Today we feature Rumaysa Asim, a senior graduating with a bachelor’s in psychology with a Certificate of Undergraduate Study (CUGS) in Japanese. She completed her Rowan career as a commuter, but previously lived on campus. Rumaysa’s hometown is Cherry Hill, NJ (Camden County.)
What are some of your favorite social memories of your time at Rowan?
My favorite social memory was going to the Office of Social Justice after my classes. At first I was on a pre-med track and I struggled a lot in those courses. The Office of Social Justice was my safe space and a well needed break from these difficult classes. Though I did my work there, I especially enjoyed talking with the staff. They empowered me to be myself and to talk about the issues that I was facing as a minority. I further went on to execute ideas I had for different events such as a fundraiser and I created a program with the Office of Social Justice as a resident assistant. In my early years at Rowan I had struggled with my identity. I felt empowered in the space the Office of Social Justice made for me, and because of this I became more confident and proud of my identity. It was also a great stepping stone for me as it encouraged me to get involved in other programs as well.
Could you please share your favorite moment with a faculty member or a favorite experience in one of your classes?
My favorite memory with a faculty member was being in my Composition 2 class. My professor gave us the opportunity to pick any topic we wanted for our assignments. As someone who lacked representation while growing up I wanted to research it more and present it to my class. I was feeling a bit nervous about it because it can sometimes come off as controversial however, when I discussed it with my professor he encouraged me to continue with the topic as it was interesting and provided a new perspective. He also encouraged my class to research and present topics that we were passionate about no matter how “controversial” they were. I really liked this as it made me feel as though my opinions mattered even if others didn’t agree with me. He gave me a space to express myself and talk about things I wanted to see in the future.
What advice would you give to incoming freshmen or transfers about making the most out of their college experience while choosing a university close to home?
For incoming students I would say that you have to remember your individuality is your strength. I struggled feeling like I didn’t belong or feeling like there were others who were better than me in the roles I took as a leader on campus. Eventually though I met people who encouraged me to stay true to who I was and within that I was able to become more capable and confident. If you are unsure about yourself it can be harder to form relationships with others. That’s why it’s important to take time to understand yourself. You need to figure out out what you want from this experience and remember that your being different is an asset. It may feel like you don’t belong but in actuality you may have to “make” a place for yourself. It is important to empower yourself at the end of the day.
Is there anyone you’d like to thank?
Thank you to the people who have constantly supported me through these last four years. Thank you to my family, friends, advisors, faculty, and the university for helping me reach my goals and graduate!
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