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CMU Student Interview w/ S. Zafar | Part 5: Progressing with a Balanced Life

S. Zafar, who attended Carnegie Mellon University, earned a 35 on her ACT, took 13 AP classes in high school, events' chair for FORGE (refugee empowerment club), the president of high school Amnesty International Chapter, and the president of Undergraduate Economics Journal at Carnegie Mellon.


 

Key points S. Zafar shares:

  • "Academics definitely became a more significant priority to me in college."

  • "In college I began to learn the immense benefit of going to Office Hours (which can take place any time from 8 am to midnight), creating relationships with instructors and fellow students, and doing my work in a timely manner."





Q: When you’re working on something, do you tend to multi-task or do you stick to one thing at a time?

A: I tend to spend a few hours on different tasks throughout the day. While working on three different things within an hour causes me to feel as if I’m making very little progress, making significant progress on one assignment and then moving onto the next when I’m reaching a mental block enables me to avoid feelings of being burnt out or distracted.



Q: What are some adjustments you had to make going into college in terms of lifestyle and priorities?

A: Academics definitely became a more significant priority to me in college. In high school, I felt as if the majority of my academic life was confined to the hours between the morning and dismissal bell. Although I worked on homework after school, I did not feel as if I was a student 24/7. In college I began to learn the immense benefit of going to Office Hours (which can take place any time from 8 am to midnight), creating relationships with instructors and fellow students, and doing my work in a timely manner. I developed more of a “school first” attitude, where social activities, the gym, etc. were only taken into consideration after I had done my work. However, I never completely cut out activities unrelated to my academic life completely, as it’s important to find what brings you happiness and purpose outside of your academic or professional career.




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