Whether you are an incoming freshman or a rising senior, the start of a new college semester can be daunting, especially as a young muslimah. No fear! I’ve complied 5 tips to make this your most successful semester yet; from a muslimahs perspective.
1: Keep yourself organized: Taking multiple classes at once is not an easy task, especially if you are a freshman. Deadlines seem to pile on and when you try to focus on one class, you are behind in another. To avoid late assignments and added stress, it is crucial to keep a planner. Print out the class syllabus, jot down the dates of major/minor assignments and plan out time for studying. I like to keep reminders in my calenders for when I should begin studying for an exam so that I can pace myself while internalizing the material. You do not want to end up cramming the night before an exam. With that said:
2: Plan your schedule around Salah: It’s very easy to get caught up in classes, homework and club activities during your day. When making your schedule, try to plan classes and club activities around your salah. Not only does this make it easier for you to pray on time, but it also gives you breathing space from your hectic schedule. I like to use salah as a means of a study break, especially during exams!
3: Get to know your professor: Lectures can range from fifteen to fifteen hundred students depending on the class you take. Either way, this means that your professor is probably teaching many students and you are just another face. It’s your goal to stand out. Go to office hours, do all assigned work, and always ask for help when you need it. It is very important to make connections with your professor because it opens doors for research, internships, networks and recommendation letters. Professors will also be willing to help you out during exams when they know the effort you placed into the class. Making connections with your professor is a form of dawah too!
4: Join clubs: Having time to socialize and make friends is just as important as studying. Join clubs including religious groups, sports teams or even a cat club! You will gain perspective about the world around you while meeting new people. If your university has a Muslim Students Association, join it! You will meet people who could become life long friends and you’ll feel part of a community. One thing I love is that at the end my stressful week, I can pray Jummah with my fellow muslim students and know that I have a community to rely on.
5: Always remember Allah: When you have an upcoming exam, the dua and salah you pray for it will probably be the most focused and lengthy prayer you have ever made. You will constantly be asking Allah to give you a full score and when the exam has passed, you’ll forget about Him. Instead of only remembering Allah before a difficult time, remember Him all the time. When you are happy about completing an assignment, when you are walking to class, and when you are studying for an exam. Remembering Him more often keeps your intentions pure for anything that you do. You’ll notice that it will keep you away from gossiping, wasting time, and the cute guy in your writing class. You’ll become focused on getting that A, graduating, and pleasing Allah.
– Hiba Ayub is a college junior studying chemical engineering. She lives in NY and enjoys photography.