Why the UC Yearbook 2019-20

These students are the chosen ones. They have not only gone through a rigorous college year of trying to put together an enviable college application, a sharp portfolio, faced rigorous ups and downs, they had to also endure an unprecedented situation that the world - schools, colleges, universities - have never experienced! 

This is the UC cohort of 2020 and this is their yearbook - Reflections! 

Let's read. Let's get inspired. 

A Note from the Orange Team at University Connection (UC): 

This yearbook is in no particular order. 

The yearbook is not an exhaustive listing and includes only all those scholars who chose to share their stories. 

UC Students come from all parts of the world and have applied and made it to colleges in India, United States, Canada, Switzerland, United Kingdom and more. 

Some have scholarships to boast about, some have a life situation that they've been braving; some have strengths in academics, others have brilliance to showcase on the canvas or on the field. 

We are proud of all our UC scholars! 


Frizia Rounak

Woodstock School, Musoorie

I made it to 4 universities in UK- Royal Holloway, Derby, Lancaster, Queen's and 1 university in Europe - Geneva School of Diplomacy, where I'm finally headed.

I think college planning has been fun but stressful at the same time. Transition from ICSE to the AP board was difficult for me as I had to work extra to fulfil my college requirements. 

However, with Ragini's tremendous help in college research and keeping me focused and motivated to submit applications on time, it was a very educational experience. 

I think my counsellor made my life easier by helping me with college research, essays, keeping me focused, and pushing me to meet important deadlines. 

My parents feel that this journey has been helpful and fruitful.They liked that they were always updated about everything and were constantly in touch with the UC team.  


"Frizia, you're going to make it big some day. All the best for this beautiful journey ahead!"

Huunar Narang

GD Goenka Public School, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi

I made it to York University, University of Waterloo, University of British Columbia, University of Toronto in Canada and OP Jindal in India. 

(An Economics and Business aspirant.)

I was surprised to find out that college planning is more of a 'self discovery' journey than a requirement for higher education. Initially, writing those long essays that seemed never ending were just workload for me in 12th but I'm glad I did it because it was much needed for me to realise my strengths and weaknesses and use them to my advantage rather than fitting into the general standards of perfection. Apart form this, the process required a lot of research, effort in terms of writing and rewriting essays and forming my own opinion rather than trusting people blindly. 

All of this might've not helped me be extremely clear about my future or career but definitely helped me gain more knowledge about how the world works and clarity in terms of my interests in academia. 

University Connection not only guided me in terms of college applications but also in terms of school life. It did not pressurise me when my grades were dipping by reminding me about the college requirements, rather helped me make a timetable and improve. 

They, without a doubt, push you to do your best. I am a CBSE student with little experience in writing essays, but Ragini ma'am and Charushilla ma'am always brought out the best in me and helped me improve with notes and feedbacks. I joined them with a very firm decision of applying only to Canada but towards the end of the year wanted to apply to India and UK as well. The entire team was extremely supportive, understood the circumstances and helped me with it even though I was late. 

My mom found it extremely easy and helpful to contact the counsellors whenever she had a doubt regarding college. She agrees that their expertise was required. 


"Huunar, you're smart and beautiful inside- out. You have a long way to go and given your grit and determination, there's no stopping you!"

Kamakshi Sheodaan

The Pathways World School, Gurgaon

I made it to Nottingham Trent University, Oxford Brookes, Essex and Bath Spa University in UK.

(A Psychology aspirant)

"Kamakshi, you are the life of every interaction. Your versatality is inspiring. Team UC wishes you love and luck!"


I think my counselor made my life easier by understanding me and where I come from, and we were on the same wave length, and because I had a personal connect with her, I could speak to her about issues beyond college work, I knew I could rely on her and I did, and college planning and work never felt like a burden but a smooth process. 

Siyona Baweja 

Jesus and Mary College (Economics Hons), Delhi University

I got offers from Durham University, King's College London, SOAS University of London and Geneva School of Diplomacy in Geneva.

College planning has been confusing and exciting at the same time. Exploring the plethora of courses, conducting intensive research about the university, carefully studying the environment of the place have been the crucial steps involved during the planning process. 

It has been hectic and stressful at times, but the excitement and curiosity of what could be, pushed me to work towards a direction. 

My counselor made my life easier by giving me answers to questions that no one else had. Even though there exists no right answer when it comes to such life decisions  and the counsellor cannot decide for you, having someone to guide you in whatever way possible is always a help. I feel my counselor didn’t decide my path for me but helped place me on one. 

My parents are positive that my counselor will continue to provide support for the rest of my journey. They felt that they could always reach out to the counselor and discuss their concerns. 


"Siyona, you are the embodiment of intelligence and humility. You are sure to make your mark with regards to matters of world peace and more. Keep it up."

Smiti Patni

National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), New Delhi

I made it to Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM), Kent University, University of Delaware,  Jefferson University and the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) where I'm finally going to pursue a Masters in Creative Business Leadership 

"Reinventing the fashion industry, one day at a time! - that's how we see you Smiti. Hope the whole world realises the depth of your imaginative mind."


As a senior in an undergraduate degree, I knew that I needed to specialise in the unique aspects of the fashion industry and thus, I found myself hunting for graduate programs in the US relating to the business of fashion. This journey has been important to me because the 8 months of working and counselling towards reputed universities could help me rise above the crowd 2 years from now. 

Ragini Ma'am was always very proactive. While we were in a time crunch during the entire process of sending out my applications, she made sure she was setting realistic deadlines and helping to eliminate the pressure. She did make my time at UC very fun and smooth but also made sure we were meeting our deadlines, with the best versions of my work. 

Devyani Chandra

Mayo College Girls' School, Ajmer

I made it to University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, Waterloo, Boston University and Drexel University. 

(A special acceptance to the prestigious Trinity One program at the University of Toronto.)

With me, there was always this sense of anticipation about doing all those things which I had watched my sister do when she was applying to college four years before me. 

When the time finally came for me to jot down 650 word essays that sounded authentic but relatable, I had to prioritize between what I wanted to do and what I needed to do, which burdened me with some tough decisions. At the same time, there was the added pressure of not falling back on my grades and the resume I had to build up. 

However, in the midst of this chaos, I found myself delving into the depths of my personality, my experiences, and my interests. I questioned various beliefs of mine, and struggled to make sense of sometimes impossible word limits. Many a time, frustration and anxiety took over me, and led me to doubt myself and my abilities. But in the end, I learned to be strong, and smart with how I approached each task I was presented with. Most of all, I realized that in order to achieve even the smallest of my goals, I could never lose belief in myself. College planning was a journey of self discovery for me, in a nutshell. 

This time is very burdensome and emotionally wrecking for anybody, especially as a teenager. I think my counselor helped me most by being a source of motivation and a voice of reason in the midst of heaps of confusion. I learnt important lessons through my counselor and her presence helped to ease out the burden of the entire application process. Considering that, I cannot put to words the gratitude I have for the entire team at UC for guiding me through the entire stressful process. 

My parents believe that their journey with the team at UC has been one of mutual trust and support. Throughout the application process for both my sister and I, my parents attest to having learnt immensely from the team and also establishing a channel of help from their end. They were most satisfied with the way the team went forward with each application. Overall, they believe that this partnership was successful, and they wish the team the very best for the future. 


"Devyani, you are extremely modest about your achievements. Your ability to dodge distractions and stay aligned towards your goals is inspiring. Keep aiming for higher ground!"

Varenya Gupta

Modern School, Barakhamba

I made it to University of Manchester, Queen Mary, Cass Business School - City, University of London  and University of Bath in the UK for Business Management. 

My college planning journey has helped me a lot in determining the field I want to choose for higher education and and the right career path. It has been an amazing ride so far and all of the team members  have truly put in their best efforts for me.


"We hope you have a wonderful time in College, Varenya! May you reach out to your entrepreneurial wisdom. We believe in your dreams."

Mishika Modi

Narsee Monjee University, Mumbai

I made it to University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin, Ireland for Masters in Accounting and Financial Risk Management

"Mishika, taking cue from your love for Chess, may you stay the Queen of your life and enjoy the freedom of taking it where you want!"


College planning was an essential part of my career. I was confused on how to differentiate among different colleges and also how to choose between different courses. With the correct guidance I was able to explore my interest and choose what I want to do in my life further. 

My counsellor made my life easier as she always gave me reminders for upcoming deadlines. She also gave me proper instructions on how to tackle my application form. The major help, however, was in explaining what my essay actually demands, and helping me push myself to write better. My parents felt that I would not have been able to sort things out if my counsellor didn't look into it. 

Jasraj Singh Malik

Shiv Nadar School, Noida 

I made it to York University, McMaster and Ottawa University in Canada. In Europe, I got through Erasmus University Rotterdam and Utrecht College University, where I'm finally planning to go. 

College Planning has been tedious process for me, from finding the best course for me to staying up perfecting essays, but exciting nevertheless because there was so much to learn at every step of the way. 

My counselor made my life so much easier by motivating me and guiding me with the work that had to be done. My counselor was always there to help me every step of the college planning journey and find the perfect college for me. 

My parents are very grateful for all that she's done. She was always there to answer their doubts and kept them in the loop at all times. 


"Jasraj, you inspire us in ways more than you can imagine. Stay the same!"

Ashinjina Santram 

Mayo College Girls' School, Ajmer

I got accepted at Flame University, and  Symbiosis University, Pune. 

(India applications in-progress)

The most important thing that this journey has taught me is "Whatever happens, happens for a reason". I, since the start was very adamant on a particular college and didn't care enough to research about the others. But alas I was deferred from that College and was disappointed and disheartened, but that made me research other colleges as well and I found that the College I was keen on was giving a very average course for my major compared to so many others. 

I submitted several other college applications and was selected in all. I have now decided my College and I am proud to say that the college I have decided to go to is offering me an expansive course for my major along with several other engaging opportunities. 

University Connection and Charushilla Ma'am have been my constant support and guide throughout this stressful time of college admissions. I am a boarding school kid so I couldn't meet them much nor did I have access to my Phone and my Laptop usage was time bound. Along with the technical difficulties, I was also so busy with school activities and studies, that working on college applications was very difficult. But because of Charushilla Ma'am and her team I still was able to go about the process with as much ease as it was possible. They were understanding of my situation and always helped me to give in my best. I am really thankful to them in every way possible, I really couldn't have done this without them. 

"Ashinjina, you are dynamic and brilliant! The best is yet to come. Keep upholding your grit."


My mom has literally appointed Charushila Ma'am as her bestfriend. Any problem she has not only pertaining to me but also to her career life she calls Ma'am up with no hesitation and Ma'am is always there to help her and guide her. She has not only helped me grow but has also helped my parents grow in every aspect. 

Noor Sharma 

Amity International School, Saket

I got accepted at UC San Diego and Boston University's Kilachand Honours College.

Whenever I looked up my role models on my boxy old computer, I always found my sight lingering on the Education section of their Wikipedia pages, the way it shaped their personalities and lives could only be reflected in the success they were then. This was soon superimposed by a habit of spending hours just looking through my high school seniors’ linked-in pages. 

I knew what I’d have to do to fulfill my dreams of being the best version of myself and stand on the same pedestal as them, getting into my dream school. The process though tiring was extremely addicting and it was great to learn and experience things I probably wouldn’t have one had I not chosen to apply abroad and work with UC. From international competitions, travelling to 2 different continents in my senior years and still moving up grades in piano and holding exhibitions for my art. Looking back the journey seems unreal. UC almost became a second home and Ragini ma’am topping my frequently contacted’s list. The few months I spent writing my essays was probably still the most strenuous as they required introspection and answers to questions I would’ve probably never thought of otherwise. But it all boiled down to tremendous self-growth enabling me to look at my self objectively and make decisions rationally. The college process has led me to immense self-awareness and realisation, and that’s what made it so important to me. 

I first met Charushilla maam at the beginning of my 11th grade, and 10 mins into our first interaction I knew I wanted to complete the most important journey of my highschool years, the path to my college, with her. I wasn’t completely unaware of what I wanted to do, it was Economics but in a way that I fulfilled my desire to learn and grow in fine arts and music as well, that part, I still couldn’t figure out. The Orange team in the first month itself conducted aptitude and SWOT tests to help my prioritise between my hobbies and passion. Ragini maam with her reminders and deadlines always helped me push boundaries and get the work done, but what I liked best was just how approachable she was, I wouldn’t think twice before calling her. The journey has been wonderful, meetings with Charu maam always insightful, the Orange team always eager to help out and widgets such as CIALFO to make the process completely transparent. 

All these together helped me achieve all that I had aspired to and more, moulding me into a more self-aware human, I’d like to thank UC for all their efforts. Yet, the best part is that time spent with the Orange team isn’t that much work as it is an experience and the comfort that you will always have a group of people looking out for you because when you enroll at UC, it’s not for a fixed timeframe. 

"The process has been extremely enriching and we couldn't have chosen a better team of counselors to guide Noor through her college applications process."

           -       Mrs. Sharma 

"Noor, your versatality shines through all that you do - a true artist by hand and by heart.  As you continue to be someone who's always lived up to her name, may you make the most of life!"

Angad Lehal

Modern School, Barakhamba

I made it to a few universities in Canada like University of Waterloo, York, Alberta, McMaster, Queens, Ryerson and Carlton.

"We hope good things keep coming to you, Angad!"

College planning is a very integral part of planning for higher education. It is a very tedious task and involves country search, college research and subject research. The college planning was very focused and result oriented under the guidance of Charushilla Ma'am and the Orange team. 

"Angad, you are the Scholar who loves to be on the horse! May you race through all your challenges and reach the greatest of heights in life." 

My experience with UC was amazing. They were there to support and guide me at each step of the planning and the application process. My parents were also very happy to be a part of the UC family. 

Sidharth Menon

Isha Home School, Coimbatore

I made it to King's College London, UK 

(BSc Mathematics with Management)

The storyboarding sessions really allowed me to reflect on important experiences that would assist me throughout the process. Thank you UC for this valuable experience. 


"Sidharth, here's to continuously learning and adapting. Hope you have an amazing adventure in life!"

Want to talk to our UC Scholars? 

Once our students go through the rigorous college planning process and join university, the UC Scholars become part of a UC Peer Mentors group. They not only stay connected to the University Connection team of Orange Counselors, they also become our Connects for future students. 

Write to connect@universityconnection.in or connect2mentor@gmail.com 

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