Interview 2 – `Star Bright’

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Jadah Kundanmal is  a  Sri Lankan A-level student, studying Psychology as well as English and Business Studies. She agreed to answer some questions about the Big Issues in life, from her POV:
Q1 Jadah, in your view, do teachers, other adults & parents put pressures on their kids unknowingly?

JK: In my perspective, allowing the young ones to be more aware of issues could benefit both parties. The child and the adult, as the child will give  their opinion on the situation and this would create a broader image to the adult. The young ones in this generation are generally mature enough to comprehend certain situations adults deal with, so rather than viewing their response with a bias I believe that adults could really gain something out of their opinions and potentially change  their views on the young ones and be aware that they too have a strong mind of their own.

However – for example – letting your 15 year old know about every single problem you adults deal with can be tough on the child as he /she could go into a potential depression, depending on how vast the problem is, but subsequently he/she will come to an understanding that depending on whatever situation it is whether it’s a good thing or a bad the child would rightfully become more responsible and be more conscious about ‘Real problems ’ rather than worrying about break -ups that happen on television series. This will affect the adult’s life and child’s life in a positive manner.

I strongly suggest that: before projecting any issues with your young ones, adults should be aware of the consequences of their actions. As then your problems will become theirs and this can blind them from their own life problems and goals. Positivity plays a lead role when it comes to achieving something: no one can be depressed and have the will power and rational mind set to succeed. I understand as adults life can be complicated and tough and you are bound to feel lonely along the way, but remember that a child is battling to build their own future and your sorrows can turn into their losses. So even in the darkest of times be wise because once something has been said it cannot be erased.


Q2: Self-esteem is a prevalent issue, in your age group, we are told. Your views?

JK:  Well, I believe as a teenager/young adult there are always complications when it comes to believing whether or not you are ‘good enough’ in some aspect or the other, it can bring you down and this very issue can make people want to fight it, this is when pressure kicks in as no matter how hard you try to succeed, if you let yourself believe that you are not good enough you are never going to make it.


In society today, I understand that physical appearance plays a lead role in how someone would initially judge someone, so the urge to stand out and be the best in comparison to everyone really is a pressure in this society today. It is really sad how people in this world decide to suddenly believe that the only way someone is going to like them as a person is if they go on a diet and lose 20 kilos, or that wearing the most expensive bag around will get them an extra 2 to 3 new admirers. Judging someone based on their looks has  turned into a trend that is non- immune to change. This pressure about wanting to stand out can be viewed in a positive manner because wanting to stand out and be good at something is a great thing if It is for a good reason – but the thing is that the majority of people do not intend to stand out for the right reasons. There is a lot of jealousy involved, especially through materialistic things as I guess it’s a way of presenting that they have something the other doesn’t. Being completely honest,  I do not wish to be an ordinary individual, we only have one life to live and I want to live it to the fullest, so do not get me wrong: wanting to stand out is honestly a beautiful thing, it is such a great psychological motivation because it pushes each of us into becoming better in our own way, but do it for yourself and not for society.

Q3: What do you see as the most significant challenges you & your peers face, and how do you think you will deal with them?

JK: Alcohol – most of the people my age or younger would have dealt with or will deal with this, depending on their own situations and thinking ability. A lot of people seem to be drinking now and it is almost viewed as a normal action because of the majority of people that consume it. Growing up with friends that do it can probably be tough because maybe you always have the urge to do it, you probably feel left out or you feel that you do not fit in. So you allow yourself to get into thinking that ‘okay, maybe this isn’t so bad. What could one sip/ glass do to me, by the end of the day my friends will be proud to call me one of their own because I’ve finally got the courage to take risks.’ Or you are out having a boys’ night out and everyone in your friend circle is having a drink and you feel obliged to have one yourself even though you know you do not want one. You are afraid that people will think you are not manly enough. This is just an example of a type of pressure young people have to deal with, but it all adds up to one thing, the constant battle with yourself allowing yourself to think that you are not good enough. So I suggest that you stop worrying about what people have to say, because at the end of your journey no one is going to be next to you for sure, and if you live a life where you have to keep proving to other people that you are worth it you would never have the time to stop and appreciate yourself. I understand growing up with a generation like ours is extremely tough because people can be extremely judgemental when they chose to be, but do not stop living your life because of them. Grow for yourself and be a happy individual this way no matter how hard they try to bring you down:  if you let them do that, you would not be a part of what society has in store for you.

Q4: Intense rivalries? Difficult to navigate, at times?

 JK: Yes it really is.  In my previous question I mentioned that competing to be better than each other has really blinded people. It gets pretty hectic, but then again there will always be competition at any age. Even a seven year old kid wants to have more toys than her/his friend but it only intensifies at our age in my perspective. Where we do not agree with many people who would go to any extent into achieving what they need to, this again can be a good thing as it shows how determined someone could be which as we get older is a harder mindset to persuade ourselves to have.

Q5. Do you think some of our society elders are right, when they say that young people have lost their way? Kind of lured by materialism & lacking a sense of groundedness?

JK: I have learnt a lot of things actually but I mainly understood the value of my parents and how important it is to always have a truthful and open relationship with them no matter how old I get. I know that education is the only way I would ever become successful and yes everyone is aware of this fact but I believe some of us take it for granted and this causes us to lose the real meaning of it.  I learnt that the only way someone could truly be happy is if you let God into your life and allow him to guide you through life because without God I would not have any light in my life so even though I would be living it, I would not be able to feel it. I learnt that I should appreciate everything whether it is small or big. I understand that in order to grow in life you are allowed to be selfish sometimes if that’s what it takes to get you to where you want to be in life because at the end of your journey it will be you that will benefit from it and no one else.

I have learnt to become more compassionate to all kinds of different people and I strongly understand how helping someone else would not only help them but it can affect your life and you can become a greater human being in your actions and thinking ability. I have also experienced the meaning of love in both dark and light shades in life, from my family and my close friends. I learnt that betrayal is not a hard thing to overcome and it can be healed in time. Time is also very precious to me and I would never take it for granted. Overall I have learnt to see the good in every situation and this has really helped me in many ways as now I believe that no matter what situation I have to face, it all happens for a reason and either I would learn from it or it will just be a reward at the end.

Q6: What motivates you? Please use as many words as you like!

JK: Motivation is the toughest part as it is so easy to get carried away, sticking to it can be a struggle but having a set mind helps. I like to visualize everything I need to achieve and picture myself already achieving it so every time I get the tendency to give up, I close my eyes and allow myself to feel the sensation I get when picturing what my life can be like if I stick to what I have to do and I crave that feeling of happiness so I throw away the negatives.

A lot of things play a lead role in my motivation: the first thing would be God, I know that He would not want me to waste my life doing absolutely nothing and so I try to understand the potential I have and keep going. I have a few dreams that hopefully will turn into reality someday: one of these is, that I want to make it into the singing industry and slowly small opportunities are coming my way, which motivates me immensely.  When I sing/practice, I create an illusion that I’m doing it in front of an audience  so there is no room for errors. This motivates me because every time I get better I’m one step closer to being where I want to be someday putting aside my other ambitions, this is my passion. I give credit to the people around me now that are such great influences in my life and they too motivate me because in their own ways they are inspiring. So having good friends is important because they will push you and make you understand that this is where you want to be. When I’m bored or just need a kick to wake myself up I watch a few inspiring youtube videos that help me to stay motivated and make all my goals seem a bit more fun which I guess is okay. I also want to be a strong, positive minded individual so doing good things for myself keeps me on the right track. My parents have also motivated me with their strength and support, because in everything that I have wanted to do in life till today they have completely supported me. Finally I would say that if you truly want whatever you need to accomplish in life, you will do it with no hesitation because it becomes something you love doing and when you love something you do not complain!  So I believe it is highly up to you – at the end, I am responsible for my motivation and so are you for yours.

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