Warida Rashid

Warida Rashid is currently a lecturer in the department of Computer Science and Engineering, and also an Assistant Proctor at Brac University. She is an alumna of BracU, and was the valedictorian of class of 2017. She dabbles in photography as a hobby. She also has half a degree in Architecture from BUET and a really inspiring story.

“I had always been a bit of a nerdy, studious kid growing up. I had other hobbies though, like painting, singing, dancing. I also loved playing outdoor sports, which may come as a shock to people who know me. However, succumbing to societal values, I based all my self-worth on how well I performed academically. It was my source of validation. I was driven by an urge to prove myself, and I thought getting into BUET, the most reputed University in Bangladesh, would do it for me. So, I got into BUET, where I started studying Architecture. And for the first time in my life, to my shock, I was bad at studies! I didn’t enjoy the subject, neither could I fit in to the environment. I knew I made a mistake from the get go. I didn’t have a way out just then. Taking the admission tests again wasn’t an option for me, and my family wouldn’t have allowed me to switch to a private university. I was at the lowest point in my life, feeling stuck, hopeless and completely worthless.

I desperately started to look for something I’m good at, now that academia didn’t have my back anymore. I took up on digital art for a bit. I was also taking online courses offered by MIT on Computer Science, and I knew this is something I could do. Three years had gone by, and I have had enough of Architecture and BUET by then. So, I finally decided, no more. Even if it meant that my studies stop there, I wasn’t going to take one more day doing something and being somewhere that isn’t good for me. Thankfully, my husband and in-laws were supportive of my decision. In Summer 2014, I got into BracU and started studying CSE.

This entire journey from BUET to BracU completely shifted my perspective. I realized that if I didn’t enjoy doing something, I couldn’t ever be good at it no matter how hard I tried. I learned that nothing is worth giving up my self-image and mental peace for. I started doing things for the essence of it, and not for the sake of proving myself. Is 3 years a little too late to make that decision? Well if we’re counting the years, I graduated from BracU in three years, which is approximately the same time when I would’ve been graduating from BUET. But most importantly, it’s never too late to set things right and I’d do it all over again if I have to. It wasn’t even a brave or gutsy decision as some may think. When you hit rock bottom, you do what you have to do to get back up.

If I had to give my students any advice, I’d say, take the time to figure yourselves out. Find out the logic and reasons behind things and stop doing things just for the “show”. Rejections, heartbreaks and failures will knock you down, but surely they will pass. Take the lessons those times have to offer, and keep going. And finally, please be compassionate and sincere in whatever you do. Your actions, no matter how small, have more impact than you can perceive. So, make sure that the impact is positive.”

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