self-discovery and personal growth. I look forward to the future with newfound strength, knowing that life has remarkable things in store for those who forge their paths.