Zara Sibtain ’13 knew college would provide her with life changing experiences. What she did not know was that it would teach her how to carve a pumpkin.
As a sophomore, she tackled one of the College’s most well-liked traditions: creating a jack-o-lantern for her senior. “I had never carved one before,” Sibtain remembered. “So it was an experience.”
For Sibtain, a psychology major from Pakistan, traditions like Pumpkin Parade or Ring Week go beyond pumpkins and rings. They are ways for first-years and sophomores to get to know juniors and seniors and to come together as a community.
“It is about more than the experience,” she said. “It’s about getting to know them. Those traditions are just the beginning of it. You make a bond with them, and it’s a bond that stays.”
The traditions are also links to the College’s past. “Obviously, they have changed and evolved over the years,” Sibtain said. “But our core values remain. We all share the same values those women did back more than 100 years ago, yet we are different from them. We make it our own.”
Trying new things is a way of life for Sibtain, who believes the more you try, the more you get out of life. In addition to helping lead orientation for new international students, Sibtain is a Gold Key Guide and president of Pan World. She also volunteers in the community, has worked backstage at theatre productions, and ran cross country.
“I want to do everything,” she said. “I think it’s the best way to meet people, and every time you do something or work on a project, you figure something out about yourself.”
Being chosen as a Davenport Leader ranks high on Sibtain’s list of accomplishments. The competitive program provides in-depth leadership training to a group of students each year. The students then use that training to organize and lead new student orientation during the summer. The experiences Sibtain gained from her work as a Davenport Leader built her confidence.
“It’s made me realize that everything is not always going to be spelled out on paper,” she said. “Sometimes you are going to be in situations, and you just have to deal with something and keep going.”
Kim Sheldon, director of student success, said determination and an ability to empathize with people make Sibtain a dynamic leader. “Zara’s ability to understand others, which has been invaluable to her as a Davenport Leader, helps her to build relationships and get things done,” she said.
Leadership for Sibtain is about giving back to a College she loves. “Randolph has given me so much,” she said. “I hope I’m making a difference here.”