My name is Benazir; that’s why when signing off on my posts I write Bena followed by three dots; those three dots represent the remaining three letters of my name “-zir”. A name, my tag, my identifier, tells you a little about me doesn’t it? Something unique, something that sets me apart from the crowd–that’s why I ended up writing my college essay about my name and the admissions loved it.
Since many young college bound juniors will be graduating soon, the thought of summer will most likely be linked to college thoughts–where should I apply? What should be my major? Will I get accepted? Etc. And I couldn’t help but recall my English teacher telling us before the last day of school, to utilize the time over the summer to think about our college plans.
So I decided to share my college essay and some helpful tips I got when I was a junior. Here goes:
“Ewwww!! NO!! He’s my boyfriend! Why, do we look alike or something?’’ she asked, embarrassed by my remark. I should have been the embarrassed one. But then again, I wasn’t used to seeing guys and girls that young going out, seeing them like that in school, it was just…strange. I was shocked and felt as if I didn’t really belong. After all, I was the new girl. The school which I attended, was very strict. Girls couldn’t wear make-up, nail polish, have highlights in their hair, or wear too much dangly jewelry, let alone go out on dates with boys, or even hold hands in school.
The transition from a strict school to a public school was drastic. I am 100% sure that I was the only and probably the first Afghan-American in that school. My name, not very American, was quite hard to pronounce by many. When some girls came up to me and introduced themselves as Brittany, Julie, Tiffany, I told them I was a Benazir. Their response: “Wait, what, how do you say it? Bay-nah-zaar?”. Being the nice girl that I was, I ignored their attitude and corrected them: “Be-na-zeer”. That’s when I realized I’m better off telling them, “Well, you can call me Roxanna, it’s my middle name.” The Brittanys, Tiffanys, and Julies then gave each other a reassuring look (my real middle name is something else, I just figured ‘Roxanna’ sounded prettier).
The second day of school, I even arrived to my classes a little before the bell to tell the teachers my “new” name. Why did I do this? I certainly didn’t want to be the new girl with the difficult-to-say-foreign-name.
Twelve is an age where you are just finding out what kind of music you like, what kind of people you like to hang out with, and of course, whether or not your outfit is still “in”. It is a time when you are starting to discover your talents and interests. Later on, in my freshman year of high school I realized the mistake I made. By changing my name I scratched out the thing that mostly made me unique– my name. I later realized that the meaning of my name was so wonderful that I actually cried a little when I realized how foolish I was to change it to “Roxanna”. Benazir means beautiful, unique, and incomparable. My sweet, dear, mother reassured me and said it was okay. She knew it was hard to fit in and she understood.
Now when I look back and think about what I have done, I could not have asked for a better eye opener. I was growing up and had yet a lot to learn; like changing your name will not change you as a person.
My personality, my character, the way that I am, the principles I carry are built on a solid foundation and I am proud of who I am today. If it weren’t for this experience my identity may not have been sculpted the way it is today. I strongly believe that when a person looks in the mirror, they should see a reflection of their inner self. Seeing your inner self allows you to stop and think for a moment. It allows you to set goals, then bask in the presence of your reward. This just goes to show you that there is something more than just a name.
Below I have attached two documents which contain questions to help you get started on your college essay! These helped me formulate an idea for mine; Good luck.