I’ve been measuring my worth in numbers yet again. AP scores, likes, awards, college work. It’s so important to remember that both inward and outward focus are so important. Focus inward on who you ARE, not who you present; focus outward on how you can make the world better. If we’re going to measure ourselves through numbers, look at the lives you’ve changed and the love you’ve created. But remember: worth cannot be quantified.
This wonderful boy just won 2nd in Original Oratory at the National Speech and Debate tournament. This is a photo on the night I met him. The same night, he re-enacted the complete script from the 2017 Original Oratory award ceremony. He played the awards song for me, and he interchanged his name with one of the national finalists. I think both of us knew that this dream would come true one day. - Over the years, I have seen him grow - not just forward, but backwards, sideways, diagonally. I’ve seen him grow into the wonder he is today. And for that journey, I am forever grateful. - Congratulations Avi Gulati 🏆🏅❤️
I’m so excited to announce that I have once again received the honor of being invited to the International Congress of Youth Voices to represent @pfainstitute and the Bay Area. The @intlcongressofyouthvoices has given me so much, and as a delegate, I have found myself surrounded by some of the most passionate, diverse, dedicated, and awe-inspiring individuals I’ve ever known. Thank you so much for this opportunity. I look forward to changing the world with you.
thanks for the feature @aspirants co 💘 go check it out now! link in their bio.
Self love has always been such a difficult concept for me. To me, there’s always something to criticize about myself—my face, my body, my mind. Even in a picture where I’m trying to be completely candid, I’ve got a full face of makeup on. But I think in a world full of tension and polarization, sometimes, we ought to care for the person we know the most. Sometimes, we ought to have a little more self-love. - Thanks for the shirt @theactivismshop !
should’ve asked for a sister #nationalsiblingday
I had an amazing time standing with my teachers today. We can’t put students first if you put educators last. I’m proud to support my teachers and fight for the working conditions they deserve. #RedForEd
Huge shoutout to my incredible cohort for KILLING it with their activism in the past week. @xanushax led a legendary walkout to say #ENOUGH. @navrajsinghh killed it today with his work in the Youth Climate Strike. These are some of the most passionate people I’ve ever worked with, and I am proud to stand with them. The youth are the future.
my face may be :D but my mind is >:(
People say we’re too young to change anything, but we’re looking towards the future with our 2020 #VI2I0N
i always have scrawls down my left arm, meaningless memories that won’t mean a thing in two days. but at the moment the words snap inside my head and my fingers itch to get them out....i guess paper is just too permanent in other news i should probably stop using huji
hi. this is me. riya kataria. no touch ups. no editing. right now, i feel imperfect. and that’s ok. i want to give a quick reminder to everyone that we get so caught up in the rat race of life, and not everyone is perfect. and while social media may show the best of us, everyone has bags under their eyes. everyone has stress. and everyone has worries. the human condition is imperfect, which is to say, to be imperfect is to be human. so hi, i’m riya kataria. tired. a bit sappy. but completely raw and human.
2019? i’m ready for you.
This picture is from a protest in June, when I, along with hundreds of high schoolers, helped advocate for fair conditions for our teachers. I’m afraid to say that much hasn’t changed. We need YOU to help teachers get the pay they deserve. Link in bio under “Petition”. (P.S. Thank you for 10K. Lets make it count. )
Getting to speak at the SAP Center in front of 14,000 people on Friday was a breathtaking experience. Hearing the cheers, seeing the lights, spreading my message—it all showed me why it’s so important to speak up. Thank you for letting me use my voice.
Meeting Ayesha ( @ayeshacurry ) was such an amazing experience! She carries herself so gracefully and she is easily one of the easiest people to talk to. It was an honor to be onstage with her 💘
Had the absolute honor of meeting a Holocaust survivor today. The strength and determination that she continues to display is breathtaking. Thank you. “Have faith, fantasy, courage, determination, and hope that tomorrow will be better.”
Spent the day working as a poll worker for Alameda County. Though I may be too young to vote, but you can never be too young to make a difference. I saw an amazing sight: voters lining up outside the door to make their voices heard. To everyone who voted or participated today, thank you for making a difference. #Election2018
My voter pre-registration card came in yesterday! Even though I won't be able to vote until the 2020 elections, it's ESSENTIAL that everyone who CAN vote DOES! The power lies in the hands of the people; at this point, it's up to choose what to do with it. VOTE VOTE VOTE!!! #Vote #Midterms #Election
comment to get a 1600 on the act and a 36 on the sat
Hi, my name is Riya and I suffer from depression. Not exactly the best way to introduce yourself, but I like to be fairly candid about important issues like these. Today is World Suicide Prevention Day, and it’s a day I hold close to my heart. Suicide has taken one of my best friends and means something much deeper to me to. Here’s a reminder that healing will never be easy. Self help is never taking a bubble bath with candles. Healing is picking yourself up and eating something before you starve. Self help is reaching out, no matter how hard it may seem. Recovery is not a road; it’s a journey. Healing is abstract. Healing will never take the same amount of time for you as it does for another person. Maybe you’ll never feel completely whole, but one day, you’ll be able to breathe without guilt again. That’s what we should live for. Live for laughs that make your ribs hurt. Live for inside jokes. Live for the concert you want to go to. Live for the Christmas present your friend promises will be astounding. Live for hope. #WorldSuicidePreventionDay
touch me someone (i’m too young to feel so numb ) 1/3
i’m big foot and he’s big fool
“Bullets don’t check for ID cards” Proud to be a part of this movement, this change, this revolution with my dear friend (and brother ) @avi_tarthelastairbender It’s our time now. And we are going to go and change the world. #NeverAgain #ENOUGH #MarchForOurLives
A true privilege to stand together with my school today and say #NeverAgain. We have had #ENOUGH and it’s time for a change, and I’m so glad more than 500 people at my school were supportive of that message. It’s time for a change. #PowerOfOratory #SparkLeaders
One and a half years ago, I walked into Room 25 with no clue of what I was getting myself into. Now, after numerous breaks, scripts, events, rewrites, sleepless nights, and too many emotions to count, I could never imagine what my life would’ve been like without speech. Happy Speech and Debate Education Day (Join speech next year! It’s not too late! ) #SpeechandDebate #PowerofOratory #2020Rep @speechanddebate
It’s been two years, but it doesn’t hurt any less. The second person to hold me after I was born, the first person to tell me that anything was possible, and the only person who was completely selfless and full of heart. You were taken too soon. I hope you’re eating all the laddoos you want up there and having a good time. I miss you more and more everyday. I love you Nani.
Here’s to the old friends I met and the new ones I made. You haven’t seen the last of me Cal. #PowerOfOratory #2020Rep
It is sad how we have conditioned ourselves to be used to this feeling of loss. Pray for Florida? No. CHANGE for Florida. Change for this country. Change for the world. We have accustomed ourselves to saying “now is not the time”. But if now is not the time, then when can we talk? We have learned to tune out cries for help, and as a result, they have become as familiar as the sound of the Pledge of Allegiance. And just like this pledge, they have lost the true meaning that once resonated with us. We. Need. Gun. Control. There is no way to stress this enough. It’s not about taking away your “rights”. It’s about creating a nation in which we can enjoy all the other rights by LIVING. Send prayers to Florida, yes, but also send letters to your representatives. Because in a country where we “let freedom ring”, we must make sure not to rob people of their greatest freedoms: freedom to thrive, freedom to love, freedom to live.
National-bound 💓 #2020Rep #PowerOfOratory #NCFL
Too often, we present a false version of ourselves, especially on social media, to pretend that we have a life that is not full of stress and work. But this mentality can be toxic for ourselves and others. We pretend that we do not have flaws, and that is why people love us. However, it shouldn’t be this way. As my dear friend @macho_mehaa says, don’t love someone despite their flaws. Love someone because of their flaws. So hello, hi, this is me, Riya Kataria. This is me without any makeup or my contacts in. This is me swimming in a sea of private school applications, homework assignments, and extracurriculars. This is me thinking about my next speech tournament, and how I can be as great as I can be. This is me thinking about @musingcosmetics and all the ways it’s stressing me out. This is me, flaws and all. And hey, I think that’s pretty damn amazing. ( @avi_tarthelastairbender , does this count as #2020Rep? ) - @adolescentcontent #adolescentgiveaway
“Pray for Texas” Listen, I understand the sentiment. Religion is the first thing people turn to in the wake of a tragedy like this. And that’s great! It’s a solid pillar of faith that is there when you are going through a hard time, and it’s definitely a great option. But here’s why saying “Pray for Texas” isn’t helpful. We like to think that we are helping out in whatever way we can to give ourselves peace of mind. A quick #PrayForTexas and look! You’re a great human being and you can go on with your day. Now everyone who sees the #PrayForTexas thinks you’re someone who remembers these victims and you’ve got your brownie points for the day. But ultimately, these hashtags, these pictures, and these so-called sentiments are ways of, not making those affected by the attacks feel better, but making ourselves feel better. These innocent victims were shot in a church, one of the most important places of worship. They were already praying. A quick “Pray for Texas” or a hashtag isn’t going to help the friends and families of these victims. You know what will help them and the rest of our country? Gun control. Our dear President Trump refuses the acknowledge the severity of our situation at this point. It is clear that if the shooter was brown, Trump would not be ignoring the implications of his decisions. But since the shooter happened to be white, there is no talk of any change. Simply prayers. It’s time for a change. How much longer can we go on before these attacks get bigger? Before these consequences become more severe? America, you already put us on a dark path by electing a president that refuses to do anything but tweet about national policy. Don’t make another mistake. Push for gun control. Contact your representatives, raise your voice, and above all, never stand down. Because if we stand down, then we are allowing so many more events like this to happen. Do not pray for Texas, Las Vegas, Orlando, and so many others. Pray for change. And make that change happen by yourself.
please enjoy the obligatory blurry iphone eclipse photo that i laid down in the parking lot for
if being afraid is a crime we hang side by side
and so it seems i broke your heart
my hair was wild check out @riyakphotography