Stand up for yourself and tell your story

Photo by Sam McGhee on Unsplash

The teleprompter was just the right speed for my eleven-year-old self, the lights were just the right amount of brightness, and the red glow coming from the ‘CNN’ logo shined on my face as I read that day’s breaking news.

Five years later, there was still a glow, just from the yellow lights in the House Chamber as I stood and read my testimony on behalf of all student journalists in Virginia.

My goal in life isn’t to cure cancer or solve world peace, it’s to use my words as my power. As a young Indian-American woman, my potential career…


In times of turmoil, there is still hope for mental health

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We’ve all seen the Instagram threads. The countless articles on Facebook. “How to Be Ten Times More Productive,” or “The Best Self-care Tips!” I see these constantly popping up on my feed now more than before, but they aren’t as helpful as they intend to be.

Mental health was already a global pandemic, way before the coronavirus. And the last thing I need right now is someone else to tell me what I should be doing for self-care or productivity. …


It’s funny how as human beings, we leave pieces of us behind in things we love. We take our vulnerabilities and shove them into others’ hands, positive that they won’t drop them.

When someone asks me why I write, a million thoughts pop into my head, yet I still cannot give just one answer. I won’t say I write to express myself, because that’s cliché. I don’t write to escape reality either, because everytime I write, reality is knocking at my door.

Instead, I write because I trust the world to hold onto my thoughts. …


I was three days old when my sister cut my hair.

There were sparse tufts of black fluff on the floor everywhere, and when my mother came into the room, she flipped. When questioning my sister, she merely responded that she thought I was a Barbie doll whose hair could instantly grow.

I‘ve always admired my sister because she’s everything I’m not. Every sentence I speak is about her, and somehow, I manage to bring her into any conversation. When I was younger, I would follow her around everywhere, like a little clone.

Little did I know, her and I…


When you open yourself up to someone, you put all your vulnerabilities into them. You take your fragmented thoughts, formulate them into words, and pour yourself out into a world where opinions are rarely heard. Essentially, you become raw, like a moving target, waiting for people to pinpoint you. And afterward, all you can do is hope; hope that they love you, and hope that they accept your voice.

I do this every day.

It’s my job as a student journalist, I tell it like it is. No sugarcoating, no sprinkles. Every time an article of mine comes out, a…

Pratika Katiyar

Journalist. New Voices Advocate. Newsletter: pratika.substack.com

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