Qoodseya Afredi

Graduating Class: 2018

Major: Sociology

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA 

What motivated you to pursue higher education?

As a young girl, I have always seen my dad working hard to make sure that my siblings and I always had the best. He would wake up at 2 in the morning to drive all the way to downtown LA (we lived in South OC at the time) and we wouldn’t see him till 7 pm. My dad never complained once about how tired he was or how little sleep he had. The only thing that my dad requested from me and my siblings was for us to make an effort in school and get good grades. Seeing how hard my dad worked for us motivated me to pursue a higher education.

What would you like to have known coming into your first year of college?

Something that I would have liked to have known when I was coming into my first year of college was that it is ok if you don’t have your life together or even know what you want to do in life. I know sometimes our families like to voice their opinion on which degree for you to major in or even what career you should pursue, but don’t just listen to everyone. Gather their advice or opinions and make your own decisions. Explore different degrees and career choices! Volunteer and intern at different organizations to get a feel of what you would like to do in your life.

What was a challenge you faced as a first generation college student and how did you overcome it?

One of the biggest challenge I faced as a first-generation college student was balancing my school/social and family life. My mom was not used to having me stay out late on campus and she didn’t understand why I wanted to be involved in the different clubs on campus. I grew up in a very “your family are your friends” life which I didn’t mind at all, but when it came to expanding my circle it was hard for my mom to understand. I overcame this challenge by being patient with my family, but also making sure to have conversations with them so they can understand what I am doing and why it is important to me.

What was a resource that helped you navigate UCI?

The Muslim Student Union (MSU) was one club on campus that helped me navigate UCI. I came in as a transfer student, so I felt like the new kid who was joining in the middle of the school year. Almost every junior that I met when I first started at UCI already had their group of friends and peers. Through the MSU, I was able to meet other new transfer students as well as different students who were in my major as well. Also, being connected to upperclassmen helped me figure out which professor I should take for a class or where the best study spots are on campus.