It’s that time again, time to go back to school and hit the books. The long lazy summer days are over and now we have another academic year on our hands. So how can we make this new year a wonderful and memorable one? What can we do so that in the future when we look back we can say that this year was a good one? The answer to that lies in our friends.
Friends play a big role in our lives. Part of our nature is the desire to be around people and to interact with others. We want to share our thoughts and feelings, we want to experience new things and create memories, and friends can help us do that.
Friends are there to listen to you and to share your moments of joy and sadness. But most importantly friends are there to support you. This network of support is very crucial especially to the Muslim student living in a largely non-Muslim community.
Throughout high school, there were only two or three Muslims in the entire school and I was the only one who wore a scarf. It was difficult at times having to deal with non-Muslim students and not having many Muslims around you for support.
As I started my first year at the university, I began to meet new Muslims and slowly realized what a difference having Muslim friends could have on you.
For the first time in many years, I felt that I "belonged." All of a sudden, I was surrounded by a group of people who offered me support and gave me strength to face my difficulties in working with the non-Muslim student population.
The best part of having those Muslim friends is the memories that we created. We shared many laughs and struggled together to strengthen our Muslim identity on campus and help educate people about Islam.
We shared our experiences and depended on one another for guidance and support. At the end of each day, we would look back and smile realizing that we had made it through another day as a group.
Thanks to God, I have been very fortunate in meeting my Muslim friends. By having gone through high school with hardly any Muslims, I realize now the importance of having Muslim friends and being part of a community.
I would advise you to get to know as many Muslims as you can this year and to form a strong circle of friends where you can support one another.
If you are attending a college or are going to soon, then ask and see if there is a Muslim Students' Association (MSA) on campus and try to get involved with their activities and get to know new people.
How good school will be this year will depend on you and your efforts in meeting new Muslims. If Allah has blessed you with Muslim friends then try to reach out to other Muslims, include them in the group, and help them create a good and memorable school year.