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Freedom Alumna: Zona Hijazi

Jamie Hsiao, Staff Writer

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Former Freedom Patriot Zona Hijazi attended Freedom High School from 2010 to 2014. Today, Hijazi is a Senior at the University of South Florida. She still recalls her memories of Freedom fondly and reflects on how high school prepared her for her endeavors.

Overall, Hijazi had a great experience attending Freedom. She values the long-lasting friendships she made in high school and especially the education she received from the teachers.

“My favorite memory would be the time I spent with my teachers,” stated Hijazi. “I learned a lot from them.”

Hijazi continues to stay in contact with these teachers.

“I do still keep in touch with some of them,” said  Hijazi. “I’m friends with quite a few of them on Facebook and reach out to them from time to time.”

The one thing she doesn’t particularly miss is being sleep deprived from waking up for school each day.

“I never got any sleep,” mentioned Hijazi. “7:30 A.M. is way too early!”

Most importantly, Hijazi’s time at Freedom prepared her for the strenuous nature of college. By taking advantage of her resources, Hijazi was able to acquire skills needed to excel at her university.

“I think my time in high school, in a lot of ways, prepared me for college,” explained Hijazi. “I learned how to manage my time wisely in high school, which is definitely important in college. I also developed strong studying habit, which I still use today.”

Hijazi, like most college freshman, experienced the initial “culture shock” from being in such an unfamiliar environment. Despite this, she quickly learned the importance of independence and was able to gracefully adjust to this new way of life.

“I realized quickly that I was completely independent in keeping up with all my work, deciding what I wanted to do and meeting with my professors’ expectations,” stated Hijazi.

Hijazi is now majoring in economics and aspires to pursue a career in law.

“I am studying finance at USF and will be graduating this May,” said Hijazi, “I am starting in law school this fall and hope to practice corporate law.”

Hijazi has spent the past year working towards applying for law school. She has been accepted to several universities, including the University of Florida, University of Washington and Washington University in St. Louis. After much deliberation over the logistics, Hijazi has decided that she will attend the University of Virginia, a top ranking law school.

As an alumna of Freedom, Hijazi is able to leave current Freedom Patriots with an outlook on how determination and passion can be a motivating force.

“I would advise FHS students who are planning on attending college to be prepared to look out for themselves and be independent,” states Hijazi. “College is manageable, but it could be easy to fall behind if you don’t take it seriously. I recommend joining clubs, so you can meet lots of different students and really get involved around campus. Try to do that best you can, and enjoy it while it lasts – it’s such a valuable and fun experience.”

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