Leena – Career choices: Doing what you love

When I was in school, I didn’t know what I wanted to study at university. I used to dread assignments about my career choices because I was still undecided, even until my last year of school. I applied to university later than most of the girls my class, and I only applied to one university because my parents weren’t in favour of me travelling too far every day. At that time I obviously did not have my license or a car so it made no sense for me to apply to universities that were a distance away.

Even when I filled in my application form, I was still doubtful about my choices. In fact, I knew next to nothing about my first choice, and I had just filled in my second choice for the sake of filling it in. You see, I didn’t actually want to go into any of those programmes. I had something else in mind but it didn’t exactly work out.

Thankfully, I was provisionally accepted for my first choice and I could choose whether to accept or reject it. If I rejected that, I would be considered for my second choice programme so I accepted the first one. My matric year progressed and I finally received my results in January the next year. If you were waiting for it, no, I’m not going to mention it here (lol)! But I was accepted into the university programme and so off I went.

During my orientation week, I felt calm. Everything was going to be fine. Fast forward to my first computer science lecture and the lecturer tells us that the first chapter of the textbook, which she hadn’t even told us about so we could purchase it, was self study and she was going to begin with the second chapter. She immediately began writing code on the board. After frantically scribbling everything, from “#include <iostream>” to “return 0;” along with every word out of the lecturer’s mouth, I was flabbergasted. I got out of that lecture hall and texted my mum, “I don’t know what on earth is going on!!!”

Anyway, I bought the textbook, sat down in the library and made notes. And then…then came the actual coding practicals. Let me not even get into that. I got through that module though, without supplementary exams or anything Alhamdulillah. Naive little me thought it was going to be fine after that, so I remained in that programme and continued on to second semester. I was hit a little harder in second semester but I still passed, and progressed to second year. That is when everything began.

I had to register for a module that wasn’t exactly in the scope of my degree programme. I still don’t know why they make it compulsory within that study programme but I have no complaints. I absolutely loved it. My lecturer was amazing. I loved the course content. I attended every class that semester, voluntarily. Even the 7:30 A.M. practicals couldn’t put me off. I looked forward to days when I had a lecture of that module. And the final straw was when my lecturer noticed my marks and my enthusiasm and told me that they wanted people like me in that programme (I’m not bragging, I promise!)

So in the second semester of my second year, I decided to make the switch after convincing my parents – and let me tell you, it was not easy. I was really doubtful at first because I am a creature of habit. I hate changing things and this was going to be a huge transition because it was like I was going to be in first year again. But I made Istikhaara and I went ahead with it.

I cannot explain how grateful I am to have found something that I love and that I can do well. Even though I have to write a lot more, I take a lot of work home, and I have to think out of the box much more, I do not regret making the change. Because if you do something you love, then you don’t mind doing it.

I am so grateful that Allah guided me and I hope that if you are ever in such a situation where you are unhappy and you can do something to change the situation, you will do it.

There is a du’a that I read after every salaah – it’s actually a short form of Istikhaara. I am attaching it below. It’s really effective and you can read it when deciding between the simplest of things.

اللَّهُمَّ خِرْ لِيْ وَاخْتَرْ لِي

Allahumma khirli wakhtarli

Love you guys!

Have a blessed weekend!


-Leena ❤



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