14 things all incoming Muslim freshmen need to know

by Mozzified Staff

1) People practice Islam in different ways.

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And that’s okay! Islam is vast, and Islam is beautiful; so naturally, it looks different depending on the culture, family, individual, etc etc. You’ll meet students who are more “liberal” than you, more “conservative” than you, and those who just practice differently. This is a good thing. There’s blessing in difference.

2) Be ready to have your world shattered. In a good way.

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This is probably your first time away from home. Much of what you previously saw as a fundamental truth will be challenged. Take this as an opportunity to learn and grow.

3) Hold your judgements… and your judgmental Astagfirullahs.

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It’s more important for you to provide support to friends and fellow Muslims than it is for you to shake your finger at them. They need you! Being a rock solid friend is a great way to be a good Muslim.

4) Don’t be afraid to be Muslim.

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You’re Muslim. Be proud of it, and own it.

5) Give the Muslim Students Association a chance.

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There isn’t one type of MSAer… And the MSA is probably – hopefully – more welcoming than you’d imagine. You don’t have to be a certain “type” to fit in, and the MSA can be a great place to hang out when/if you just want to be Muslim, no strings attached.

6) …but don’t rely on the MSA to be your saving grace.

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It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that just because you’re hanging around all Muslims, what you’re doing must be right as well… Don’t fall for this! Listen to your gut and if something feels wrong, don’t be afraid to take a step back.

7) Have an exit strategy.


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It’s college. You’ll often find yourself in situations that you don’t want to be in. Plan ahead and make sure you always have an “out.”

8) The first friends you make don’t have to be your bffls.


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You may be tempted to hold on tight to the first people you meet – whether you meet them at orientation, the student groups fair, or in your dorm room hall. That’s great. Some of these people will undoubtedly become your lifelong best friends, but many of them will just be that “girl who lived on your floor freshman year.” It’s okay to change your social group as needed, especially if you find yourself unhappy. Growth is natural.

9) Know your limits, and don’t be afraid to stay firm.


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Set your boundaries, know your limits, and don’t let anyone make you feel bad about your decisions. You do you.

10) Keep in touch with your parents.


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They miss you. They really do. And it’s okay to miss them too. Being away from family and friends is hard. Skype, call, text, visit, do whatever you have to, or whatever you can, but keep in touch! Energy from home will keep you sane.

11) It’s okay to have non-Muslim friends.

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Yep, that’s right. It’s easy to surround yourself with those who are just like you, but sometimes you find that the most amazing people in your life are those who are the most different from you.

12) Academics matter.

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It’s tempting to get involved in fifty different clubs, work ten different jobs, and organize campus-wide events every other weekend. Although you may feel the pressure, the burden to explain your identity to others is not on your shoulders. Especially when your extracurriculars are causing your academics to suffer. Remember to prioritize.

13) Learn from upperclassmen.


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They know so much! Take advantage of their expertise. Ask them for guidance regarding majors, classes, professors, life, relationships, etc. etc. They’re there for you! And remember to return the favor once you’re a few years wiser insha’Allah.

14) Step outside your comfort zone.


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Do silly things. Have fun. Fail. Tell people you can juggle even if you can’t.


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