All of our students have incredible stories about the journey that brought them to Briar Cliff and how their experience here helped them become who they are today. In our Senior Reflection series, we'll share a few of these stories from students graduating in May 2019. #ThisIsBCU
My own personal story is not everyone’s story but at Briar Cliff, we have shared our stories and connected in deep and meaningful ways.
I have never been the perfect student, never been the one to get the perfect score, but I have always been a hard worker. I came to America during my junior year of high school, with little knowledge on how to navigate life. At that time, I did not yet know how to use a computer or have someone in my family who has been in the same situation as me. Neither of my parents had ever received any formal education. All I knew is that it had to graduate for my family. I realized I could not be an audience in my life, I had to take part in shaping my life. I took as many classes as possible to fit the prerequisite to graduate. Thank God, I was able to graduate.
Coming to Briar Cliff was very challenging for me. I felt like I did not fit in, and whenever I tried to fit in, I felt like I was betraying myself. I then realized I was in the driving seat of my life. If I need anything to be changed, I had to do it my way. My mother told me once that the only thing stopping you from being the most authentic version of yourself was you. So, in my sophomore year, I embarked on a journey to discover myself. I decided to get involved, I started an organization, got a job among other things. Briar Cliff has given me and other students an opportunity to find who we are.
Throughout my time discovering myself, I learned that no matter how hard things might be you got to keep moving forward. When the roads ahead are blocked, you have to get yourself dirty. Grab a shovel and dig a tunnel to make way for yourself. Women of Color is a Briar Cliff student organization that helps to empower women and promote racial equality. WOC gave me a purpose, everything we do in that organization is meaningful to all of us. It connects us to our roots and helps us find courage from our past. You will see a few members wearing the sash to represent their involvement. Many or all of us were part of an organization or a team that made us feel empowered. The hard work doesn’t end here. Now that we’re graduating, we have to keep digging tunnels to make a way.
Never be happy with compliance. I have this tiny voice in my ear that always tells me never be happy with something if it can be changed to make it better. Never be happy to take two classes when the river of knowledge is flowing right across your path. A special thank you goes to the professors who have helped us obtain the knowledge.
Not everyone gets to go to school, not everyone has that privilege. As a young Somali woman, I know that for every Somali girl that goes to school, thousands don’t. All of us graduating have a duty to continue inspiring others the same way Briar Cliff has done for us. It was only yesterday that we were scared freshmen unsure of what lies ahead as we developed long life friendships over meals at the caf and long lines at Java.
This is not goodbye, this is see you again when we are wiser and richer in life experience. We will be forever rooted in the Briar Cliff Community no matter where we go.