It feels like yesterday I was driving from Independence to Springfield with my mom, sister and a car full of my belongings.
I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.
A family achievement
When I was young and living in Saudi Arabia and Syria, going to college was a dream. A dream that many kids in countries like the ones I lived in have, but do not achieve.
Going to college was a big deal for my family and me. As I was moving into Wells House, it was the start of truly seeing my mom’s sacrifice being paid off. She fled her home country, Somalia, because of a war, and settled in Saudi Arabia to start a family.
She later moved to Syria for better opportunities. After several years, she wanted her kids to have the best opportunity possible and migrated to America. All of this took a lot of sacrifice from her so that I could be in the position that I am today.
‘Being a Bear is a privilege and an honor’
Missouri State gave me everything and more. I remember my freshman year Welcome Weekend and how fun everything was. I was meeting new people and slowly feeling more comfortable. As each year went on, more opportunities started to come. I continued to accept every opportunity that came up because if not now, then when?
College is supposed to be a time to challenge yourself, get out of your comfort zone, and to have fun. Missouri State challenged me in ways that I didn’t think it would.
No matter what I was going through, there were many resources available for me. There were faculty and staff members who were there to assist me and an advisor that I could email any of my questions to. The beauty of going through struggles is the opportunity to grow and learn. Missouri State helped me do just that.
Being a Bear may mean loving the fountain, knowing the fight song, being able to explain the public affairs mission, supporting our athletics or loving Clif Smart so much that you probably thought about inviting him to your wedding one day. To me, being a Bear is a privilege and an honor. It means that you have pride in yourself and confidence that you can achieve anything you set your mind to.
‘To the Class of 2020: You did it’
As this chapter closes, I will always cherish the past four years. I was scared when I first came to Missouri State, but quickly, Missouri State made me feel comfortable and took me in with open arms.
Although these past four years cannot be celebrated with a traditional graduation ceremony in May, it still does not take away all of the sacrifices many of those graduating this spring made. To the Class of 2020: You did it. You all have made many people proud. We will always be Bears.
Missouri State, thank you for teaching me valuable skills that will help me for the rest of my life. Thank you for teaching me how to be a servant leader and helping others as much as possible. Thank you for teaching me that no dream is too big. No matter where life takes me, I will always cherish the moments I had here.
Missouri State, thank you for making my dream come true.