It has been a pleasure being paired with Parisa Talukder and getting to know more about her for this Academic Self Project. As incredibly busy students juggling both school and work, we decided it was best to communicate through text. Our swift exchange of information made me realize how incredible of a person she was. Parisa’s academic story, filled with mental and emotional struggles, not to mention her road to recovery, is one many would admire.
Though originally from New York, Parisa attended her k-12 years in Georgia at the following schools: Suwanee Elementary, North Gwinnett Middle School, and North Gwinnett High School. Afterward, she started college at GSU in the Fall of 2016, interested in math and technology. Parisa’s transition from high school to college did not come easily; she experienced inner turmoil regarding what she wanted to do and who she wanted to be. It led to her decision to take a two-year break to focus on herself before returning with the determination to complete her computer science degree. Parisa plans on continuing her associate degree at GSU’s perimeter college and eventually earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the future.
As I got to know Parisa more, I noticed there were certain aspects of her academic self I could undeniably relate to. She described her past self as irresponsible, confused, and uncaring due to her battle to find a balance between school, work, and personal health. Constant distractions and procrastination harmed her productivity, something I feel most students go through. Parisa also struggled with mental health illnesses, some including ADHD, depression, and anxiety, which affected how she perceived her academic self. To her, it was like fighting a losing battle until she was able to get proper help. Not only did she deal with mental health issues, but she also encountered problems with stalking, relationship mess, and academics. Parisa revealed she “had a severe problem with giving up,” and luckily, she wanted to change that aspect about herself.
Upon realizing the dangerous path she was on, Parisa took time off to reevaluate her goals and improve her mindset. She spoke to specialists who encouraged her to work on personal development skills and taking ownership of her actions. During her break, Parisa managed to find a major to pursue, become a top employee at her retail store, and be a reliable background extra for the tv show “Legacies”. She even gained the confidence to return to school again with the intent to dedicate herself to her studies. Parisa received immense support from her family and most importantly, her boyfriend. Her improvements over time allowed her to describe her current academic self as organized and confident.
While some college courses may be dull, Parisa has found taking Dr. Becky’s courses rather fun and helpful. She finds the content interesting and even has a favorite article from the previous semester with Dr. Becky. The “Face-to-Face Courses are Superior to Online Classes” was the one Parisa like the most as it helped her change her mind about online classes. She initially struggled with online platforms but with effort, it was something she could overcome. Parisa also had to find a way to continue her diligence towards her academics with classes being mainly online. She found that “communicating with the instructors or peers increased my work ethic” and encouraged her to manage her limited time wisely.
I feel extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn about Parisa’s academic self. I realized that all students have their own stories and struggles that have played a role in developing who they are academically and as a person. Parisa exemplifies this as someone who was able to turn her struggles into determination for success. If she could do it, so can you. It is possible to turn your life around if you are truly willing to change yourself for the better.