Feeling Down about Hijab?

>> Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Asalamu alaikum Auntie!

I just want to say thank you so much again for your blog :) Auntie I am scared right now about what is going through my head because I am actually thinking about actually taking a little time off from wearing hijab. I feel so ashamed that this thought is going through my head because since I started wearing hijab 9 months ago, I have never felt so beautiful in my life and content with who I am as a person. The reason for these thoughts is because I am planning to study abroad in France the upcoming year. And I guess the truth is I am afraid to wear hijab there because of the huge islamophobia issue going on there today. I guess I kind of want to fit in when I go there and not feel isolated by them since I do not have family in France nor anyone that I know well. I am so sad that I am contemplating this after Allah swt  helped and guided me to actually have the courage to wear hijab. This winter break was the fast time that I travelled internationally wearing hijab and I was really excited. But when I was entering back into the U.S and going through security they actually has someone come and pat my hijab in front of everyone. I don't know why, but when this happened I actually started to cry. I have never had something like that happen to me before I am not sure if I can do it again I guess.I felt so hurt and honestly a little disrespected that the hijab to them is somethin that cannot be trusted. I feel like a coward for wanting to take it off while studying abroad in France. Right now my heart feels so restless and I am ashamed because I truly want to live my life only to please Allah swt. I would truly be thankful for any advice that you provide.

Wa'alaikum salam wa rahmatullah!
Alhamdulillah, I'm really happy to hear that you started wearing hijab recently. May Allah (swt) grant you strength and steadfastness. 
Aww, I'm sorry for what you had to go through at airport security, sweetie. Let me give you a *virtual* hug. :)
Let's take a look at this hadith:

Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Islam initiated as something strange, and it will revert to its (old position) of being strange. So, glad tidings to the stranger!” [Muslim]

Keeping this hadith in mind, in reality, we have something to celebrate! Here we are, following the teachings of the only perfect man to walk this Earth. Rasulullah (sallalahu 'alaihi wa sallam) also said:

The Prophet said: 'Whoever loves my way of life (Sunnah) loves me, and whoever loves me will be with me in Paradise.' (Sunan At-TirmidhĂ®)

What reward can be greater than that of promised, eternal paradise? :)

You see, sister, it's completely natural to get bogged down by this. You feel different physically. Everyone around us is dressed in the least amount of clothes possible. 
Islamophobia is going on everywhere these days. France is just one of the countries. Let me tell you something. I just recently moved from Michigan (a state populated by Muslims) to central Pennsylvania (where many students are from areas where they've never even seen a Person of Color or another race), so it was a big change moving here. It was awkward and uncomfortable at times. I even contemplated taking off my niqab for a bit. But then I spoke with somebosy who told me that this is the actual test. When I was back home at Michigan, it was just a trial run. Allah (swt) gave me that opportunity and now I was being put to test. Of course things are easy when there's no obstacle in the way, but when there is, that is when you know that you're being tested by Allah (swt). and we already know that we're strangers in this world, so let's just take it with the flow. Yes, people will look at you weird: smile at them. You take the iinitiative to break the stereotype! But take this as an opportunity for growth as an individual, as a person. I can tell you this--I would not be the person I am had I not started wearing niqab. It pushed me to my limits. It forced me to be more open and confident and social. You'll learn so much  about yourself. 

And bear in mind to keep your intentions straight. We're wearing hijab in order to fulfill a commandment of Allah (swt). If we do something solely for Him, we'll see that it will become easier inshaAllah. Remmeber to talk to Allah (swt) in duaa. tell him of your struggles in the last third of the night during tahujjud time. Ask Him to make this easy for you.

Lastly, don't be too worried about others' reactions. You might be surprised at the reactions you get. Too often, we focus only on the negative remarks we get from a few ignorant people. The truth is, the majority of people will be accepting and might even admire you for your devotion to your faith. Your hijab will serve as a shield for you, as a protection of sorts. You'll be respected by others. There's a reason why Islam is the fastest growing religion today. Just recently, a professor showed something somewhat inappropriate in class (vulgar language and such) and later, he sent me a private email apologizing for the content knowing it didn't conform to my Islamic values. He didn't necessarily know much about my religion. He "read" it based off my way of dress and mannerism.

One last thing, when you go to France, try making friends with like-minded individuals (Muslims perhaps), with people you feel comfortable with, who share the same beliefs and values as you do, who won't pressure you into doing something you shouldn't do.
So don't be too worried. You'll be okay, inshaAllah! We're all making duaa for you!

--Apple Blossoms 

P.S: Be sure to check out www.igotitcovered.org! I think you'll love it! 



>> Monday, April 29, 2013

I'm a practicing Muslim, so after I started to cover I decided that I would also not allow men to shake hands with me. The problem is that I haven't always been like this, and it sends confusing signals to the people around me. Mostly my male classmates/advisers/teachers etc. There is just this awkward moment when I'm being introduced (in a professional setting) to a male. And I don't take his hand, which is like a slap, or, flustered, I do take his hand, but then later explain that I shouldn't of. I know I should make up my mind, but I keep changing it, and I can't help it. I just want to know how important, how mandatory is this issue?
I'm pursuing a degree in which I will have to attend a lot of places that have a very professional setting, and when you're meeting so many people and doing so many things, it is natural and brief to shake hands with men. To tell the truth it's not my personalpreference, but I feel like I might make the decision to do it anyway, just to stop the confusion and not hinder any professionalopportunities. As an American Muslim it's our job to show the people around us that we can be approached and how we're just like everyone else, but doesn't this set up barriers? Is it really wise to cause a rift in the air over a mere handshake? It just seems like a simple thing, is it really so much of a big deal? It really puts people off, in my field it's really, really important to make good first impressions, especially when meeting doctors that you could potentially shadow later on. I've noticed that a lot of the men inmedicine are really easily offended, and if they find you rude, you easily lose your internship position, or they just don't recommend you for anything. Please give me your two cents into this issue so I can make a proper, informed decision.
Muslimah who tries

Dearest Muslimah who Tries,

M'ashaAllah, sister, it's wonderful that you have taken steps recently to stop shaking hands..and that you're obviously evaluating you behavior and  relationship with Allah. I'm also really happy you asked your question. You’re definitely not alone.

What you have to remember is that as Muslims, we know that it is Allah, alone, who has the right to determine whether something is a sin or not. And when He decides if something is wrong, then it is wrong. It's not up to us to ask 'how wrong is it', but to 'obey'..

The only statement of the [true] believers when they are called to Allah and His Messenger to judge between them is that they say, "We hear and we obey." And those are the successful. (51) And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger and fears Allah and is conscious of Him - it is those who are the attainers.(52) {Surah 24}
And that only makes sense...the Creator is the One who knows us best and is more Merciful to us than our mothers. Moreover, the Creator is the One who knows what is best for us as individuals and as a society at large.

That said, we do have a serious hadith about hand shakes...that shows it is something we shouldn't take lightly. 
The hadeeth of Ma’qal ibn Yassaar (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘If one of you were to be struck in the head with an iron needle, it would be better for him than if he were to touch a woman he is not allowed to.” (Reported by al-Tabaraani; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 5045).

The reality is that Islam sees physical contact and touch as something special, intimate, meant for those we care about and are close to. Islam recognizes how touch can affect us.

Interestingly enough, I did a quick look online and I found this in an article in the New York Times:

The evidence that such messages [touch] can lead to clear, almost immediate changes in how people think and behave is accumulating fast. Students who received a supportive touch on the back or arm from a teacher were nearly twice as likely to volunteer in class as those who did not, studies have found. A sympathetic touch from a doctor leaves people with the impression that the visit lasted twice as long, compared with estimates from people who were untouched. Research by Tiffany Field of the Touch Research Institute in Miami has found that a massage from a loved one can not only ease pain but also soothe depression and strengthen a relationship.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/23/health/23mind.html?_r=0)
So touch is a message in itself. It’s reaching out and getting more personal, which when it comes to the opposite gender, is not what Islam encourages. Islam has made it very clear that our relationship with the opposite gender is bound by limits. And we make things easier for ourselves by setting the limits right from the get go--- from that hadnshake. 

Secondly, what about the issue of  'creating barriers to dawah'....

There are a couple of things we ALL have to remember. At the end of the day, when you face Allah, are you going to tell Him that you are "American/ Pakistani/ British?" Or are you going to tell Him that you are "Muslim"? No matter what you're living, you are a Muslim...

Your identity first and foremost is: a Muslim in America....

And the fact of the matter is that Islam doesn't change depending on where you are. We don't change Islam but we let Islam change us. 

Allah subhanoo Wa' Tala tells us:
This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.  [Surat Al Maidah, verse 3]

In fact, by not shaking hands, you may actually be more of an instrumental tool to dawah than by shaking hands. Let's imagine you went to a gathering, yourself, and you found that 20 out of 21 people were wearing the same kind of uniform. But ONE person wasn't. Who would you be more interested in? Whose story would you want to know?

We naturally are attracted to those who are different and who stand out...those people who are not part of the herd. By informing them that you can't shake hands, you may catch their attention more than if you did touch their hands.

And that is what Islam teaches us to be.

“Indeed Islaam began as something strange. And it will return as something strange the way it began. So give glad tidings to the strangers”.

Islam teaches us that we are exceptional, extraordinary. We teach others who we are and not become who they are.

Furthermore, the prophet was the person who was given the greatest mission of dawah...and he had to do it in a time where women and men also freely intermingled. Did he shake hands?

 It was narrated from ‘Urwah that ‘Aa’ishah told him about the bay’ah (oath of allegiance) given by the women: “The hand of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) never touched the hand of any woman. When he accepted the oath of allegiance from a woman, he would accept her words and then say, ‘Go, for you have sworn your allegiance.’”(Narrated by Muslim, 1866) 
All you have to do then is just be polite as you explain to them, 'I am terribly sorry. No offence intended, but in Islam we do not shake hands with the opposite sex.'

 What other advice can our readers give?
Little Miss Aunty


A Little Sensitive

>> Thursday, April 25, 2013

The problem here is that .....my friends.. a few of them said, i am a merely fragile person..that i am too sensitive. When they give me criticisms, I try to take it in a positive way and use husn al zan, but, it is also difficult. More and more they are ostracizing me and it's really hurting me. why they can't accept me as i am while i can accept them as they are? i always pray that Allah forgive them and me as well and reward them with happiness. i am so sad. although this problem seems to be a childish-like- problem but being ostracized is very hurt and painful. Kindly to help me dear.

 Dearest Sensitive,
I'm soooo sooo sorry for taking so long to respond to you. I hope you can forgive me.
Your problems don't sound 'silly' at all. Let me remind you that Rasool Allah sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam said:

Narrated Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri and Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, "No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that."

The prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam said "no sadness or hurt", sister...So big hugs to you.
You know, I'm a pretty sensitive person, myself. For years, it caused me problems between certain relatives and me because I could not understand their sense of humor. I felt that they were "laughing at me"(...when what they really meant was to laugh "with me".). But there were other things, too. Basically, I took things more to heart. A simple comment could really affect me for a long time...and for years to come. Words often left me feeling like a painful paper cut was throbbing in my heart.

And maybe that is because- like you- it is a part of my nature to be sensitive

In fact, I was recently reading an article that discussed a condition known as HSP:  
Take a look at this:

 HSPs suffer from what is called sensory-processing sensitivity and are more susceptible than ordinary people to both internal and external stimuli. "They have an innate tendency to process things more carefully," says Aron, who has devised a test to gauge where one falls on the sensitivity continuum. "They tend to be aware of subtleties and are therefore easily overwhelmed by their feelings." An HSP doesn't just cry while watching a film like The Notebook - she experiences actual grief symptoms. She also reacts strongly to things such as noise and light, and is particularly sensitive to stimulants such as coffee. Typically an HSP demonstrates greater caution and reluctance than the non-HSP population with things such as taking risks, trying new experiences, meeting new people, even venturing to unfamiliar places.

Perhaps you have this condition, yourself..

I don't know.

But does that mean that that is the end? That's it? You are born with an extra sensitive nature and your friends just have to accept it and you live with it?

Actually sis, while you very much could be born with this extra sensitive nature, the problem is that we do not live in an idealistic world where people know what to say and how we take their words. So what we have to do is understand that although we are born with 'extra sensitivity', we can also develop ways to better deal with these feelings.

And in all honesty, we really should try to do that, because this dunya is basically a test...And it tests us in every way. Allah subhanoo Wa' Tala tells us that a characteristic of jannah is that THAT IS THE PLACE WHERE NO HURTFUL WORDS ARE SPOKEN:

They will not hear therein any ill speech - only [greetings of] peace - and they will have their provision therein, morning and afternoon. (62) That is Paradise, which We give as inheritance to those of Our servants who were fearing of Allah.(19:63) 
(And also:
No ill speech will they hear therein or any falsehood - (35) [As] reward from your Lord, [a generous] gift [made due by] account,(36)[From] the Lord of the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them, the Most Merciful. They possess not from Him [authority for] speech. (37

That means, hunny bunch, by account of the Qu'ran itself, you have to realize that this world- this dunya- is a place where you will hear much that will hurt you. 

But, sis, it doesn't have to break you.

First, trying saying a heartfelt 'salam' when you meet your friends. Really sincerely wish for them peace and mercy from Allah. The prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam told us that this is a way to spread love between us. Maybe by starting with 'salam', your friends will be reminded of the words 'peace and mercy' and be more gentle with you. 

Second, it's great that you try to use husn al zan..Keep doing that. Realize that a word has many meanings. If your friend says "You look really bad today", maybe they don't actually mean "Eeeow. What a yuck hair style/ horrible outfit", but actually mean "You look really tried/ down/ like something is bothering you." 

Instead of deciding they mean the negative statement, try giving them a chance to explain themselves. Repeat what they said with a question hanging at the end:
second: really bad today? Or just ask them "Sorry, I didn't understand what you meant by that."

Third: remember that a person's words are a reflection of the state they are in and who they are and not who you are. If someone is having a rotten day and says something insensitive to you, don't for one second think that what they said about you is a fact. It is merely a reflection of their own internal state/ the problems they are going through. 

Fourth: explore your sensitive areas and find out what are your biggest 'sensitive triggers'. Think about it. What are the things that really hurt you or make your heart break. Why do you think that happens? Was there something in the past that you haven't overcome yet? Something you need closure with?

Fifth: ^ Continuing with the 4rth step, inform your friends that these areas are really 'red lines' for you. I've personally told a couple of people that my voice is something I'm very sensitive about. Once people know that you are sensitive about this particular area, they are more likely to avoid making fun of it.

Sixth: Build your own self-esteem and confidence. Love yourself more, sister. Take a personal development course or read personal development articles and books: http://www.bbc.co.uk/learning/subjects/personal_development.shtml
Work out in the gym. Exercise. Eat well. These things really affect how we feel about ourselves and in turn how we view other people's comments. 

Seventh: Make new friends, as well :) Meet people from different places....perhaps these friends don't really understand you as much as you understand them or care about them. Try to make new friendships and meet other people, as well. The more people you know, the less you are influenced by a single person's comments, inshaAllah.

Eighth: Make dua :) 

Well, sister, I hope these ideas help you a bit...and the other sisters can also share their ideas, as well. 



Eeeeek. EXAMS. Stressed.

>> Saturday, April 13, 2013

Okay, so I am 16 years old and I think I have really weird problems.
I don't know how to calm down, stress less and be a little more self-confident because it jeopardises my school work. For example, I am a very anxious and worrying person. I could stress over everything and I don't believe in myself- or so all my teachers tell me. My history teacher said that if I don't calm down and panic less in my exam then I could seriously mess up because I could misread the question and blank out- which has happened to me in a MOCK exam- what's gna happen in the real exam? He said you can't stress like this in your exam because then you're going to mess up. Also he says I don't believe in my intelligence and that I doubt myself- but I feel if I believe in myself then I could get proud- which is obviously very problematic especially in Islam!                                      The other thing is that lately, my skin is not the best. I have spots and hyper pigmentation on my cheeks and forehead and people- like my family just are like 'what happened to your skin' like my auntie said this to me then repeated it to my mum infront of me as if I had a disease and I went home and just CRIED my eyes out. Like its not nearly as bad compared to others but it is pretty bad. And my little cousins are like 'have you got teenage spots' or 'your spotty' and I'm just don't strong enough to deal with that because I honestly could cry. I get really defensive and angry about it whenever anyone says anything. But my mum and dad are obviously like you can't take these things to heart an you have to be a stronger person.

wa'alykum as salam wa rahmatullah wa barkatoo,

I'm so sorry, hun, to read about your stress. When you're going through a stressful time, it's so hard to be able to enjoy anything: in every corner, there's a shadow..a glimpse of stress 'lurking'....
It's even worse when your teacher is telling you that you CAN'T STRESS because stressing out is going to make you do even worse in your exam. Then, you're stuck stressed out about stressing out..and it's like..


So yeah...I totally feel for you, sweets. 

Here's a big hug for you.

But, now, let's take this one step at a time.

You said that you don't want to be "confident" because then you could become arrogant/ proud and that has big serious consequences in Islam. Well, hunny, it's really admirable that you don't want to fall into the trap of arrogance (which is basically the major sin Shaytaan fell into), but at the same time, as we mentioned before...there is a huge difference between self-esteem and arrogance. 

Take a look at our link here: http://dearlittleauntie.blogspot.com/2012/06/pride-vs-self-esteem.html
I'll just put one sentence here: 

Good self esteem is when you can recognize the gifts and opportunities Allah gave you and be grateful for them and ask Allah to keep blessing you.

Basically sis, good self esteem comes from our Islamic knowledge that we were perfectly fashioned by Allah. 

So first thing's first:
- trust in Allah
- appreciate your special abilities that you have been given
- work on improving the areas you need to improve

Second, let's talk about how to calm down =)
Sis, the thing to keep in mind is that life is full of troubles. We can't escape the fact that this world is a test and that it is, in many ways, a series of problems after problems. 

The Qur'an tells us: 
We have certainly created man into hardship. (90: 4)

What matters then is how we DEAL with those problems...how we cope with them.

Alhamdulillah, as Muslims, Allah has given us special ways to help us deal with stress. Since we've talked before about 'exams' and how to study for them, I'm going to focus this time on stress in general and how to deal with it...


First of all, just remember that you have a Loving Lord, who answers your CALL :)

And when My slaves ask you concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright.” [al-Baqarah 2:186]

Second, there are authentic duas you can recite to help ward off stress/ anxiety, including: 

The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no-one who is afflicted by distress and grief, and says: ‘Allaahumma inni ‘abduka ibn ‘abdika ibn amatika naasyati bi yadika, maada fiyya hukmuka, ‘adlun fiyya qadaa’uka. As’aluka bi kulli ismin huwa laka sammayta bihi nafsaka aw anzaltahu fi kitaabika aw ‘allamtahu ahadan min khalqika aw ista’tharta bihi fi ‘ilm il-ghayb ‘indaka an taj’al al-Qur’aana rabee’ qalbi wa noor sadri wa jalaa’ huzni wa dhihaab hammi

 (O Allaah, I am Your slave, son of Your slave, son of Your maidservant; my forelock is in Your hand, Your command over me is forever executed and Your decree over me is just. I ask You by every name belonging to You which You have named Yourself with, or revealed in Your Book, or You taught to any of Your creation, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the Unseen with You, that You make the Qur’aan the life of my heart and the light of my breast, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety),’ but Allaah will take away his distress and grief, and replace it with joy.” He was asked: “O Messenger of Allaah, should we learn this?” He said: “Of course; everyone who hears it should learn it.”

Ibn ‘Abbaas reported that when the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) felt distressed, he would say: “Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah al-‘Azeem al-Haleem, laa ilaaha ill-Allaah Rabb al-‘Arsh al-‘azeem, la ilaaha ill-Allaah Rabb al-samawaat wa Rabb al-ard wa Rabb al-‘Arsh al-kareem
 (There is no god but Allaah, the All-Powerful, the Forbearing; there is no god but Allaah, Lord of the mighty Throne; there is no god but Allaah, Lord of heaven, Lord of earth, and Lord of the noble Throne).
Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that when the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was distressed by something, he would say: “Yaa Hayyu yaa Qayyoom bi rahmatika astagheeth
 (O Ever-Living, O Eternal, by Your mercy I seek help).”

Another of the beneficial du’aa’s which the Messenger of Allaah(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) taught us is the one he told us about when he said: “The du’aa’ of the person who is in distress is: ‘Allaahumma rahmataka arjoo fa laa takilni ilaa nafsi tarfat ‘ayn w’aslih li sha’ni kullahu laa ilaaha illa anta (O Allaah, for Your mercy I hope, so do not leave me in charge of my affairs for the blink of an eye. There is no god but You.

B. Prayer:

Work on perfecting your prayer. Trust me, there is nothing that is as soothing as bowing your head all the way down and turning all your troubles over to Allah. 
Instead of rushing in your prayer, take extra time in your sujood. Let all the troubles fall down off your shoulders...
Try also to wake up for the third of the night and both do extra prayers and duas. :)

C. Listen to/ Read Qur'an

D. Be Grateful. Focus on positive things and what is going on right. Tell Allah "Thank you". And remember this:
“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, 'If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed My punishment is severe.'”

Besides these Islamic ways, there are also other ways to help reduce your tension and stress :) 
Things like:
  •  breathe in and breathe out, deeply and slowly
  • pamper yourself with a bubble bath
  • give yourself a soothing foot massage
  •  maybe you find baking relaxing? putting on nail polish?
  • listen to some soothing nasheeds
  • Think about a really good memory or a time when things were going right. Relive that moment
  • Exercise. Hit the gym :D
  • Go to a nice quiet park and relax
It's important that you eat good healthy foods, as well...and that you sleep well :) 

Here are some other ways for you, as well: 

As for the issue about your skin, you might want to discuss the matter with a doctor. It's pretty normal at that age for pimples and such to come out, but it doesn't hurt to get a doctor's opinion/ help. They might be able to recommend you a good cleanser or face wash...

Let's also get the sisters' opinions on how they manage their stress :D Share with us your ways to get rid of stress :)

May Allah make things easier for you, sweetie,

Little Auntie


A Little Older

>> Thursday, April 11, 2013

Asalamu aliakaum! I dont know where should i start with first of all i am 19 years old and still doing alevels where as i should be in university i am scared that when I finally go in university everyone is going to make fun of me as I am so old  I feel so terrible whenever I think of this I feel I will have no friends

wa'laykum as salam wa rahmatullah wa barkatoo,
Dear a Little Older,
First of all, sis, what's the definition of a friend? A friend is someone who cares about you, helps you, supports you...someone who is there for you.
Now let's break this down a bit.
Not every single person you meet in university is going to be a friend. But you don't need a million friends to be happy. 
All that you need are just a couple of people....

And the fact is: if someone were to make fun of you for your age, then that person isn't the kind of person you should want as a friend, anyways. Think about. Your age is just a number and it's nothing to be ashamed of. Anyone who decides to judge you by a number rather than who you are is someone who really doesn't deserve your friendship.

But besides that, hun, I really don't think you have too much to worry about because in university:

a) people are actually more mature and less likely to make fun of your age than in high school: by then, the people around you should have grown up a bit and should be more understanding of the fact that everyone has different experiences and journeys to university. You meet the chick who decided to take a year off and "find herself", the 'sister who changed majors', the 'friend who is working part time and studying', etc. Each person is different. I know most of my friends at university turned out to be much older than me for their own various reasons, as well (the one who was majoring in a second degree, the one who was a mother, etc.)

b) you have more of a chance of meeting people of different ages than in school. In university, you're not stuck hanging out with one grade-- you find freshmen taking classes with seniors and so forth. In electives, you find business students taking classes with sociology students and etc. There's more of a sense of 'diversity'. T

c) actually starting university at 20 means that you can have your driver's license and that's definitely a plus  Your schedule can be pretty flexible (if you have a car)

d) No matter if you're two or three years older: you should still be able to relate with the people around you. It's not like you're from a different generation (and even if you were 40, hun, that shouldn't be held against you).

All you have to do is remember that nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent. Some people may ask you about your age and seem a little surprised: it's up to you to decide how to steer that conversation. You can simply keep it short and simple and say something like "Yeah, I took some time to get here" or you can explain your situation...whatever you want. In the end, though, remember you do not need their approval. Smile. And go to the next conversation   =)

May Allah make things easier for you, sis.

Any sisters here started university a little late? What was your experience like? What advice do you have for this sister? :)

Little Auntie


Change my major?

>> Monday, April 8, 2013

Assalamalikum dear Aunties!I loveee you guys. I wish I can be precise and eloquent while typing this but I have manyy thoughts on my mind. Insha Allah will work though it. The first thing on my mind is, my education. I used to be particularly good at Computer Science in high school. That made me opt for the same in college, with the intention of somehow benefiting the Ummah and making my parents happy. (I prayed Salatul Istikaarah, alhamdulillah) However, it's not what I expected it to be. It's extremely dry, boring and awful. I exist in a zombie like state when attending classes. It's that horrible. I am sure I'll flunk all my classes. And the weird part is, I really don't care if I do. I am that miserable with this course. There is no way out of it too. My parents have invested alott of money so that I can study, and If I wanted to stop studying or switch, the fees for the entire duration of the course still goes to the college. Pleasee aunties, don't tell me to try studying! You haven't seen the textbooks! I don't have the heart to tell my parents that I want to drop out. It's not like they forced me to take the course or anything! What I'd really like to do is be an Islamic studies teacher. I just realized that a tad bit too late. Can you guys give me your perspective on how Allah is trying to make things better for me and how my Istikaarah is working? Thanks a million, guys. Will make Dua for you. JazakAllahu Khairan. Assalamalikum Wa Rahmatullah.

Salaam sis!

Picking a career choice can be tricky and sometimes you might find the career you had in mind is not the one for you after all, or the course you had chosen isn’t how you imagined it would be. But, don’t be discouraged – you still have options!

Education is something a lot of people can’t afford and something so many take for granted, and so I can understand why you feel reluctant to chuck in all that hard earned money your parents have put towards your schooling. However, here’s something important to remember: it’s not the school or the course your parents are investing in. It’s You!!!

Your growth, your knowledge, your development and your experiences - not just what you’re learning in the classroom! Your parents would want you to get the most out of your education and benefit from everything it has to offer. 

But, if you really don’t want to leave your course, it doesn’t mean you have to tie yourself down to just one career choice. You might not see a future in Computer Science anymore, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stretch to other career paths. Consider the skills you’re learning (for example: communication skills, organisational skills etc.) and the knowledge you’re gaining from your course and try to determine whether these will be transferable to other careers. If your school has a careers advisor then talk to them and discuss what other options might be available to you. 

Exams are on their way but the course is ‘dry, boring and awful’ and you’re lacking in motivation to study. Let’s do something about that!

There are different types of learners. Some people learn best by hearing someone explain a concept to them while some learn better by reading about it themselves and others learn best by ‘doing’. Discover what kind of learner you are and try to come up with different techniques to accommodate that. For instance, if you’re an auditory learner, then maybe you could work with friends or create a study group where you can discuss the topics you need to study.  

Try to change your attitude towards the course - remind yourself of the reasons you liked Computer Science in High School and try to translate that to the content your learning at university. If your current studying techniques aren’t working for you then try to come up with others. Consider learning the material in a different way and you might find that it’s actually not all that bad.

Textbooks can be really unappealing. You know the ones I’m talking about - the super thick, hardback ones filled with hundreds of pages, teeny-tiny writing and not enough pictures!! To make it more appealing try to translate what you’re learning into a much friendlier, easier-to-digest and appealing format such a poster or condense the information to size A5 revision cards. By doing so the information will look a lot less daunting!

For more revision tips you can check out my blog post: ExamRevision – 8 Ways to Get It Right. 

A lot of schools have student counsellors for students who might be struggling or need some advice. Find out if this is available at yours and make an appointment to discuss your situation. It’s not uncommon for people to feel disappointed with the course they’ve selected and talking to someone trained and experienced could perhaps help you find the perfect solution! 

If you’re unhappy with the course and in a ‘zombie-like’ state for the most part then the chances of you failing your exams will be high and you might be forced to repeat the year. If that happens then hasn’t the money gone to waste anyway? Discuss the situation with your parents – explain to them you’re unhappy and struggling with the course but are worried about the fees. 

You’ve said yourself they haven’t forced you to pick Computer Science so I’m sure they’ll be happy with whatever career path you choose as long as it’s one you’re content with. Your desire to be an Islamic studies teacher is admirable, mashAllah! But, it’s not too late! Rather than resigning yourself to a course that makes you unhappy, wouldn’t it be better to redirect your efforts towards something you’re wholeheartedly eager to purse? 

Talk to your parents, your friends, your school and make plenty of dua. In the end only you can decide for yourself what choice to make. 

Whatever you decide – make the best of it and try to give it your all and Insha’Allah everything will work out just right!

Sending you a warm cyber-hug 


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