My name is Al-Rahim and I am currently a senior majoring in psychology at Whitman. When I was a senior in high school, I was unsure of what my so-called “best fit” college looked like. I was debating between schools in and out of state and those of varying sizes. The concept of liberal arts was also very foreign to me. Whitman was the last school I applied to and I applied mostly because my high school counselor told me that she could see me thriving here. I did not know much about the school when I applied and I did not visit until much later. And now, after three full years of immersing myself at Whitman, I cannot see myself anywhere else.
At Whitman, I am surrounded by passionate, driven, and enthusiastic students who have a natural ability to balance academics and their extra-curricular endeavors. I have effortlessly been able to pursue and develop my interests and expose myself to opportunities I never thought I would have. For example, having had no previous dance or performance background in high school, I joined the Whitman Dance Production and participated in 5 productions in a two-year period. I performed swing, hip hop, modern dance and ballet in our main auditorium on campus. Also, having never had any singing background (I was a band kid in middle and high school), I joined an informal a cappella group and a men’s choir that performs at our annual Choral Contest. Other experiences that I never expected to have at college have been captaining an intramural basketball team, serving as president to the South Asian Students Association, and DJing a radio show, Old School Jamz for our college radio station, 90.5 KWCW.
Academically, Whitman has also given me the opportunity to explore my interests. I came into Whitman thinking I would pursue computer science, and then later switched to economics, biology and pre-medicine, and finally to psychology. I have taken courses in various disciplines such as chemistry, biology, mathematics, philosophy, politics, english, sociology, and acting, which have all allowed me to fully embrace the ideals of a liberal arts education. Whitman has taught me to be a leader, an academic, and an overall critical thinker. I am very thankful to be surrounded by Whitman professors who are invested in my success and who challenge me in ways that have facilitated my academic and social growth. Whitman College is no doubt where I was meant to be: it is truly collaborative and diverse, intellectually stimulating, and has an intimate sense of community.