Aysha Nuhuman’s Transformative Experience at Washington & Jefferson College
From an introvert to an extrovert, from failing Math to acing it, and from pursuing a Nursing major to pursuing a dual Math and Physics major in Engineering, Aysha Nuhuman has had quite a journey at W&J.
Aysha Nuhuman was born in Sri Lanka but grew up in Sharjah in the UAE. Up until high school she studied in Sharjah before moving to the US to pursue an undergraduate degree. She is currently enrolled in the Engineering Program at Washington & Jefferson College and pursuing a dual major in Math and Physics.
Journey to the US
Aysha describes her younger self as antisocial and an average student. Her decision to study in the US was not her own but prompted by her dad. “My dad was very big about sending me to the US. He would say, some of the best schools are in America.” She adds, “It also helped that I had an Uncle there, which made my parents feel that I would have family close if I studied there.” As things would unfold however, Ayesha ended up enrolling at Washington & Jefferson College which was a long way off from where her Uncle lived in LA.
Ayesha spent a considerable amount of time looking for a college that would be the right fit for her. She says, initially she travelled to LA and toured colleges there. But says “most of the schools in LA were big universities and I was looking for something smaller.” She hence decided to look at other colleges in other states and this is how she happened to discover W&J where she applied to, and was accepted.
Aysha says she shed her inhibitions at the international orientation that was held at the beginning of the school year at W&J. “Everyone was nervous and hesitant to start a conversation and being in the same boat made it easier for me to open up.” Before she knew it she says, she started cultivating lasting friendships.
Today Aysha says, she is nothing like her younger reclusive self and in fact is one of the few people on campus who knows “over 500 people”.
From Nursing to Engineering
Aysha initially wanted to pursue a degree in Nursing. “I always want to help everyone, which is why I thought this would be the ideal field for me.” However she decided to change her course of study when she discovered her love for engineering and math! Aysha wasn’t very good in math in school, she says, in fact she failed Math in high school, but at W&J she got an ‘A’ in the subject. Aysha also discovered her passion for ‘energy engineering’ at W&J, and this is what she is on the path to pursue.
Although Aysha’s schedule is quite hectic, she is always eager to help and assist where she can. She offers tutoring and mentoring services to other students and is also Vice President of the International Club at W&J which is quite an active organisation that aims to help international students integrate into their new environment.
Aysha encourages other students to apply to W&J, which she says is a great school, and her own self transformation is testament to this. She says one of the things she found quite beneficial at the school was its small class sizes, and the ability to communicate one on one with professors at the University. “The faculty at W&J are always available and accessible and you can go to them with any question and they are willing to help.” She adds, “It doesn’t always have to be about academic as well, I sometimes even discuss personal issues with them.”
Aysha is hoping to enroll in an energy internship in Japan via the Magellan Project at W&J. The Magellan Project is unique to Washington & Jefferson and provides its students with the support and funding necessary to pursue their own self-designed summer research projects.
The Last Word
Aysha’s advice to all students looking to study in the US and at W&J is to work and study hard. She says, “You need to be prepared to study hard to get the most out of this experience.”