High school and college students everywhere have had to negotiate COVID and online classes in order to complete their studies. In the first of a two-part series, we spoke to recent graduates from the Dawoodi Bohra community of Seattle about their experiences, dreams and reflections on the past two years.
Mariyah Haveliwala, Double Graduate in Neuroscience and Computer Science
Mariyah Haveliwala graduated from University of Washington as a pre-med student with a double major in neuroscience and computer science.
In my sophomore year, I couldn’t get the same experiences of going to my neuroscience labs in person and connecting with professors and students due to COVID. However, I was fortunate enough to use my time during the online learning format to explore my interests. Navigating a larger school remotely with limited guidance gave me a huge opportunity to learn how to take my future into my own hands and prove to myself what I was capable of. I was able to choose my own path and take on a little more course load by undertaking a double major in computer science and neuroscience.
Without the switch to remote learning, I wouldn’t have pushed myself to try computer science and develop a new passion. When I returned to in-person college tuition for my senior year, I was so much more appreciative of all the things that being in class has to offer. For example, I got involved on campus as a resident advisor and teaching assistant on Computer Sciences. This allowed me to get to know my peers on a deeper level.
I’m grateful for all my experiences and for where I have ended up. I am excited for what the future holds. Currently, I am interning at Microsoft as a software engineer, studying machine learning to build better geo spatial search models. In the future, I hope to work at finding technological solutions to health-related problems.
Mariyah Jamali – Architectural Design Graduate
Mariyah Jamali graduated from University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Design.
Architecture and design are based on collaboration. And unfortunately, with the rise of COVID, there were a lot of challenges as natural collaboration was harder to come by. Luckily in our last year we were able to be back in person for the most part and experience the benefits of a studio environment. Being around my peers and contributing to a positive learning atmosphere are things I’ve learned to not take for granted.
COVID forced us to adapt and adjust quickly multiple times throughout the past couple of years. Much of our work requires us to go to sites and gather information and observe the area. This is the most crucial part of the design process and so we had to learn new ways to gather this information remotely.
I would like to continue to work in the design field and contribute to meaningful work that empowers communities. And eventually pursue a Masters in Architecture.
Hawwa Jamali, Creative Writing Graduate
Hawwa Jamali graduated from Western Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing.
Switching to online school in the middle of my second year at university was unexpected. The social aspect of school was taken away and replaced by constant screen time. However, it wasn’t all bad for me as I had a lot more flexibility in my schedule to spend on hobbies outside of school hours which helped cope with the stress of COVID. In my last few months of school, I was able to go back to in-person classes.
Going through university during a pandemic had its moments of uncertainty but it made me appreciate my time on campus even if it was short. I am looking forward to pursuing opportunities that allow me to practice my writing skills.