All About Jessie!

Hi everyone! My name is Jasjyot Bhogal, but you can call me Jessie. I am 21 years old, turning 22 later this September. I recently graduated from Kean University in May 2020 with my Bachelors in Elementary Education K-6 and an endorsement in Special Education. With my content specialization in English, I decided to pursue my Masters in English Writing Studies since it will help me in all fields that I have an interest in, especially journalism, writing novels and maybe teaching in a university (somewhere down the road). I was born in NY, but my Indian heritage has been strong in my life. Although I am a baptized Roman Catholic, I also follow Sikhism (which people have always found fascinating) since my mom is South Indian-Catholic and my dad is Punjabi-Sikh. I am an only child, but I make friends easily and have many hobbies (so don’t worry, I don’t get bored quickly :)). I am trained in Western Classical Piano, as well as Indian Classical singing and instruments (learning from my father since the age of 5). I am also trained in a North Indian Classical dance called Kathak. I love travelling, although I have a fear of flying and have major airsickness, so I don’t know how I will visit Hawaii and Turkey (and all the other places…) 😦 I love watching all kinds of TV shows whether it’s the 1950’s “I Love Lucy” or 2020’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” although I would say I never get enough of “Friends.” I am a big foodie, and enjoy trying new foods as well as learning about different cultures. I published my first novel this year August titled A Friend Till the End and a short story titled Kosher (available on Amazon) , and hope to release the second and final part of my novel same time next year. An animal lover, especially of dogs!! All kinds of music are appreciated, especially if they are sung by Charlie Puth and Selena Gomez ;). I am also a huge movie buff, but I avoid horror movies at ALL COSTS!!! *Seriously, keep them away from me*…and I enjoy writing, reading, listening to music, dancing, and just started learning how to cook and bake (making use of the COVID lockdown). I know it’s a lot of information, and it’s definitely not “brief” like it was supposed to be, but I just figured that if this was the only way we would get to know each other, I might as well put everything down here now itself! Apologies if it’s too much, but at least you know all about me 🙂 #elitclass

Greetings from the Messy Middle…

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How have I been doing? Well first I want to know how all of YOU have been doing. I hope you’re all safe, healthy and happy. What a nutty six months! I feel like it has been the longest spring break like ever! We literally went off to enjoy our spring break and never came back. Isn’t spring break supposed to be about relaxation, and involve a beach and a cocktail, possibly somewhere warm and fabulous?! Ugh! What a rollercoaster ride it has been! I’m excited to see the end of 2020 soon, bye Felicia. As for me emotionally I’ve handled these uncertain times a lot better than I had imagined I would. I was uncertain of a lot of things but certain that I would fall apart, and into a deep, dark well of emotional turmoil. But I’m proud to say I have not and will not! My parents even commented on how happy and relieved they were to see me thriving despite the pandemic chaos. Sure I’ve had my dark days, my freak out moments of: why is this happening? when will it all end? will it end? do I have COVID19? will my parents get it and die? will life ever be the same!? But I was able to make it out of that scary mindset thanks to my amazing friends who kept me laughing, my supportive family who wouldn’t allow me to give up and I guess from my own inner strength and self love. One of my biggest fears during the pandemic especially during the onset was that my OCD symptoms would flare up and trigger me into a complete downward spiral. If your unfamiliar with OCD (lucky you) it’s like a sniper attack. It comes out of nowhere at times, always lurking, ready to pounce and when it does, it packs a severe punch to your gut and to your soul. This leads me to the last part of this blog post which is introducing some of you who may not know what I’ve been working on for my thesis. So here goes…

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The inspiration for my thesis project came from an unexpected place. This year most definitely been the year of the unknown and of the unexpected. I was in my creative non fiction class last in the spring before the chaos ensued and we had a required assignment of writing a short, then long form memoir. We also were required to read six memoirs from various authors. Every single memoir we read touched me in some way. I also didn’t expect a simple class assignment to lead me in the direction I so desperately needed, which was for me to finally find a clear path to what I wanted to create for my final thesis project. I chose to write a memoir about my life struggles with anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder. I’ve been a diagnosed sufferer for more then half my life. The memoir which I entitled: The Seashell takes the reader on the long harrowing journey I had to go through from the tender age of about nine all the way into my adulthood. I chose the title based off of a cognitive behavioral therapist who gifted me with a small, shiny, tan sea shell. What was significant about this particular shell was that I was so ravaged at the time with debilitating anxiety and fear, that I handed it back to him after our first session together. I refused to take it in fear that it would cause me bad luck or some kind of harm. He gently handed it back to me and told me to take it, and that everything would be okay, so I reluctantly did. To this day I still have the seashell. It’s been with me throughout my journey. Today it represents hope, and wonder for my future not fear and uncertainty about what is to come. I’ll leave you all with that because I look forward to exploring my thesis more in depth with you all during our class time together. I also can’t wait to read and help peer review your amazing work as well! Over the summer I was lucky enough to hear some of your thesis projects and read excerpts and I was blown away! What amazing talent we have among us and I’m so very proud of us all and excited to see what’s in store for us next! Ciao Ciao! See you all in class, well you know what I mean! Xo

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