“You have four years, Aqeel. Make something of yourself.” That’s what I heard everyday on the phone from my mom freshman year. Coming to school was no big deal for me—I had been away from home plenty of times to not become home sick—but hearing those words made me more and more anxious every time I heard them.
There’s two ways of looking at the college; it can either be the best opportunity you’ll ever get, or the most overwhelming. For three years, it was the latter. I came in as a biology major, in the pre-med program, on the track to apply to medical school. That wasn’t what I wanted to do, though. I wanted to do something creative, like be a documentarian, an art director at an ad agency, a film editor, or an architect. Somehow, I had to change my life to be more congruent with what I was passionate about, not my parents’.
That’s when I found UPB. Applying to be the Vice President of Marketing was the best decision I made during my four years here. The leadership experience I was getting, the creativity that I was able to express, and the people I met in the process were more than anyone could ask for. I’ve changed my major and gotten overrides into classes that I love. For the first time, I’m living for myself. Although I’ll be graduating in May, I’m finally confident that my college experience has become the best opportunity to follow my dreams and be the person I want to be.
~Aqeel Akbar, Vice President of Marketing