Creativity helped her step out of her comfort zone, into the spotlight
When she arrived on campus for her first year at Hamline, Asli Abdi '25 found connections everywhere she turned. From making early friendships in the pre-orientation Pathways Program to joining the Hamline African Student Association (HASA) and becoming a first year representative in the Hamline Undergraduate Student Congress (HUSC), she quickly immersed herself in Hamline's "hometown feeling."
Just a few weeks into the school year, HASA held a showcase for students to celebrate their African and/or Black identities, complete with a fashion show, musical performances, and poetry. Abdi decided to share some of her own creative writing—she'd started writing poetry near the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, when a supervisor at her job at a coffee shop in Willmar encouraged her to explore her creativity. "She really inspired me," Abdi said. "I'd written informative, persuasive pieces, but I'd never written something creative before."
On the day of the showcase, Abdi was all nerves, but that vanished onstage. Sharing her poetry was fantastically rewarding, she said.
Everyone was so excited to hear me, and after I had literally the whole HASA committee come up and tell me how good it was. They really pushed me to do more, pushed me to do something like this again."
As a high school student, Abdi never dreamed that this is what her college experience would be like. "I met friends really easily, and there are so many resources to help me navigate academic life here," she said. "I would reassure anyone who's going to a four year school that everything will fall into place, and you're going to have a good experience."
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