From Brooklyn to Yale: Jabiah’s Story

“It was mainly an organic process of me writing a stream of consciousness and then going back and refining everything,” says Jabiah Suhrawardhy, a Yale University admit through Questbridge.

In this week’s interview:

  • How Jabiah’s pre-college Brown program affected her Yale admissions
  • Her unique college essay brainstorming process
  • How being Bangladeshi in Brooklyn affected her college choices

Decision day

“I just got a text from my friend; she was like, “Oh, they released the results,” but this was 30 minutes after, because my phone had been off. My friend and I had both had applied, so I grabbed my laptop, ran to the humanities wing of my school where no one was, set the laptop down on the radiator stand near the window, and I opened it.

Of course, I recorded myself, because I wanted my mom to see afterwards and show it to people. If I didn’t get matched, I’d just delete the video. I started recording, and I was shaking in the video. The second I matched, I couldn’t believe it. My eyes lit up. I was like, “Wait,” and then immediately, I was like, “Oh, my God, Jasmine, Jasmine.” I was calling my friend’s name. I was like, “Come here, come here, come here.” And then we hugged. I didn’t go to club that day. I was like, “Let me just go home and show my mom.”

Identity and personal statement topics

For me, being one of the few Muslim South Asian students in my grade, one thing that I decided to do early on was join the Pan-Asian Student Alliance with support from my cousin who also went to the school; she’s two years older than me… One of the things that I reflected on in my personal statement was this idea of silence and how silence had always sheltered me. Choosing not to be silent is something that’s powerful and helps you find your voice. Voice in the sense that you’re speaking, but you’re also choosing your words intentionally and saying things that you’re wanting to say that are powerful.

So I’ve always learned that silence is this protector for you and this thing that keeps you safe. Growing up, that’s something that had always guided me. So coming to this space in my school where I always felt like I was always the outcast of the class,

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