Safiya is from Brooklyn, New York. At the time of her interview, she was living in Brooklyn as a third-year college student, and spending her days “working out at the gym, going to school, and staying at home typing up scripts and stuff.”
Safiya’s Most Likely To Is: Most Likely to Win Some Kind of Award for Creative Writing
We talked about what it’s like to work out at the same place where you work:
“Contrary to popular belief, it’s actually a very welcoming environment. I did also think that it was going to be awkward when I first started working there.
I didn’t start working out right away when I got the job, I actually waited around and got a feel of it and stuff like that. And actually, it’s pretty cool…I’d say 9 out of 10 people who work there actually work out there as well. We make friends with the members of the gym. It’s like a huge family actually.”
Safiya explained why winning an award for her writing is one of her goals:
“You know what’s funny? I’m very passionate about writing…but I’m not passionate about award shows. But I want to be recognized for the work that I do. I want to be recognized for my talent, because I believe I’m talented.
I still have a long way to go, but I’ve also come a very long way. So, I feel like if I continue the way that I’m going – with receiving help and getting advice from people who are higher up on the talent bar than I am – I feel like I’m most likely to win an award of some sort for my writing. I’m sure there’s some kind of award for it!”
She explained how “the broke life” of being a college student motivated her:
“In this day and age, there are certain things that you need to learn how to do. You need to learn how to save your money. You need to learn how to build financially and you need to learn how to take care of yourself financially.
Yes, you’re going to have your parents who are going to help you, but there might not be anybody else; and a lot of the learning comes from experience and making mistakes…and [from] experiencing the broke life.
Because one day you’re going to get out of class and you’re just going to be like, ‘man, I’m so hungry’, and you’re seeing everybody is eating Halal food…everybody’s sitting at the table with their lamb on rice, Big Macs, and everything…and you’re just sitting there like, ‘man, I don’t even know if my mom cooked tonight.’
I will be honest with you, the biggest factor in me just waking up and saying I can’t handle this broke life anymore was basically my appetite!”
We talked about how seeing the achievements of her friends and peers inspires her to do more:
“I believe that it’s better to be positive about [other people’s achievements] and raise up people’s successes and congratulate them. Because I feel like we’re all winning as a team. Maybe that’s just me, but I feel like we’re all winning as a team. If she’s doing good, then we’re all doing good. That’s how I feel…I don’t really know how to explain that feeling, but that’s just how I feel.
Because in her doing that, she’s inspiring others to do more, based on what they want to achieve. And her every achievement is just another reminder that it’s not time to stop, it’s not time to be stagnant. It’s time to be very aggressive about your dreams because this is the time you have to do it.”
Safiya spoke about the role that writing has played in her life:
“To be honest, throughout my entire life, I never stopped writing or being creative in any kind of field in the general area of fine arts. Anything fine arts, I did. Anything fine arts, I loved. Anything fine arts, my body and my mind were just like, ‘I need to do, I need to express through this’…
I had never really been a popular kid. So all I would spend my time doing when I would be by myself was just write stories because I have a very vivid imagination. Almost to the point where it hurt, because I couldn’t have other people see what I’m seeing in my head.
I would create these stories, these movies in my mind, and I’m like ‘how can I get other people to see this because I think it’s truly amazing and I want other people to see that, and understand that’. I felt like writing was the best way to express that.”
We talked about what she sees happening with her generation now:
“What I see out here is change. A lot of change. And without change there is no growth, that’s what I believe. I’m seeing a lot of change in people around my age. Not necessarily my entire generation, but specifically around my age I see a lot of people becoming more conscious and aware of what’s going on around them.
To be honest, when I was in high school – and possibly even two years ago – I wasn’t that aware of what was going on around me. I was kinda just in my zone. I was kind of not really interested in what was going on around me, but the truth is…it doesn’t matter how far you think it is, it will eventually affect you in one way or another.
And I see that happening in society, and in my age group. I see a lot of people becoming more aware of things that are happening around them, near and far.”
Check out some of the organizations that inspire Safiya: