Serene. The 7AM sunrise greets me as I rush towards my front door. I am late again, but that’s fine; I am used to it. Tranquil. My 8AM physics lecture is covering material I can hardly keep up with. I feel lost and hopeless, but that’s fine; I am used to it. Calm. Google Calendar alerts me that I have a 9:30 AM meeting with my internship mentor. Didn’t get enough commissions that week, but that’s fine; I am used to it. Harmony. Have to catch another train at 10:30 AM for the class I have at the other campus. Missed the train that would have made me arrive on time, but that’s fine; I am used to it.
Already 3 hours into my Wednesday, and I want to sneak back into the warmth of my blanket. I am once again justifying the harsh realities I endure. Do I tell myself “it’s fine” a few times more? Or do I let loose and flow with the wind? I have a midterm tomorrow, and I barely know the material. I should stop by Trader Joe's and get – oh, it's my stop. Time to get off and mindlessly walk to my 11AM class as I bop out to Joji.
My day doesn’t stop at 11 AM. But for the next 3 hours, I zone out and think about what I was doing all this for. Is it to pass the butter, like that machine from Rick and Morty? Or will I entertain people by being the next greatest Webtoon artist? Maybe, I will be the doctor I see on screen and aid people in their health. My mind rambles on what I could do and who I can be, ultimately realizing one similar theme: serving people through my actions.
Although I found Alpha Phi Omega by absolute randomness, I remember from time and time again why I still want to remain active in this fraternity. One underlying root of APO is service, something I know very well. I was raised as a Muslim, and the one quote I related most with was كُلُّ مَعْرُوفٍ صَدَقَةٌ - “Every favor is charity.” I want to do good in the world, so I saw APO as the fraternity that resonated most with the purpose of my goals. Recently, while I attended the Annual Long Island City Bulbfest, I got to chat with many walks of life while planting seeds I hope to see blossom in the spring. I returned home that day, happy with my decision to show up.
By joining the fraternity, I also see how brothers amongst themselves are doing a service to each other: providing friendship and leadership to each other. We motivate each other to become better people and push each other to meet our fullest potential. When I was picked up by my big, Vivian Lee, I knew there was bound to be magic in our relationship. I feel those same emotions stir up with my fellow brothers in the same class as me. Although most are not active, we still rejoice in each others’ presence by creating memes of each other or providing support for one another during times we need it most. And amongst the brothers who came after my class, I sought to plant and grow new friendships I wasn’t expecting. In a way, we were giving each other time, space, and energy to sustain our relationships with one another – an act of service to our friendships.
It’s corny, but APO provided the home I needed to grow up in, so I could search for the person I could become throughout my college career. I am ambitious, so I knew if I could endure the pledging process while taking an 18-credit engineering course load, nothing could stop me. I learned to be more confident, especially when I was nominated and selected as VP of leadership right after my pledging process. Shocked, I knew I should have more confidence in the person I was searching to be.
Shoot! It's 2PM! As much as I want to remain on this life-changing mind train, I need to catch the next earliest train for my class at my original campus.
Lamia *Howlite* Tahsin
Beta Kappa, Fall 2020
Inclusion Chair | Fall 2022