Meeting Peers and Facing Fears

by Aditya Chintalapati

My first week has been a fantastic mix of making friends, finding my classes and making sense of this enormous campus. So far, Technology Entrepreneurship is turning out to be one of the best and most inspiring classes that I have taken in college. I did not really know what to expect when I came to this class but, how can one not be excited when your professor comes into class on the first day and says “Look around because some of you in this very room are going to start businesses that you will sell for millions of dollars”.

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Words of inspiration at the Stanford STVP office

Almost immediately, we learned that this class would be almost entirely group project based. We were each assigned a sticker and a name tag to demonstrate our skills and given 45 minutes to network with each other towards the end of class. Not since my freshmen year have I had to form a completely new team with people I don’t know.

With an incredible level of anxiety, I started talking to people. What if people didn’t like me? What if I would be stuck doing something that I really hate? Or even worse, what if I would be stuckwithout a team and would be force to drop this course? It had only been three days since classes had started. What was the professor even thinking?

I began to go up to people with a pounding heart and started talking to them. “Hi, my name is Adi, I am…” and I am fairly certain that I messed up with the first couple of people that I talked to. However, it got a little easier as I continued to talk to others. I was surprised by how comfortable everyone seemed to be and how open they were. This made me want to be more confident and I forced myself to stick around and talk to people, even after the official class time had ended. By the end of class, I had a number of people’s email addresses and phone numbers and I hope to connect with them soon.

Overall, it was an important learning experience for me. I do not yet have a concrete team but I have met enough people to know that many of them share similar ideas as I do and it should be possible to form a team or join one to work on a project that I would be interested in. I think that the biggest thing that I have gained from this experience is the confidence in being able to something similar in the future. I will probably be just as nervous if I have to do it again but I am reassured knowing that I can get through it with at least a little bit of success. Time to get back to people and try to get a team together!

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