Chapter 5 - American University of Sharjah

Updated: Jun 13, 2020

So I got my identity of Sara Haseeb from Choueifat, mostly because I spent 14 years of my life at that school. Apparently, the way life works, you're meant to go to a college/university after you go to school. Like thanks, I just spent all my life studying and making jokes such as 'studying is student and dying put together' and now you expect me to go to an institute called a university? Where I am supposed to be a proper adult and take more classes and pass those as well? sigh So what was the American University of Sharjah? A university DUH.

I really don't want to do another chapter on education but I have a theme going and it's rude to ruin an artists perception of their style? (Do I sound like an educated person?)


So AUS was a place that 99.9% Choueifati's went to. It was our second home.


This was the place where all students had their own ID numbers as their emails at AUS and had to have access to two deadly websites. 1. ilearn.aus.edu 2. banner.aus.edu

Grading system was as follows: A: 90 or above B: 80 - 89 C: 70 - 79 D: 60 - 69

The rest doesn't matter because below C was a fail. These grades were divided into 3's, so: 90 - 93: A- 94 - 96: A 96 - 100: A+

iLearn was the portal on which professors would upload the course agenda, presentations and grades. If a grade was on iLearn, it didn't necessarily have to be the same on Banner. You had a chance to go to the professors office and make up some sad story about your life to try to go from D to C- in that time. It was definitely a form of stress when you knew you were going to fail anyways but you would always give it your best acting and then pray for the best. *fingers crossed*

Another thing at AUS, which apparently is not normal at universities, which is something that I have learned in the past 2 years, is that attendance was mandatory at AUS and usually isn't in universities. Did I know this was a thing? Never. I just thought movies and TV shows show people at partying at universities because "woohoo life is great, I'm going to live off my family for the rest of my life, partyyyyyy." So yeah, 10% of your grade would be attendance. This meant that any student who knew from day 1 that they were going to fail, knew that they were going to secure the 10% in attendance and then count their way up to 'what is the most I can do in this course? and how much do I need in the final to pass the course?'

Previous paragraph may not make sense - I won't even fix it, this is my blog, my little space of what I want to type and how I want to type it so yeah, if you made sense of it, congrats. If you didn't, you really aren't missing out on much.

We had a student center at our university, it was a place with tables, chairs, benches, restaurants. As a freshman you would be mind-blown when you'd walk in because it had burger king and you knew you were going to spend all your money there on chicken royale's or mozzarella sticks. As you dipped in your second year and became a Sophomore, you wanted to make 'healthier' life choices and chose either Deli Marche (RIP, you will be missed) or Abela. The spicy chicken schezwan rice, oh yummers. They closed that restaurant down and broke several AUSers hearts that day. Once you got to being a Junior and Senior, you didn't have the luxury to sit and eat peacefully because you took your classes very seriously. In the sense that, you chose the professor that was meant to be good at awful times and would end up with a schedule of 3-4 back to back classes. In those situations, your lunch was the vending machine, snickers bar, iced tea? Yummers?

Another food spot was chai road. It was a 5-10 minute drive, depending on what hour of the day it was. Had a bunch of tea shops that would serve chips oman, karak chai and nakanak. What are these words? Let me educate you. Chips oman: sandwich with cream cheese and crushed oman chips Karak chai: tea made with so much love (and realistically certain spices) Nakanak: sandwich with cream cheese, hotdog and if you wanted, crushed oman chips

We had club fairs at the start of every semester. 90% of students and professors would be at club fair during that time because you could get all the free food in the world (it's funny because it would be all these different countries, so the world, get it?).

Basically, AUS was a lot about getting to class on time, having great food and making good friends. I'm happy to share that I hardly got to class on time, because even though I had a paid parking sticker on my car, I never got a guaranteed parking spot and had to wait till I found one which led me to be late for class. Which also led me to miss my name in attendance and get marked as absent, even though I sat through the whole class, so great. There goes my 10/10 for attendance. However, I did have great food and did make great friends so let's not complain so much.

^says Sara the complainer. The whole purpose of this blog is to rant. Let's talk a little more about my family. So Baba Haseeb studied accounting, loved accounting and was a Chartered Accountant. His dream was to have his child also be a little Chartered Accountant. I told him quite early on that this would not be possible so let's settle for a degree in basic accounting and we'll see where to go from there. Mama Haseeb just wanted to make sure that I was an accountant because that seemed like a decent profession. How? I really don't know.

So at university, I enrolled myself for Bachelors of Science in Business Administration, major in Accounting. Fancy eh? I couldn't do it. I did it for a year and ended up regretting it for the longest time. I had to let both Mama and Baba Haseeb know that their little child could not do mathematics. I had new found respect for anyone who could pass accounting or finance in their first try. I really struggled.

What hit me the most was when a couple of my friends were discussing that they were in probation and I sat beside them saying that I am borderline there. For those who don't know what probation is, a student in AUS has to have a CGPA of 2 or above to have 'good standing'. Anything below 2 would be titled as 'Academic Probation' and could potentially lead to the student having to leave the university as they would not be able to complete their degree in the school.

So, back to my story, couple of my friends were discussing that they were in probation and I told them oh I'm borderline there too. I will never forget the disappointment I heard in their voices and saw in their eyes when they learned that I was not as smart as they thought I was, to a point where this became a memory that stuck by me forever. Because of their reaction and disappointment, I got myself together and worked hard for the remaining 2 years of my degree. I told my parents that I cannot do a degree in Accounting but I want to do one in Marketing. I also did a minor in Supply Chain Management because I knew I had to do more than just Marketing.

Not that Marketing is the easiest course, but people don't understand that right? They say, you have to have common sense to do a major in Marketing. Well, okay, why did you not do it then Mr. I need to use excel or a calculator to figure out the balance sheets? I kid. My opinion is that all degrees require the same effort. There are different types of people and they all go through a lot of effort to get their degrees, so it doesn't matter if you graduated with a degree in Accounting, Literature, Communications, Theatre, Sciences, or Engineering, you have put in a lot of effort and went through a lot of struggle to get to that stage and do your walk and hold your degree so pat yourself on the back because whether you're successful or just at home, you made it and moved to the next level in life.

Good job AUSers.

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