Senior Spotlight: Zaid Hadidi
Tell me about yourself. When did you come to PVS? What are your hobbies and interests?
I came to PVS in seventh grade; before that, the majority of my educational experience came from homeschooling. By going to PVS, I became aware of just how behind I was with my communication skills, and Alhamdulillah, I have dramatically improved in that department during my six years here. This school also gave me an opportunity to look at Islam from different perspectives, and my deen became three-dimensional thanks to that.
While I'm not coordinated or fit in any way, I enjoy being outdoors and playing sports, and I feel that this school's environment really encourages that of its students, which is something I will miss. While I'm not particularly good at anything, my laid-back mindset has let me enjoy most of the things I try, and I feel like my hobby lies in that trait rather than any specific activity or sport.
How has COVID-19 impacted your senior year?
Alhamdullilah, COVID-19, as a disease, has not impacted me personally, and I am genuinely thankful for that. But the lockdown is a different story. I always had a problem with my time management, and staying home in front of a computer screen did not help. Ever since the lockdown started in my second semester of 10th grade, my productivity has been snowballing downward. To add salt to the wound, a lot of the events I looked forward to were either canceled or held online, depriving me of many experiences. But humans learn and overcome. By the time my senior year started, I felt my work ethic slowly coming back to me. Alhamdullilah, halfway through our first semester, we were able to come back on-campus. This helped me get a grasp of my priorities and I feel like we weathered the storm long enough. InshaAllah, the worst of COVID has already passed us, and society as a whole is on its way to going back to running smoothly.
What is the worst and best thing about being a senior?
Personally, I found the worst part of being a senior is the realization that most of the high school experiences I savor could very much be my last. It's a realization that this is the last time I could live without having to worry about what exactly I hope to accomplish in life. My laid-back days are nearing an end, and essentially I now have to start living up to the fact that I am an adult. And the first step of doing so is realizing my worries are trivial. The worst part of being a senior isn't all that bad, and I felt like that realization can also be the best thing about being a senior. You realize that life chooses for you what you should worry about and Islam chooses for you what you should prioritize. It's really that straightforward.
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.
My sights are set on two goals: building myself spiritually and building myself academically. College is notorious for being a bad influence on your Deen, and I hope to find the mindset and friends to help me through that portion of my life. College is also known for being a place where you're on your own academically. My time management is sub-par, and I heard it's very easy to get distracted in college. So my next steps are challenging myself to push the limits of my motivation and priorities, along with clearly establishing the boundaries of Islam in my lifestyle. And I pray that Allah gives me the strength to accomplish that and more in order to succeed in this life and the next.
Who is your biggest hero/role model and why?
Prophet Muhammad PBUH should be a role model for every Muslim, and I'm no exception. I always try to implement his teaching and guidance in my life, specifically in situations where I am unsure. Another person I always look up to is my grandmother. She is the go-to advisor for the entirety of my extended family, and her well-groundedness is what makes her so. Subhannallah, her decisions always have a form of barakah to them, and that ability of hers is something that I always admire. I hope to be as reliable as her to both my friends and family in the future.
What will you miss most about your time at PVS?
I spoke about this earlier, but one aspect of PVS that I always appreciate is that energetic environment. Our class was canceled? We go outside. Free period? Throw a football around. It is that energy that I feel like I will miss the most about PVS, and I hope to find a group in college with that same energy.
What are your plans for college/after graduation?
At the moment, my sights are set on medicine. So I'm looking at different pre-med programs in different colleges and I'm trying to plan ahead to make that trek as straightforward as possible. It doesn't look like I'm leaving Memphis though, and I do hope to stay in touch with the Muslim community here.
What advice do you have for the underclassmen?
While it may sound simple, my advice is to look at the good in everything. I struggle with this as I am cynical by nature, but I find that I am happiest in life when I am not looking down. It's easy to get focused on small problems and always have something to worry about. But by looking at the big picture, you can not only prioritize your time and effort properly, but also reduce stress and live a more laid-back lifestyle. Life can be easy if you want it to, and it can be hard if you want it to. At the end of the day, it's all up to Allah SWT, and we should all pray regularly to keep us on the straight path.