SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: Yusuf Mannan
Tell me about yourself. When did you come to PVS? What are your hobbies and interests?
I came to PVS in daycare, when I was only four years old. I'm a PVS institutional product in and out- the school has really shaped my life, visions, and most importantly has been the best place for my Deen, Alhamdulillah.
Over the course of my time at PVS, I have seen my career interests, hobbies, and general passions transform. One of my biggest hobbies that I am glad to have developed is my passion for journalism and freelance writing. I always struggled with writing essays throughout middle school, so I was surprised to see how one of my most hated subjects became something I really enjoyed doing. I am also an avid sports fan and like to play basketball fervently, while also watching the NFL, NBA, European soccer, and NCAA sports. I used to compete in professional Esports tournaments. Additionally, I love to travel and seek new experiences and sights.
How has COVID-19 impacted your senior year?
Alhamdulillah, while I am blessed to have not been personally impacted by the devastating COVID-19 on a physical level, it has definitely taken a toll on me mentally. Initially, in the beginning of the pandemic in 11th grade, I struggled mentally with being productive and having a life outside of my computer. I faced a lot of internal struggles. This year, however, I have been able to balance a healthy lifestyle along with school, Alhamdullilah.
COVID has stripped the majority of us of many opportunities such as attending events, and unfortunately I will not be able to experience all of the trips and other activities that a senior year would normally entail. I am still hoping for the best for the remainder of the senior year, InshaAllah. I hope that we can enjoy some fun, engaging activities while maintaining our safety during the pandemic.
What is the worst and best thing about being a senior?
For me, the best part of being a senior is the college application process. After years and years of hard work and trying to perform to the best of my abilities in my studies, all of it has finally culminated into this life changing moment. While I am currently still in the college applications process, the excitement of my hard work possibly paying off and getting me into a good college is thrilling. While it is a lot of work, InshaAllah it will be worth it in the end.
The worst part about being a senior (other than the tons of AP Classes and Dual Enrollment homework) is probably the realization that it's time for me to become an adult. All these memories that I have had with my classmates growing up together over the past 17 years and the feelings of innocence and joy will all disperse soon. The days that we dreamed of at a young age that seemed merely impossibly of happening back then are finally here. It really shows you how in this dunya we are moving so fast, and we really cannot waste our time when it comes to our worship and devotion to Allah (SWT).
What do you hope to accomplish throughout or by the end of your senior year? This can be anything, from academics to personal or non-school related goals.
InshaAllah by the end of the year, I am hoping that I will still be committed to my healthy eating/exercise routine that has really changed me and helped me grow mentally in the past few months. I also pray that I do justice to all the time, love, and energy my parents, family, and teachers have put into me over the years by being admitted to a quality college. Lastly, I pray that my Deen is stronger than ever, as college is an extremely challenging test and I will need as strong of an Iman that I can have during those temptatious times.
Who is your biggest hero/role model and why?
The Prophet Muhammad PBUH should be every Muslim’s role model, and he has always been a source of inspiration and learning for me as an individual. I also look up to my two grandfathers, Dr. Shah Jahan and the late Dr. Abdul Mannan, as role models. Both of my grandfathers put all of their blood, sweat, and tears into gaining an education for themselves in their towns in Bangladesh. They did this against all the odds and really set the foundation for their children and grandchildren to be successful. Without their hardwork and determination that they put their entire lives, I would never be in this privileged situation here in America, and I am so grateful for their efforts. They were raised with wooden spoons in their mouths so that I could be raised with a golden spoon in my mouth.
What will you miss most about your time at PVS?
I will probably miss the environment that PVS has that my classmates and I grew up in- that is something I really will never be able to experience again. We were able to have our own version of an American education system, while still maintaining our practice of the Deen with minimal temptations, peer pressuring, or bullying (for me). The memories that we made will carry on with me for the rest of my life, and it's really amazing to watch my classmates grow from babies to men in a blink of an eye.
What are your plans for college/after graduation?
As of now, I am interested in studying something along the lines of economics and social sciences. However, I also have interests in some science subjects, so the future isn't clear-cut in my head yet regarding my specific pursuits.
What advice do you have for the underclassmen?
For the academic part, the greatest advice I can offer is to just simply do all your homework and assignments, participate in class to understand the subject, and put some effort into studying because that effort we put in is what separates us all. The intelligence level in a class from the top ranked to the bottom is not a large disparity, it's just the hard work and mentality each individual approaches their school work with that separates our ranks. I was able to have a lot of fun in my school time while still staying on top of my studies, so, InshaAllah, implementing effort will definitely help in the long run.
Outside of academics, my greatest advice is to stay connected to Allah SWT. No matter what adversities and successes you go through in high school, always try to make duaa to Allah SWT and pray to Him for help. Whenever we are struggling to stay motivated in class, or we aren't getting the right grades, we look to see how much commitment we have made to spending time with Allah SWT, and then we realize why we have been struggling. Allah SWT can ease any troubles that we have, so InshaAllah always return to Him in times of need and in times of happiness.