Student Spotlight - Jacintha Thota | Aga Khan Academies

Student Spotlight - Jacintha Thota

22 October 2020

If you could be magically transported to one specific location right now, where would it be?

Ask me this any day and my answer would probably be the same: Oxford, England, where I lived when I was younger. Given how temperamental Hyderabad’s weather has been lately, the gloomy chill that envelops Oxford around this time seems particularly alluring. In addition to the emotional ties I have with the city, I am forever enamoured by its steady, hushed pace and old architecture – styles so diverse, yet all surrounded with an air of mystery. 

What are the top three things you like about the Academy?

The very first time I visited the Academy, way back in grade 7, I remember thinking “woah – everyone seems so friendly here.” This close-knit school community that I have found endearing from day one is among the things I still hold closest to my heart . Anyone can find a home here; despite our little quirks, there’s always those few things that tie us all together. On a more personal note, the teachers at the Academy have had an indescribable impact on me as an individual and learner. I love how open they are to building close relationships with us students - there’s so much that I’ve learnt while simply dropping by a teacher’s office or during an impromptu corridor conversation. It is with their support and encouragement that I continue to realise my passions and potential. Lastly, ( though it was a tough call) our fantastic campus - my little bubble of peace away from the city. Some of my happiest memories are set in the long walk to the roundabout, the amphitheatre stage, the tree-lined jogging trail, and my go-to table at the commons. 

What is keeping you focused and positive?

The engulfing stress of digital school and the DP is balanced almost solely with the time I’m spending with the people I love, even if it is through a quick FaceTime call or movie night. My friends and family have done so much to keep me afloat and smiling, with the prospect of meeting some of them soon being one of my greatest motivators. I’ve been learning to give myself a break, and to prioritize my commitments to keep myself from falling into an endless pit of academic and social to-dos.  I’m also spending more time on my hobbies - my overused oven, art supplies and yoga mat are testament to this! 

Biggest cause of frustration/challenge during lockdown?

The ambiguity shrouding the future has been quite stressful, particularly as to when the virus and its impacts will blow over. Sometimes it feels like a long tunnel that just keeps extending and there’s no way out. With more questions than answers on how the next few months will be looking it’s so easy to fall into a rut and give up every inkling of positivity and hope. 

Any things you are finding really beneficial about the lockdown?

Anyone who has been doing the IB for a while knows that down time and a full night’s rest can be a little hard to come by during the school term. This may seem trivial, but the lockdown has allowed me to get my sleep schedule on track. Under normal conditions, as a day scholar, I would be on a bus around 7 am and come back home exhausted in the evening, but recently, I have been well rested – a definite aid to my DP experience. 

If you had a chance to pass on one piece of advice to your fellow students right now, what would it be?

Just hold on to the things that are bringing you joy and keep sight of your goals. Don’t waste your breath on media and influences that get you down, but channel your energy into your passions and put your best into what you’re doing.  We’ve got this!