“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
Looking out of the first floor balcony of my home in Chennai, I would notice laborers; rickshaw drivers and maids lovingly dropping their kids off at school. I could see their eyes sparkle with dreams and hopes for their children. I learned then of my passion to provide quality education to the poor in India.

Walking from Harvard Square on a bitterly cold winter morning, I watched a young man distributing leaflets to sign a petition for energy conservation. I learned then that when the passion is strong, no task is too small, no weather too harsh.

I went "curling" with Canadian friends – what a bad game I played! But I saw how much I enjoyed learning new things, and creating the possibility of new beginnings.

When I watch my childhood friend put her lucrative career on hold for her husband and child, I learn the value of sacrifice, and I learn to respect the choices that people make in their lives.

Over my time here, I have realized that learning is an internal process. I have learned from my friends, from my past experiences, and from everyone I meet. And with everything I've learned here, I plan to create exciting possibilities in my life, and make them happen.

I plan to start that business opportunity that I have been working on my mind. I plan to spend more time with my family, and create memories that last beyond one lifetime. I plan to continue my passion for Indian classical dance. I plan to learn a new language, play a sport, and discover my currently non-existent musical abilities.

I will pursue my goals by learning constantly from people around me. I will need to question some of my old beliefs, worse still, even give up some of them. I will have to open my mind and trust in the greatness of every individual I meet. It might be hard, but I'll learn as I go along. And what fun it'll be – learning every day!

— Sridevi Raghavan