The Art of Passion: A Profile of Noor Nasser

College. It’s the momentous time of our lives in which we’re supposed to follow our dreams, let our passion pour out, and cultivate connections. From the first day of freshman year, it’s easy to feel like you’re being left behind. Classmates, coworkers, and club members are building up resumes filled with dozens of impressive titles in a seemingly never-ending list.

But what if you’re only passionate about one or two things? Noor Nasser, Editor-in-Chief of Boston University student-run lifestyle magazine The Buzz and intern at television studio WGBH, is here to tell you that it’s okay. 

Born and raised in Jordan, Nasser attended a private international school, taking IB classes and learning English and Arabic simultaneously. She credits much of her smooth transition into college in the United States to her prior education, learning from the pressure of a rigorous international IB school system. 

Noor attending college in the United States was no surprise, as her siblings all attended university in the United States as well. Even less of a surprise? Her arrival at BU. 

“BU happened to be the best in terms of what I wanted to study,” Nasser said. “Plus, my eldest brother and my older sister both attended BU, and my brother lives in the area.” 

Photo credit: Noor Nasser

Boston has become her home over the course of her four years at BU; attending an international school and visiting her siblings when they were in school helped her avoid culture shock.

Now, the culture shocks occur when she returns home to Jordan. “I know some other people have a much harder time with missing home, but in my case, I feel more out of place when I go home,” Nasser said. “For me, it’s not about where I grew up, but it’s about how I found my own place and fit into it, and how that place became my home. You can find your place wherever!”

Armored with a mind prepared for living in the States, Nasser arrived and quickly began to follow her passions. 

Photo credit: Noor Nasser

“I was one of the few people that always knew what she wanted to do, but when I arrived at college, I became unsure,” Nasser said. “I knew I wanted to stay in the [communication] field, but there are so many different things you can do! I could decide to be a hard-hitting news reporter, or I could be a photojournalist, or I could throw myself into production or video work."

“For a while, I thought it was a bad thing that I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but then I realized that that’s the best position I can be in,” Nasser said. “After all, one thing has stayed constant: I want to be a storyteller. Whether that’s through my photography, my videography, my words, or my graphic design, the intent is the same.” 

Nasser has allowed her passion to shine through her work at The Buzz and at WGBH. Beginning as a photographer in her freshman year, Nasser worked her way up through the ranks to eventually become Editor-in-Chief of the magazine. How did she do it? By facilitating relationships with members of the team and by giving it her all. 

Photo credit: Noor Nasser

Worried that she wasn’t doing enough initially, Nasser had to reflect on her time at the magazine. “Once I realized that I really loved The Buzz, I decided to give it my all. It’s absolutely crazy to think you can do a million things at once — it means so much more when you take on less but put in your all,” she said. 

While she loves the work, it hasn’t been easy to find a balance between friendship and authority during her time as Editor-in-Chief. “It’s hard to deal with people that aren’t as committed as you are. I think that everyone needs to be on the same level of commitment for a publication to be successful,” Nasser said. “At the end of the day, though, I’m just like any one of my staff members — we’re all college students, we could all be Editor-in-Chief. It’s commitment that makes a difference.” 

So, other than commitment, what would she recommend when it comes to following passion through and turning it into real work? “Network, network, network! I mean, if you’re in COM, you’ve got to communicate… it’s what we do,” Nasser said. 

She also recommends chatting with professors and looking to them for career opportunities — most students tend to forget that professors are professionals in their field. 

Photo credit: Amille Bottom

Stress relief also plays a huge role in her success. Her favorite form is taking care of her kitten, Monkey, who is necessary to make a story on her complete. From laughing at him bouncing off of the walls to mid-study session snuggles, he’s the most meditative furball. 

Most importantly (although, if we’re being real, we all know Monkey is the most important part of this), Nasser advocates for the quality over quantity approach to activities. “Keep a smart balance between things — know what you can handle and what you can take on. Less can be more!” 


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