Prerna Sharma

Bridging dreams and reality - Incoming Class of 2021

Parsons ADHT’s Casey Haymes chatted with students from the Parsons incoming class of 2021 to capture their final weeks of academic anticipation.

Would you like to walk us through the memory of learning you were accepted to Parsons?

I was studying for my final exam of Accountancy. It being one of the most difficult subjects, I was super nervous; so much so that I hadn’t even checked my email in a week. I remember that it was around 1:00 a.m. when I took a five-minute break. I turned on my laptop, signed into my email account and saw a couple of new messages but none from Parsons. Then I clicked on my junk folder and, lo and behold, there was my acceptance letter! The next thing I know, I’m in my parents’ room, waking them up and crying because the months of hard work had finally paid off! My five-minute break turned into an hour break.

Name five products you’ve designed in your dreams.
● An aesthetically pleasing recliner.
● A purse with straps that don’t hurt and which is big enough to store a makeup bag I’m designing.
● Luggage that never reaches over the airlines’ weight limit. (A girl can dream.)

In reality.
● A customizable makeup bag.
● A compact workstation with push-to-open drawers, inbuilt storage compartments for wires, slab for extra space, and detachable bins.

What are your top 3 concerns about starting at Parsons? Graduating from Parsons?

More than 85% of my graduating high school class is going into fields such as engineering, medical, and commerce, so you could probably count the people who were genuinely interested in art and design on one hand. I think it’s going to be a bit daunting at first being completely surrounded by such a huge number of insanely creative people all the time. Also, being so far away from home is going to be tough. I’m originally from Delhi, India but I’m moving from Doha, Qatar, where I’ve been living for over 15 years.

Parsons’ has been my dream school ever since 10th grade so I’m hoping it’s everything I dreamed about, and more! Being such a highly reputed institution, I’m sure that the program is going to be very rigorous and is going to challenge me in every way, shape and form…so here’s to hoping I am able to stay on top of my work.

Which is worse, being right or wrong?

(These are some heavy questions, hahahaha!) I don’t think either one is any worse than the other. No one is ever always right or always wrong. It’s your reaction to being right or wrong that matters.

If you’re wrong about something and don’t take the opportunity to learn about why you are wrong, then it is the worse of the two.

Whereas, if you’re right about something and are smug about it, then being wrong is better.

What inspired you to visit Parsons (in Mumbai) in 10th grade? Can you share some impressions the experience made on you?

I decided in 8th grade that I wanted to pursue something in the field of art and design because even though I was good at all the other subjects taught at school, I was never as interested in them as I was in art. So, through research and by talking to people, I found that there was a college named Parsons in Mumbai. From what I’d been told, it was pretty good. You can only understand so much through your research online and you only get the real feel once you physically visit the space. My parents and I decided to visit the college to get a better idea about the application process, courses offered, and the way they would be taught. While we were there we spoke to a counselor who gave us a tour of the place and explained what each course was about. She also reviewed some of my work and gave me a sense of what would be required in the portfolio. Being there definitely inspired me to work harder and smarter.

Image from Parsons Mumbai

Habits you hope to break while at Parsons/TNS? Hope to keep?

I hope I can stop jumping from one unfinished project to another with a new one in between. I also hope that I am able to stay inspired, which I’m sure won’t be very hard to do seeing that I’m going to be living in New York City. (Fun Fact: My name means inspiration in Hindi!)

What about your dreams helps you keep your reality real?

I have A LOT of dreams and some pretty intense ones too. More often than not my dreams feel so real that it’s almost like I’m awake. Coincidentally my dreams are a very good place to get some inspiration!

Being accepted into Parsons has been a dream come true, which gives me confidence that if I work hard and stay dedicated, I may be able to achieve a lot more. One must also remember to stay grounded and true to oneself.

Plans for stress management?

Time management = Stress Management

How many times have you impressed friends and family and coworkers that you’re moving to NYC to attend TNS and Parsons?

I’ve never been this excited to go to school, so I’ve lost count. My parents, grandparents, and aunts have told all of their friends and our family that I’m going to The New School!

What about this journey are you most excited to share? Least excited to share?

I’m excited about sharing this journey with people who are like me (and very excited to see Van Gogh’s Starry Night at the MoMA! My New School ID = free entry to the MoMA. I’m not very excited that I’m going to have to start adulting in less than a month.

I learned how to ride a bike when I was 8 and now I’m going to be riding it in New York at 18.


Connect with Prerna on Instagram @_prernasharma_

All images courtesy of the artist, unless otherwise noted.