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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UMKC chapter.

I’m officially 22 years old today. A little over two decades ago, I made my celebrity debut in a hospital in Rochester, NY at 8 a.m. sharp. I know all of you are on the edge of your seat in intense anticipation of all the wisdom I have acquired in that time, so today I will be sharing a few things with you.

To make this article special, I wanted to reflect on my “rose, thorn and bud” of the past year. If you are unfamiliar with rose, thorn and bud, it is a mindfulness exercise where you reflect on something good (rose), something challenging (thorn) and something you are looking forward to (bud). It’s something I do with my friends often, and it’s a great way to put life events into perspective. 


I wanted to start with a highlight of my 21st year: I started wearing the hijab full-time. As a Muslim woman, my religion is my favorite part of my identity. My faith is the number one force in my life and it helps center me whenever I need. Wearing a headscarf beyond just during prayer times is something I wanted to do for a while and I really took my time this past Ramadan to think about it. I was a little scared about the challenges I might face for wearing it, but ultimately decided that I needed to remove that fear from the equation. I am genuinely so content with my choice and so grateful for the support I have received thus far. 


While there were great times that came with being 21, there were also tough times. I think the most difficult challenge I faced was not giving myself time to relax. Because of that, I was not able to take care of my mental health as much as I needed to. Along with being students, we wear many other hats: many of us work part-time, have families and friends that we want to spend time with, are involved in extracurricular responsibilities that take up many hours of our day and so much more. This past year, I found myself saying yes to doing things simply because I felt like I owed it to myself or others. 

“If I have the opportunity, why say no?” 

Whenever I let myself relax, I would feel guilty. As you can imagine, that mentality ultimately led to facing burnout really quickly. I had periods of intense productivity, unfortunately followed by periods of extreme exhaustion. 

Going into this next year of life, I have made it a priority to take care of myself first and create healthy habits to avoid feeling burnt out.  


There are so many things that I am looking forward to in the future related to my career and my personal life. If I had to pick one short-term thing though, it would be the vacation time I have in February right after my first board exam! I don’t know what I’ll be doing with it, if I’ll just stay at home or try to travel, but I’m excited for it to be a well-deserved reward! If I do end up traveling, I would love to visit a few national parks or meet up with friends who have moved to different states. 

Overall, I am so grateful for the opportunities and experiences that life has shown me thus far and am excited for all there is to come. 

Samiya is a medical student at UMKC. She loves exploring new coffee shops, trying out new beauty trends, and is a sucker for all things wellness!