Realizing my true potential

Bashir Alam

Back in Pakistan, before getting selected for the NWCCI program, my life was very static. I had no ambitions and I was just going wherever life was taking me. My procrastination was weighing me down. I also used to feel very demotivated by the continuous criticism from everyone around me that I was good for nothing, but I was trying my best to do something fruitful with my life. I found a ray of hope when I was selected for this scholarship. Life began to make sense.

Coming all the way to America from Gilgit, Pakistan is a big transition and has been a roller coaster ride for me. The first few weeks were difficult as I was trying to adjust to the new environment, but mentors such as my friendship family and college staff helped me feel comfortable.

One of the first things that changed my thinking toward life was when I went to support a cancer patient in Seattle. The patient
was a 12 year old girl named Helen who was fighting bone cancer. Hundreds of her friends, neighbors, and even strangers planned a “flashmob” for her by gathering outside of her house with signs, music and dancing to show their support for her. The glow in her eyes touched me and made me think this life is a blessing and you only get one chance to live it so you should live it to the fullest. A young girl of her age didn’t lose hope and this gave me inspiration to focus on my life and career.

In addition to my studies, I have participated in many extracurricular activities such as: playing volleyball, doing volunteer work, and attending inspirational and enlightening lectures. I was also chosen to carry my country’s flag at the international carnival. These activities have not only expanded my horizons but have broadened my outlook on life and have allowed me to see the world from a completely different perspective. Meeting people from diverse cultures and backgrounds and sharing and exchanging views and ideas with them has been a great experience so far.

Through these experiences, I have discovered what I am capable of and what my strengths are. I have realized I am very good at socializing and my friendly nature is what people love about me. One of my best qualities is that I am a good listener and people feel comfortable around me. This year abroad has made me realize my true potential and has raised my self-esteem. I now take my life and studies very seriously and I make sure that I work hard in order to make my teachers, mentors and parents proud.

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