December 13, 2020 / Source: The Bizz USA
By Haarika Kalahasti; Edited by Adya Kumar
Although COVID-19 has negatively impacted many small businesses, individuals have begun to step up to promote change. Another very special organization that emerged during this pandemic is Astral Cognition.
Astral Cognition is a platform for those who feel like they don’t have a voice for their creations to be heard or seen. The creative platform was created by Shikha Bhattacharjee and Rajvi Chandna, two high school seniors who met while studying in India. When quarantine occurred across the country, the two got the chance to rekindle their friendship and reconnect over Astral Cognition. They both had many instances with creators who were afraid to display their work and experiences in fear that they don’t get the kind of feedback they want. “It is so prevalent that there is an underlying thing in society that only people who are brave enough can put their creations up and be appreciated”, Shikha says. “There’s also lots of stigmas around creativity and what it looks like. There’s no one way of expressing creativity. It’s unique to everyone and we wanted to help people realize that through Astral Cognition”, Rajvi says.
Currently, Astral Cognition targets mostly young adults and teens, although available to anyone through the use of various social media accounts. In order to promote creativity and break the stigmas around it, they have a few youtube videos, even a podcast series that shed light on more personal stories and accept submissions on their website. As for the type of submissions they accept in their “creators hub”, they feature visual creations, audible creations (songs), written creations (writing), and news and updates (blog).
What differentiates them from other organizations is the fact that they are completely teen-run, meaning that most of the content and direction is created themselves. The fact that they accept submissions from all people and in any type of art form also makes them especially unique, as they have a variety of viewpoints and perspectives to showcase on their creative platform.
It’s truly inspiring to see the leaders of Gen Z, like Shikha and Rajvi, use their voices to help others! When asked about the biggest reward they’ve gotten in creating Astral Cognition, Shikha said, “getting to know that people actually care about what we do. Some people sent appreciation mails and it was really nice to see that they cared about Astral Cognition.” Along the same lines, Rajvi said, “You know you’ve won something when people just don’t want shoutout for shoutouts, likes for likes, follow for follows, but a collaboration. Even if two people in the world like your work, that’s great and you know you’ve won now.”
When asked for advice they’d give to aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners, Rajvi stated, “plan and have a positive attitude. Don’t get drowned in all the negativity and all the things you can’t do. Just don’t give up and always keep your head up.” The two entrepreneurs started Astral Cognition in a matter of 36 hours and managed to build a large platform. Shikha’s advice is to “just do it. If you want to get somewhere, you need to fail a little bit. After you start to plan a bit, you’ll be fine.”
The two leaders hope to continue Astral Cognition beyond high school. “We didn’t expect it to get this far. It is hard to manage school, extracurriculars, etc. Instead of watching Netflix as we used to do at night previously, we are now working on Astral Cognition. But it’s really fun and we’d love to continue to help as many people as we can.”
The Bizz USA recommends that you check out Astral Cognition, the impact it’s making, and the opportunities you can partake in! Their passion to lead in the community is something the world needs a bit more of, and it’s impressive to see young leaders, like Shikha and Rajivi make a difference!