Life In: Manipal

My name is Nithin Devireddy. I am 23 years old currently living in Antigua Barbuda but making a permanent move to Atlanta, GA in mid-July, but I spent the last 4 years of my life studying and learning about the world in Manipal, India. I am currently doing M.D from a joint International University between Kasturba Medical College in India and American University of Antigua medical College in Antigua Barbuda. So if all goes well(fingers crossed) I should be getting into my clinical rotations by the end of this year and on my way to become an Orthopedic surgeon in the coming years.
               I had the privilege of getting to know the beautiful Katherine Nolden over the course of 4 years at Westwood High School, Austin Tx. Needless to say I was completely mesmerized by her never-ending drive and spirit to excel at every obstacle that stood in her way. She is empowered with a fire that few people have and many search for. She is one of my closest friends and I am still amazed that she kept in touch with me while I was literally on the other side of the world. One of the saddest days I can remember was saying good bye to her in the WW small gym and know that I wouldn’t see her till half a decade later.
               Moving to India when you’ve been completely been submersed in in the “American system” is not only a mental shock but also a physical one. Especially when you leave every one or thing you have known for a campus literally in the middle of a jungle. Going to India was like going through the five stages of grief.  As I first got to Manipal, a town where it rains for 6 months and then maintains a 100% humidity and heat for the other 6 months, I was in complete denial and mostly just angry. I spent a year just trying to adjust to the environment and language barriers and not to mention a 180 degree diet.
               As the years progressed, we as humans have the most incredible ability to adapt to situations, and I began to accept that if I wanted to reach my dream I would have to grow a pair, get my shit together, and do what I came to do…become a doctor. We had classes 8-5 every day with sometimes even on Saturdays. There were no summers or winters, seasons and break, you had a month and a bit off every year. It was a fast track to becoming a doctor but with every bit of struggle and endurance an American medical student had to go through if not more. But even through this impossible schedule, the key to keeping sane was a combination of friends that became family, 12% beer, and owning a most fantastic motorcycle. The combination of the three would prove to be the savior to all things while lost in the jungle.
They say you don’t realize what you’ve lost till it’s gone. A statement I usually laugh to because our lives are so short I believe that you take things as they come and dwelling on the past only hinders ones movement to the future. But while many end stages of grief with acceptance I left India grieving.  Why, because, through the cracks of the daunting task of becoming a doctor in India there were moments of pure bliss and beauty. A secret that I chanced into discovering the day I was set to leave India. That life in itself is extremely simple. The people of India have no gray area. There is right and wrong, there is do or do not, and there is survive or die. My eyes where open to the fact that the world outside of America is truly a jungle. But in that jungle you can find the true meaning of freedom and happiness. That validation and success lie only after you’ve gone through the struggle. Lessons that if I hadn’t learned I believe I would have been more lost leaving India than when I first came.
               “The road to one’s destiny is paved in many colors; some take one road some take two. But a luck few ride every road and paint the world in colors never seen before” Don’t lay idle be content to doing only what you can. Break through your shell and become a color that will make the world a more beautiful place.
Thanks Nithin!
Nithin & I in the Homecoming Parade 

DBC: monthly update

I will say even though I enjoy reading and I read relatively fast I was a little daunted when I told myself that I would need to read 2 books a week! Well like the overachiever I am not only did I read all the books I set out to read each week (except I haven’t finished one this week) but I also read 3 MORE!

So let me give you some quick thoughts on the books I read so hopefully some of you will grab one and start reading!

Born to Rule: this was a major historical date/event fest, if you do not like nonfiction or history then don’t pick this one up. I will say I learned quite a bit about some of the major Royal players in the WWII era. I also think I need to read up on some more of the five granddaughters of Queen Victoria!

Sorry I’m Not Sorry: I read this in about and hour… while working out on the elliptical… while keeping my eye on the news… but I loved it. If you are offended easily then this isn’t for you but if you can see the ridiculous in this book then it is for you. I will say I was kind of put off when it ended so abruptly but then I found out the author is coming out with a sequel…

American Heiress: LOVED THIS BOOK! If you are pinning for Downton Abbey then this book is for you! I loved how it ended, it wrapped up fantastically and it was incredibly well written. Read it.

Sisterhood Everlasting: Like I said when I told yall I would be reading this I greatly dislike books that make me cry/depressed. Well I think the tears started falling around the second chapter and then DID NOT STOP. It was incredibly sad story that ends remarkably well. Putting this book down I was both happy and sad and my outlook on life was changed. It was one of those books that will stay with you, especially if you read the first three books in the series.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: this story was incredibly inspiring. I will say I might have glazed over when he was going on and on about electrical currents and how exactly they work (I’m a liberal arts major) but the entirety of the story is so uplifting. It shows us (who don’t give a second thought when flipping that switch on the wall) how such a simple thing as electricity can be so important and how one person can make a difference.

One Thousand White Women: the only one I haven’t finished but so far it is incredibly interesting! This part of history I’m not too familiar with (since it doesn’t involve a Tudor or England or the American Revolution) but I am learning a ton!

Ana’s Story: again this was a very fast read (as in I finished it before my plane ride to Vegas was halfway over) but it was an eye opener. It was a beautiful book and one that I think every middle schooler should have to read. It contains a great amount of information in the back about how you can help children affected with AIDS and who go through abuse. It makes you want to give up your job and work for UNICEF.

Great and Terrible Beauty: I had read this book before but reading it again I found so many things that I hadn’t found before. It is a great fantasy book. Not fantasy as in the way of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and Twilight but think more ancient magic fantasy. Very creative and a great read.

Now to the books that weren’t on my list for this month but still got read anyway:

Rebel Angels: this is the second in the Great and Terrible Beauty Trilogy and it is just as great at the first book! Also just like G&TB it is so creative, the entire series is!

Sweet Far Thing: the third book in the G&TB trilogy! A little longer than the first two books but it was a wonderfully written book. I did cry at the end and I wasn’t exactly happy with the ending but not everything can be tied neatly in a bow and given a kiss right? But I would recommend the entire series!

She Walks in Beauty: this is a Historical Fiction romance novel that I bought on sale in the local Christian bookstore, just by that you know the ‘romance’ part is extra lite. This was a great book and I think I was meant to read it at this point in my life. It follows this young girl in NYC during the gilded age as she makes her debut and the pull between what her family wants her to do and what she wants to do/what her heart is feeling. I will probably read this again sometime, it’s a feel good book.

Total Tally: 11/24 (almost halfway and it’s only the first month! My 24 list is going to be checked off!)

tote bags

There has been a plethora of canvas tote bags all over my Pinterest lately. Personally I don’t see the draw of having a canvas bag that costs more than my monthly budget. I mean think about it you are probably going to stuff it with a bunch of crap and tote it to the beach and it’s going to get sandy, wet and sun screeny. I saw a post on a blog I like (Capitol Hill Style) about how one of the trends she is sick of is a tote bag that cost more than $100. Hallelujah I wanted to giver her a standing ovation. So I decided I was going to make my own new summer tote for under $15.

The expensive ones:

Mine: (pattern from here) I busted mine out by the pool in Vegas last weekend! Oh and it works great as a second carry on bag when you buy too much and can’t fit it all in your suitcase

Maybe I will make another one now… can you ever have too many bags? NOPE.

Wakin’ up in Vegas

I had so much fun this past (long) weekend in Vegas! I came home with some money still in my pocket (yay!) crossed off a few things from my 24 list (namely winning blackjack hands and to start writing a book!) and I got to see my mom for the first time since March!

Here are a few pictures from the weekend!
our view from our upgraded corner room

the first winnings in Vegas! 25 cents… on a roll

joanie and her birthday margarita!

me, Lisa, mom and Brooke

getting ready to zip line over Fremont Street
we bought shorts at Walgreens so I wouldn’t flash anyone!

after ziplining, Brooke’s face = true story
the conservatory at the Bellagio, I love the umbrella Poppies

adorable after 50 years

the whole group on my last night
getting some sun at the pool
meanwhile back in Minneapolis…

rush: 101

I have been getting some emails about Rush and how to best prepare for it etc… So I am going to do a couple posts about What exactly Rush is, how to prepare for it and how to act during Rush! I have gathered together a couple friends who are going to help me with this. All are either sorority alumni (like me), current members or Recruitment Chairs. Some of you might not know but Recruitment Chairs and current members are not allowed to have contact with PNMs (potential new members) so all these tips will remain anonymous. I will only put the state from where they rushed to give you some sort of idea as to who/where they are coming from.

*disclaimer: this is NOT personal experiences of mine. Everything written does not apply to my alma mater or my sorority*

So let’s start this off!

1) What is Rush?
       Also called Formal Recruitment, Rush is a series of social events that allow potential new members (PNMs) to meet with current sorority members. The goal of these events is for the PNMs to see which chapter they believe they would fit best in and for the current members to determine if the PNMs would fit with their chapter. At the end of Rush, which depending on the school can usually last from 4-7 days (some last multiple weeks), the sororities offer bids to PNMs who they believe are the best fit for their chapters.

2) What are Letters of Recommendation?
      Letters of Rec serve as a formal introduction of the PNM to the chapter. The letters help the chapters become better acquainted with the PNMs before the formal recruitment process begins. They must be written by an ALUMNA member of the sorority you send the letter to. These letters are sent directly to the chapter house not through the Greek Life office of your university. While Letters of Rec are usually “not required” they actually usually actually are. If a PNM does not have a Letter if Rec it is an easy way for sororities to cut you right off the bat. That said, it is usually easy to get a Letter of Rec. Most chapters have an alumna club in your city. It is easy to contact them and set up a meeting with an alumna. Also, this is a great way to begin networking. You probably know more sorority alums than you think. Ask teachers, friends’ mothers, your mother’s friend & work colleagues. You want Letters of Rec for each sorority at your University. It doesn’t matter if you think you might not want to accept a bid from that house you still want to get a Letter of Rec for them.

3) What is a Legacy?
    A legacy is a PNM who has a relative who has pledged a sorority. If your mother/grandmother/sister/aunt/cousin has pledged Chi Omega you are a legacy in Chi Omega but not for Gamma Phi. Legacies are one of those things where if you do not know what it is you are probably not one, but there are some people who do not know if they are or not.

4) How do I apply for Rush?
   You need to visit your Universitiy’s Greek Life website. There will be something on their to give you guidance on how to apply, pay your fees, and where to send your packet.

5) Do I really need pictures for Rush?
     YES! Do NOT  NOT NOT use facebook photos (or anything of the like). You want the sororities to have beautiful photos (multiple, around 3-5) of you sent directly to their house (along with those Letters of Rec…) so they can see you when they are reading your resume and answers! If you apply online the chapters usually only get a black and white photo of you that can be of less than stellar quality.

Use this table to get your stuff together. Fill it in so you can keep yourself organized! The color and philanthropy you might need to search online but trust me they come in handy!

If you have not started finding Rec Letter writers or taken your pictures yet start NOW. You do NOT want to be one of the last people getting everything in. Your goal should be to have everything in (through greek life and to the chapter houses) by Augsut 1st!

The next rush post will be on how to make a good first UNSEEN impression! Think Rush resumes, pictures, Letters etc. Anything and everything that might be sent to the chapters before you arrive on their doorstep.

States contributing to this post: Alabama, North Carolina, Illinois, Texas and Florida

Let me know if you have any questions!