“Moving to Thimphu when I was on the brink of teenage-hood was scary and exciting, all at once. Having moved from the humble town of Bumthang, I saw that Thimphu was a city of opportunities. There were a lot of different people, doing different things. They possessed different skills and had different living styles. This was a place where I could explore a lot and I was beyond excited to do so. But I always had difficulty opening up to people; even today I am hesitant to speak with those I’m not close with, which is one of the greatest struggles I face. Additionally, at 13 I was a very small boy, physically, and I feared my classmates who were bigger than me. It is quite funny in retrospect how these same people are now my closest friends. I soon found my place and my people.

The city of possibilities has given me a lot of things while growing up. One of my favourites is that it helped me restore my interest in music again. When I was younger, people would find me humming, singing and rapping all the time. But somewhere along the way this had stopped. Puberty had changed my voice and it was almost as if I didn’t believe in myself anymore. Now, I feel confident enough to sing and even post covers on social media. I guess I could have opted to make a career out of music, but perhaps music is supposed to be the passion I come home to. As I grew up, another set of possibilities led me into the world of computer science.

I am doing my Bachelor’s degree in IT; this has given me a general direction in life. However, it is self-exploration which really drives me. My friend and I have a Start-Up which focuses on solving problems using technology. We always wanted to explore into blockchain, AI and AR among other fields. There is so much we can learn besides just the college curriculum. We aren’t sure how far our Start-Up will go but the only way to know is to try. And even at a relatively young age, I know that I would rather take risks than accumulate regret.

I, like most people, have faced constant battles with self-doubt and low self-esteem. As cliché as it may sound, it does get better with time – as we grow, we learn more about ourselves. I feel more comfortable in my own skin now and I am more certain about my goals. Having a supportive and loving family helped as well. Staying home for most part of the year, I have learnt to appreciate their presence. I now cherish all the little things that I previously took for granted. I want to say that it is important to face new challenges without fear but a little bit of risk is essential for growth. We are, afterall learning and growing, as long as we refuse to stop. At the same time, be gentle to yourself, and always take good care of yourself.”

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