coffee date #20 with sneha dasari
Rutgers alumni, NJ –> NYC –> Hyderabad, recent bride, people person, traveler, Senior Associate – Cybersecurity and Privacy at PwC
me: iced chai | sneha akka: iced americano
location: small world coffee, new jersey
Sneha Akka was always the “big sis” at our frequent family gatherings. All the younger cousins enjoyed spending time with her because she was always so much fun to be around.
Sneha Akka embodies the perfect blend of American and Indian culture, making her a fan favorite for Mama Kode 😂. She’s fluent in Telugu and understands/respects our culture. At the same time, she’s also incredibly independent and ambitious.
What I’ve always admired about Sneha Akka is her straight forward, no BS personality. She has always been someone who called people out on their BS and continued to strengthen her relationships in that way.
Note: This queen recently got married and made an absolutely breathtaking bride! PC: @ro_sne2020
- Change in life is good!
2020 was a wild year for Sneha Akka. She got engaged, married, AND moved to India. WILD.
When she initially told me that she’d be moving to a whole different country, I remember thinking that I could never leave the comfort of NJ behind and completely uproot my life. However, now that she’s lived in India for nearly 8 months, and explained how she found a solid group of friends, developed a healthy lifestyle, and has amazing family nearby, it made me understand – yet again – that change is good!
5 Reasons Why Change is Good For You (courtesy of HuffPost):
- Pushes us out of our comfort zones
- Can experience more
- Discover ourselves
- Makes us more flexible and adaptable
I needed to hear this from Sneha Akka because it’s helping me prep for when I move out of the house and into college in a couple days. Though I’m not moving to a different country, simply moving into an apartment has been scaring the living daylights out of me. However, knowing that Sneha Akka was able to rediscover herself and still create an incredibly cherished life in India, it’s comforting to know that the move to college will be just fine.
- Friendships change over the years!
Sneha Akka said something similar to coffee date #19, who told me that friendships change every 10 years. She said that she is experiencing something similar to that right now.
“I think your friends will change again from your 20s to your mid-30s.” – Sneha Dasari, 2021
She is noticing her relationships with people, who she has known “forever”, no longer being as strong as they used to be. On other hand, she is also noticing that she has created strong relationships with others. This clearly relates to that quote that says “everything you lose makes room for something new.”
I found that I get really upset when my relationships with people who I thought were going to be by my side forever naturally drift apart. I think what I’ve come to realize is that we need to be open to drifting apart while holding onto the good times. If we try to make a relationship that isn’t working work, it’ll no longer be one of our safe spaces. Instead, we should be at peace with knowing that friendships can end and be born at any time during our lives.
- Different types of friendships exist in different types of cultures.
Sneha Akka and I have actually talked about this a couple times before. We both realized that people we know in India have a much stronger friend circle than people we know in the U.S.
“If they want to make an effort, they will.” – Sneha Dasari, 2021
In India, friends are literally your life or death companions. They’ll show up to every single one of your events and be your biggest and loudest cheerleaders. These types of friendships can most definitely be found in the U.S. as well, but we do think that culture and lifestyle plays a huge role in people’s relationships.
America preaches independence and supports hustle culture. India, on the other hand, is a more collectivist culture that preaches relationships over independence. Therefore, the varying aspects of each culture will impact the way people bond with each other across the world.
- The art of traveling comes with many benefits.
Sneha Akka is an avid traveler. Her instagram is filled with beautiful pictures from extraordinary places she has visited, which is why I had to ask her what traveling means to her.
Traveling definitely impacted Sneha Akka’s global knowledge. It helped her become more open-minded since she is exposed to cultures around the world every time she travels.
“When you travel, you see the way different ways people live.” – Sneha Dasari, 2021
Additionally, traveling is a way for her to switch off. Living in such a fast paced world comes with many advantages as well as disadvantages. Taking time off by traveling to different places enables us to hit the reset button.
“Traveling reminds me to live in the moment.” – Sneha Dasari, 2021
Even when she’s on vacation, Sneha Akka supposedly makes it a point to make time for herself to cherish the moments of peace. It’s a reminder for her to be present and live with intent. I love this because oftentimes when we go on vacation we may overbook and try to fit in as many activities as possible. Therefore, we may come back home feeling drained and exhausted, instead of fresh and rejuvenated. This is exactly why Sneha Akka telling me that she ensures that she captures moments for herself even while on vacation was so beautiful.
- Showing up is the best way to show love.
It’s the small actions that leave a lasting impact.
Making time to meet people is one of the best ways to show some love to those we care about. There were many times when I told my mom that I wanted to skip going to this family party or that pot-luck dinner because I was 1) either too lazy or 2) had work to catch up on. However, my mom always made it a point to go to these family events because it shows that we, as a family, care for whoever’s house we go to.
Sneha Akka said that she never realized the importance of simply showing up until last year when she was planning her wedding and all the events in between. She noticed the people who made an effort and cared enough to meet her. It made her feel loved and valued.
Obviously there are moments when life gets too crazy and we THINK that we are unable to make time for people. What we’ve both realized recently is that there is always a chance to make time for people.
- Anxiety can develop at any point in life.
40 million adults in just the U.S. have anxiety. I think it’s important to note that anxiety can creep into our lives during any phase – from a young age to being a young adult to even reaching our 60s.
For some time I’ve assumed that anxiety is something that can only begin from a young age. However, I now realize that anxiety can develop at any time. The hardest part is recognizing when those symptoms arise.
When it begins at a sudden phase in our lives, it can sometimes become so overwhelming because we’re not used to those palpitations, intense feelings of worry, and sometimes even profuse sweat. It’s hard to immediately develop coping mechanisms for a condition that you only recently developed. This is why the first step is to always recognize the onset of these new symptoms.