BY AISHA NADEEM, Staff Columnist

The first share goes to Hadia Bokhari, a freshman here at University of Michigan-Dearborn. It’s important to share her experience of the first week of school because she has an entire group just like her- new students finding their place here at school and in the next stage of their lives. Hadia explains her nervous moments and how she overcomes them, hoping to show others they can do the same. She makes a point we all sometimes forget; we are all here with dreams and goals, so let’s make it the best experience for each other. Whether you’re a freshman, a senior, or a staff member, there is a place at this university for you and there is a way to make each day amazing in it’s own way.

Hadia Bokhari


Major: Undecided

As a freshman, getting to know UM-Dearborn was nerve-wracking at first. It was a whole new world compared to high school; there were so many classes, so many faces and so many responsibilities.

I would constantly make sure I was in the right place at the right time, uneasily checking my phone. I would clutch onto my bag in the hallway and aimlessly search for a familiar face where there was none. I had trouble speaking to authorities about real responsibilities like paying my tuition on time or registering for classes.

Everything seemed so difficult and suddenly going back to high school didn’t seem like such a bad idea — until I spoke up about it. I was in class, passing back the sign-in sheet, when I mustered the nerve to tell the girl sitting in front of me that her manicure was gorgeous. She thanked me and returned a compliment that actually made my day. From there on, we instantly became friends and class wasn’t so bad anymore. We related on the nervousness we were feeling being new here.

I approached more and more people throughout the day and it started feeling more comfortable to me. I learned something even more important at the coffee stand the other day. I had been waiting in line for quite some time, figuring out what I wanted to get. When I got to the front of the line, I paused, and casually complimented the cashier before ordering. Little did I know that he was having a rough day and my compliment was well-appreciated. I didn’t think much of it at first but then I realized how important that moment actually was for me.

I wasn’t necessarily just surrounded by positive people, but I, Hadia Bokhari, was one of those positive people. I also had the ability to make someone else feel more at home while they’re feeling out of place here. It was then that it occurred to me that I don’t need to be worried anymore.

Everyone is here for the same reason — they have a dream that they want to pursue. However, we all deal with life. We all have our ‘bad hair days’ and ‘flat tires’ but we end up in the same place — just trying to get through it. We can dream of big things like to become a doctor or an artist, but our everyday lifestyle is what matters.
These are the days where we’re going to look back and think of all the good times we spent here. These common goals may bring us all in a similar path in our lives, but we are the ones who get each other to that destination. So there’s no need to be afraid of growing up and talking to strangers. Join a few clubs, make some friends, experiment with your hobby, and learn something new. This is something that everybody is going through so it’s okay to be nervous, but don’t let it stand in your way. Hold your head up high in the halls and breathe — this will be a fun semester.