Double Major in Creative Writing and Political Science
What are your interests and hobbies?
I'm interested in religious dialogue and understanding, cross-cultural understanding, women's and minorities' rights, the power of literature to build bridges, learning different languages, belly dance, painting, traveling to new places, and singing. I cross-stitch and am learning to knit. I also love playing soccer, badminton, or going swimming.
What activities do you participate in on campus?
I like to keep myself busy with things I'm passionate about. I'm currently the president of Women of Influence and Islamic Club, founder of the Initiative for Diversity-themed Events on Campus, vice president and co-founder of the Oriental Hipsters (a belly dance club), and poetry editor for Catch literary magazine.
How have they influenced your experience?
I love what I do. I think if people join clubs or organizations that they don't feel some passion for, they end up not having a good experience. Because of my involvement, I now have better control of time management, event planning, group cooperation, and leadership skills; at the same time I feel like I'm really making an impact whether it's through awareness campaigns, petitions, or fun events. (Photo right: Rana Tahir '13, left, holds Kuwait's flag before I-Fair's parade of flags)
How would you describe academic life at Knox?
Everyone will tell you it's hard, and it really is. I think most people will agree that it's worth it. We do what top colleges do for a semester in 10 weeks' time, which can put a lot of stress on everyone, but it teaches you to figure out how to prioritize and time manage. Plus if you really love the subject, the time just flies by.
Tell us about a memorable class and what you learned from it.
I've learned something important from each class I've taken, whether it's something about the subject matter, the department, or myself. For the most recent "memorable class" I'd say Prosody, the study of rhythm and meter in poetry, opened my eyes to another facet of the art I love best.
What's been your hardest class?
I think my hardest class was Constitutional Law. I loved looking at all the major court cases since day one, but that's a lot of information to retain. I bought myself a Supreme Court mug at the end of the year to celebrate the hard work.
What's the most important thing you've learned at Knox outside the classroom?
I've learned that it takes one voice to raise an army. A lot of the time people feel they can't affect change in their school or communities. What I've learned is that if you won't do something for your cause, why should you expect anyone else to?
What surprised you about Knox?
I think what surprised me the most was the older parts of campus. I wasn't able to visit, so seeing Old Main for the first time was amazing. Knox has a rich history, which to be honest I was surprised to find in Galesburg of all places. I guess great things do come in small packages.
Any advice for high school students on their college search?
Make a list of priorities you want from a college and go for it. A lot of people choose based on location, but the college is where you'll be more often rather than its surrounding city. So choose a college that you'll want to stay in.
(Photo below: Rana Tahir '13 visits an exhibit at the Field Museum in Chicago)