Continuing our series of blogs spotlighting some of our inaugural Beedie Luminaries meet Zainab Zahra. Zainab is starting her first year at UBC, taking a Bachelor of Arts. Read more about her story in the Q&A story below.
What is your name?
What post-secondary school will you be attending?
The University of British Columbia
What program will you be taking in post-secondary and why does it interest you?
I’m going into the faculty of arts at UBC simply because I always felt myself drawn towards what Arts has to offer more than other faculties. Things like learning a new language or writing a book is what makes me really excited.
Tell us a little bit about your background (growing up, going to school, extra-curricular activities, etc.).
Growing up I always kept more to myself and as a result, I had more chances to explore my own interests at my own leisure and so when I finally got to high school, I focused more on myself rather than academics and extra-curricular activities because I hadn’t figured myself out entirely. Honestly, I still haven’t. Eventually, I started to volunteer more in my school along with my usual community volunteering. Out of school, some things I did were like volunteering at the BC Children’s Hospital and writing for a Muslim youth magazine (usually fashion and food articles :)). I also had to focus more on my grades which I did manage to raise with some time and a bit more effort. Believe me a lot is possible, what matters is you actually get up and do rather than think. In school I joined a bunch of clubs and volunteered here and there for events but my most memorable club and position was as the stage manager for my school’s theater club and it was quite fun because I learned so much!
Who inspires you, and why?
This is a question I don’t really have a straight answer for because there’s so many people that do such inspiring things all the time that it’s honestly a little overwhelming to think about. I really can’t choose. However, there is something that really drives me and inspires me to want to work hard and do great things in the world and that is teenagers just like me. See, when I walk down the hall in high school I see a lot of other kids just like me, that have goals and hopes and want to make a difference and are probably at the same time fretting about a test coming up that they had no time to study for because they had to work a late shift at the drive thru a few blocks east to save up to hopefully attend university because they crave knowledge. So many obstacles block a person from doing what they really want to and I want to be able to rise and proudly say that I, someone that was once in their shoes, deem it to be possible to make your way to something from almost nothing.
What motivates you, and why?
For me, might sound a bit pessimistic (I assure you I’m a big optimist though), but I tend to think about people that have not believed in me before, people that don’t believe in whatever I’m doing because I want to work even harder and prove them wrong. That’s because I’m the type that hates losing. If I do happen to lose, I learn from my mistakes and work even harder to make sure that doesn’t happen again and if I fall, I make sure I fall forwards.
What are your goals for the upcoming school year?
As I’m going to be commuting to and from school, chances are that I won’t have as big of an opportunity to get to know my school, it’s community and events, as well as have more time with extra-curricular activities. That’s why my main upcoming goal is to find the balance of keeping my grades up and joining extra-curricular things like perhaps intramural sports and clubs whilst working and commuting.
What is one thing you learned in high school that you will take with you to post-secondary?
Learning how to be independent is crucial. It’s important to remember that everyone has tons of things on their mind, tons of things to do and because of that chances are that you might not always have the support or company that you’re used to 24/7. So it’s important to learn to rely on yourself to do things. If anything, doing that just helps you to understand yourself better. And knowing yourself is going to be what helps you rise to your fullest potential in the future.
What is one piece of advice you’d give to future Luminaries?
The future focus video is your chance to let those going over your application to actually see you in your zone. Sure you might want to be professional but you want to be genuine about it. Crack a joke, cook a meal, wander through the streets like you normally like to, to really stand out.Back To Top