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Success Without Studying
By Sarah Alfaham
17 January 2008 - All it took for Hamdi Ali, a biology pre-med student, to get accepted into the Yale School of Medicine is attend class and do her homework.
"I take notes in class," she said, "but I never go back to them."
She was in the process of applying to the University of Toledo Medical Center when she discovered that Yale had accepted her application.
After that, she never finished the UTMC application process.
"I have no study skills whatsoever," Hamdi said. "I can help somebody else study, but I can't focus [on my own]."
Hamdi will be 19 when she graduates college in May 2009, taking her only three years to complete her college degree, not including the post-secondary classes she took at The Ohio State University.
Hamdi moved to Toledo two and a half years ago and attended Rogers High School for her senior year before coming to UT.
Hamdi said she attended UT as an undergraduate despite being accepted to OSU, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and Kent State University.
"I was young and didn't want to leave the family," she said, since she was 16 at the time.
Hamdi said she's wanted to be a doctor since the sixth grade, and she loves children.
"I helped raise my two youngest siblings," she said.
"I want to be a pediatrician in the Doctors Without Borders program and try to reach disadvantaged children in foreign countries," she said, adding she wants to help her home country of Somaliland as well as other places, including South America.
While Hamdi pushes herself to get straight As, her parents worry that she pushes herself too hard.
"They usually tell me to take it easy," Hamdi said of her parents. "They always tell me to not stress myself to the point of not able to sleep at night."
Hamdi moved to America with her family in 1998 from Somaliland, a small country north of Somalia run in practice as an independent country. It is not recognized by any country or international institution. Somaliland, which is slightly smaller than Arkansas, gained de facto independence from Somalia in 1991.
Hamdi's mother, Farduws, explained why the family left Somaliland as her daughter translated it.
The economy in the country was on a downward slope due to the aftermath of war, Farduws said.
Though Farduws said the high school education everyone in Somaliland receives is just as good as a college education in the United States, the decision to move had a lot to do with status.
"It's a matter of recognition," Farduws said.
Hamdi is one of 12 children, 10 of them born in Somaliland, and seven of which are still living at home.
The family reached the decision to move to America by "trusting God and making sure we gave [the children] resources so they have a good education," Farduws said.
"With an American degree, you can have more opportunities," Hamdi said. Especially if it comes from Yale.
Source: Independent Collegian