Dear Hoda

Hiiiiiiii Hoda,

You’re going back to school! You’re starting your first week, and you should be excited, happy, dreams should all still feel possible, and you should not be stressed out yet. You’re not allowed, I forbid it! I know you really really wanted me to write a, and I quote, “post about going back to school, how to get back into the swing of things, that’s islamic, but not just islamic, like motivational too,” so I will try my best. I just want to add the disclaimer that I cried in a cubicle before a finance midterm while eating a vanilla dip donut because I was sure I was just going to use the “always pick C” strategy…but now you know and I am going to write this for you anyways

  1. The Intention
     Remember the way dad would sit us on the dinner table before school starts, and ask us what our intentions are? Baba always kept it real and would (not so) secretly judge us because of how much time we’d spend picking our first day of school outfits, but he always had made sure we were still looking at the big picture. “Remember you’re going back to school to seek knowledge, to excel, and to do your best in everything.” You’re here to learn for His sake, but that encompasses so much, so sit down with yourself, and write down what you want to accomplish this year. Now, because you are a human you will probably forget those things in about a week, so you’re going to put that list somewhere you can look at often, and then you’re going to keep renewing your intentions to get to those things even if you mess up. Aiight? Aiight. I don’t want to be that cheesy quote person, but let’s be realllll, I am definitely that cheesy quote person so remember “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.” and it all starts when you set your intentions.

2. Undefined Paths
Things are not going to make that much sense going forward. In grade 12, after I told my guidance counsellor I wanted to open a restaurant, he laughed and said “with your marks, you’re going to see all the job offers from banks and forget that dream.” Let’s all take a second to L O L at how wrong he was, because LORD KNOWS I don’t belong in a bank, but also let’s lol at the tears I wept in accounting, and all the summer bank internships I applied to anyways and got rejected from (the best rejections of my life). I definitely tried to squeeze myself through paths I didn’t fit in, but I don’t regret it at all because if I didn’t realize I hated accounting, I might not have realized how much I loved my sustainability courses, and how much I loved working in/with the community.

So please remember that you are allowed to try things, and hate them, and change your mind. You are allowed to start heading down a road, but take the exit that leads you to the better place. Rejections are 100% your frienemy, they seem terrible while you’re there, but they almost always push you towards opportunities you didn’t even know existed. All my random hippie electives that I thought made no sense together, turned into a minor in sustainability (which literally didn’t exist until my 5th year, talk about good timing).

So no I don’t know where you’re headed Hoda, whether you’ll get an internship, go into accounting, become a finance guru, become an entrepreneur, or follow your real calling which is professionally bullying me, but I know you’re going to be amazing when you get there. Keep asking for advice, but at the end of the day you gotta do what feels good for you, and unfortunately you can usually only do that by messing up first (but I hear the donuts are good when you get there).

3. I don’t have a number three. 

Yeah, this is awkward. I know it’s sunnah and everything but I’m drawing a blank. What I am trying to say is, if I find out from mama and baba that you were in anyway nervous/stressed during your first week of school…I will drive all the way back from Mississauga in rush hour traffic to give you a hug, and then beat you up. All your problems seem so huge right now, but trust me you will look back and they will look like nothing. So put on your fabuuuuu #OOTD and kill em girl.

Don’t think I forgot though, obligatory islamic reminder, remember your duaas!

“Oh my lord increase me in Knowledge”

“O Allah , I hope for Your mercy . Do not leave me to myself even for the blinking of an eye (i.e. a moment) . Correct all of my affairs for me . There is none worthy of worship but You”

“O Allaah, I take refuge in You from anxiety and sorrow, weakness and laziness, miserliness and cowardice, the burden of debts and from being over powered by men.”

Rest assured He is by your side every step of the way. Goodluck Hooders (I put my embarrassing nickname on the internet, so you do too.)

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