April 5, 2022

Student influencer Shrinidhi Gunda Reveals The Importance of Embracing Your Roots

One of the Seven Social Standards that The Social Institute believes in is: Finding Your Influencers. This means surrounding yourself with positive role models who support you and encourage you to play to your core. To help students find these positive and credible influences, we began our Student Influencer Program. Each week we select a different student to take over our Instagram and highlight how they act as a positive influence and inspiration in their communities.

This week, we are excited to introduce Shrinidhi (Shri) Gunda. Shri is currently a sophomore at North Carolina State University majoring in Psychology with hopes to double major in Business and minor in Hindi. She is especially proud of her multilingualism; Shri is fluent in seven languages! Additionally, she is proud of her ability to have fun and help her friends step out of their comfort zones. Shri says that she is a very impulsive person and that it tends to work in her favor, yet it is sometimes a ticket to her own downfall. Learning to manage her impulsivity has taught her a lot. She is also proud of how much she matured in the past few months. Seeing people in her life that share her same flaws has highlighted them to her, and helped her realize what she needs to change to be a better person. Shri has also recently completed her arangetram, which is the graduation ceremony for Bharathanatyam. This is an ancient Indian Classical dance form that strives to tell stories through the use of expressions and body movements. She spent twelve years working towards this day and finally accomplished it on January 5th, 2022 after rescheduling multiple times because of COVID.

shri gunda

Recently, we interviewed Shrinidhi to learn more about her and how social media impacts her life. Here is what she had to say:

What do you value about yourself or others?

I value my resilience and persistence when it comes to things I want. I spent 12 years of my life learning Bharatanatyam: an Indian Classical Dance form. I value my determination to complete things when I truly desire to do them. I value when people are good listeners and express themselves to me. I love to help people with their problems and listen to them. 

What are your personal goals?

My personal goal is to help young Indian women facing similar struggles that I faced growing up; to let them know they aren’t alone and enable them to have a safe environment to release their emotions and find emotional support. I also seek to find happiness for myself and become a role model for younger immigrant children. 

What are the things you try to accomplish each day?

I try to eat three meals a day, get my homework done, and attain happiness at the end of each day. I love to reflect upon my day and see what I could do better tomorrow to increase my happiness. I also try to spend time with my friends everyday because my happiness comes from them. 

What or who inspires you most?

My dad inspires me the most. He has changed a lot and learned a lot for my sake. He consistently attempts to understand me and how different my life is from his. He tends to never yell at me but be more of a friend. He listens to me and helps me with my problems, and I hope to be half the parent he is one day. 

How has social media acted as a positive influence on your life?

Social media has given me a way to express myself and find myself in a sense. I follow a lot of pages for immigrant children that I can relate to. Growing up I felt too Indian for my fellow Indian peers and too cultured compare to my other peers. It helped me find my place and make friends who are similar to me and face the same problems. 

Of our Seven Social  standards, which one would you most resonate with and why

I resonate the most with Handle the Pressure. I tend to receive a lot of criticism, and I use the criticism to become a better person. The pressure to be a positive influence encourages me to become more mature and be a better person. The pressure to portray myself as someone the Indian youth resonate with does not always coincide with the older, conservative generations. This has resulted in me finding a middle ground to be able to please the two and make my own path. 

If you could go back and talk to your younger self, what advice would you give to her about navigating social media or social relationships? 

I would tell myself to not put too much focus into social media or care too much about what people think. Growing up I used to take everyone’s opinions to heart and allow it to ruin my mood. I have learned over time that people will speak and harbor dislike regardless of whether or not I choose to try and please them. 

The Social Institute partners with schools nationwide to empower students, families, and educators to positively navigate their well-being, social media, and technology. Schools access our student-respected, turnkey curriculum through WinAtSocial.com, an interactive, gamified learning platform. With solutions for students, parents, and educators, we offer a systemic and comprehensive social media and student well-being program through a unique and positive approach. We are proud to serve public and independent partners such as Ravenscroft School, Woodward Academy, Oldfields School, All Saints Episcopal School, Lake Forest School District, Boston Public Schools, and more. For more information on how to empower your students to make high-character decisions online and off, please contact us.