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Maddi Bazzocco
Entertainment

My Best Friend Started a Podcast

One of my best friends, Sri Akkineni, started a podcast during quarantine, and I decided to interview her on her journey and where she sees her podcast going in the upcoming years! Sri is a junior at the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, PA. She is a double major in Neuroscience and Gender, Sexuality and Women’s studies on the Pre-Medicine track. She started her podcast with another friend, Roshni Yaradi, who is a senior also at the University of Pittsburgh. 

What topics do you typically discuss on your podcast? 

Sri: Our podcast was aimed at talking about multiple issues such as mental health, body image, race and, in particular, our South Asian background and how that impacted our life. We also love to talk about college life because we’re both so far from home, and we feel as if it can be a relatable topic for most of our listeners. In the future, our goal is to release five episodes per season. As of now, we are planning on recording and then releasing our first season in December. Roshni and I want to talk about different topics each time during those episodes, and we want to address issues that women face every day but don’t necessarily vocalize.  

What encouraged you to start a podcast?

Sri: Definitely, the fact that I was at home and in quarantine. I am an only child, so I don’t have many people to talk to back at home, and I started to feel as if my mental health was at an all-time low. I wanted to create a project where I could reach out to different people and talk about important topics that everyone struggles with but doesn’t vocalize. I thought it was necessary to show people that they are not alone and that everyone deals with issues in their day-to-day lives, whether that be their body image, academic goals or mental health. 

Do you have a favorite episode?

Sri: My favorite episode was the first one we did because we talked about body image, and that is something that I struggled with. My co-host, Roshni, and I got very personal, and it was uncomfortable at first, but it was nice getting my story out there, and I really hope it helped at least one person realize to be confident in their own skin. I believe that so many people across the world, regardless of their gender identity struggle or if they have struggled with body image issues, and I want them to know that they are not alone. Also, this was my first episode, so it was sentimental to me.

What message do you want to get across to your viewers?

Sri: I want to get across three essential messages. Firstly, I want my viewers to know that it's important to love yourself and put yourself before anyone else in your life. I know it sounds cheesy, but you are the only person in the world that will accept yourself unconditionally. I also want my viewers to know that others' opinions should not influence their own. I struggled with that too, but it is so important to take everything with a grain of salt and believe in yourself. Lastly, live your life! It is easy to get caught up in the little things, but I want everyone to look back and know that they lived their life to the fullest. 

Where do you see your podcast in the next year?

Sri: So, Roshni is currently a senior, and she is graduating soon, unfortunately, but with the help of technology, it is easy to work on the podcast virtually! I do want the podcast to be more up and coming, and I really hope it reaches a more diverse audience-- not just college students. I’d love for others at any stage in life to listen to my journey, and if it impacts at least one person, then I’ll know that I did a good job as a co-host.

Thank you for the interview, Sri! I’m so proud of you for stepping out of your comfort zone and creating a project that can help so many other people. Everyone, please lookout for new episodes coming through this fall, and be sure to check them out on Spotify and Instagram!  

Good luck ladies!

Rea is a senior majoring in Biological Sciences on the Pre-Medicine track at VCU! Her favorite things include binge watching Netflix, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family! She is an advocate for women's health with hopes of becoming a physician in the future.
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