collage of student faces

 

Amal Umerani 23C

Amal Umerani “During the past four years, I've learned a lot, but the biggest thing I've learned about myself is that I am confident. Serving as Co-President of the Pakistani Students Association, I've learned to be a leader, even if I don’t have the answer to a situation that a student in my club is asking me about. I will say, "Oh, let me get back to you on that," or "Let me ask someone else." Working in this role as a President I've learned a good amount about respect and understanding.”

Tina Zhen 26C

Tina Zhen

I've learned that I am much braver than I thought I was. I had to fly 20-plus hours to get here and transfer three times from my hometown of  Saipan, which people are often surprised to learn is a small island in the US. In Saipan, there are limited resources. We don't have direct flights to Atlanta, so I had to go to our nearing island Guam. I then had to fly to Japan and into Newark. From there, I finally made it to Atlanta. It was hard to say goodbye to my family and friends back home because whenever there are breaks, maybe people here can fly back to their families who are a few hours away but I can't. It was difficult for me to decide to go to college away from home, but I think I made a great decision and I feel like I'm brave for doing so, and I don't regret anything.”

 

Paris Bates 23C

Paris Bates“I'm a transfer student so I initially went to a different school. It was a really small community and not at all that diverse. I realized that I wanted something a bit bigger because it reminded me too much of high school. I ended up transferring during the year of Covid. As a result, I spent my first year of Emory online. Things turned around for me when I started to actively engage in theater. Even though it was online, that's where I met a lot of friends and started growing my community at Emory more. I think all of the faculty members in the Emory theater department have been mentors to me. They've all been helpful with me trying to find my path in college, and then trying to give me opportunities that I can find after I graduate. They've always been a rock in a sense that they make sure that I don't get too nervous about life after graduation, especially now that I'm a senior. They’re like, “It's okay to do theater after graduation. You'll find a way!”

Noor Aldayeh 21Ox 23C

noor aldayeh“I'm Syrian, and Jordanian-Palestinian, and I grew up in a really white neighborhood and had a lot of shame in my culture. I had immigrant parents which complicated things even more, but coming to Emory I found a cultural community that I never had access to before. I am able to advocate for things that are happening in the countries that I'm from, and I don't think I'd be able to speak about or advocate for my cultural identities as explicitly as I do now if I hadn't met other people from those identities here."

 

Shaan Bhasin 25C

shaan bhasin“One way in which I've been able to bond with my friends is through deejaying. I play a lot of music in my room for my friends, and we just have a really good time. I love playing music for them because it helps me to shape my own little community in my room. I just think that the idea of deejaying to me is just symbolic of community and camaraderie. I think it's so much more than just playing with a little button, and I love that!”