Sidra Yousaf, Peer Consultant

Major: Biology and Community PsychologySidra-Yousaf

I grew up as an immigrant child in a conservative part of Washington. I was the only child of hardworking immigrants until I was eight years old when my brother was born. I started wearing the hijab when I was fifteen because I yearned for an identity, or at least something that would help point me in that direction. As I grew more confident, I found myself wanting to be a positive representation of who Muslim women really are in America. I want to be that representation that I looked for growing up.

Unfortunately, I was greeted with a lot of ignorant comments and questions from my peers for a long time after I started wearing the hijab. A personal, and surprisingly repeated, favorite experience of mine was being asked if I “shower while wearing it” (for the record, I do not). 

Writing became my therapy when dealing with ignorance, whether it was typing out a rant and saving it in my Twitter drafts or angrily writing out what I had to deal with that day. I believe that because of my experiences with prejudice growing up, I have grown to be an empathetic individual who knows how to talk about and deal with sensitive issues in a respectful way, whether in real life or in writing. I have done this by making a point to educate myself about the issues that other minorities have to face in America. 

I want to be a peer consultant because I genuinely want to help people be happy with their writing. We all have our own stories and although I can’t tell your story for you, I would enjoy in helping you tell your story in the way that best represents you.