An Interview with Adina Shahzad: The Girl Who Plans to Change The World!
April 10, 2020 – Adina Shahzad & Isaiah Hilman-Smalls
“Realities of the 21st Century: Save The Soul”, Written by Adina Shahzad
What’s going on?
Adina Shahzad is a student at Farmingdale State College who has dreams of making the world a better place and she has taken the first step on her long journey by writing her book, “Realities of the 21st Century: Save The Soul”. At just 19 years old, after seven years of dedication, Shahzad has published a masterpiece that can be used as a symbol for growth and the need for progress in this world that can only happen if everyone works together.
I got the chance to have an interview with this amazing student to get the story behind her creation. Take a few minutes to read through to discover how life experiences and natural interests can lead to something really special.
Q: What are your hobbies and interests?
I have a very strong passion for both writing and dancing. I feel like they both help me express myself. I’ve been dancing on multiple teams since the age of eight and I started writing stories as soon as I learned how to properly write. I have multiple drafts since elementary school and I always wanted to combine everything to make sense and then create a bigger book out of it. I also enjoy cooking, running, and swimming.
Q: What has writing taught you?
Writing has taught me numerous things. Writing is like an outlet to help me focus and relieve stress. I try to write about certain topics that others would be interested in reading and also be able to relate to. I want people to think of both writing and reading as a method to discover themselves, rather than a tedious task. Personally, writing has taught me to never lose hope and always have an open mindset. It has made me a very open and courageous human.
Q: Where were you mentally when you decided to write this book?
I wouldn’t say that I was mentally unstable. However, I was definitely stressed out and frustrated. I knew we needed awareness for certain aspects of our society. When I would look at the news or just confront people on a daily basis, I’d get irritated. We need change and I feel like it needs to be from someone from a younger age group. There’s a lot of older people out there who do things to “change the world” and want reform, but it usually doesn’t go anywhere. I thought that maybe if a younger person tries to do so, people in our age group (who need this information the most) might actually read it and be affected. I also feel like when people know a teenager wrote a book, they’d be inspired. Also, I know people probably don’t care about what my personal opinions are on issues like rape, feminism, male dominance, drug abuse, etc., and so therefore I used facts and statistics to prove my points. However, I was surely a bit upset mentally because even though I had some support, I felt like others didn’t have faith in me and I was really shy. I always liked to write but I was too shy to publish anything. Through writing, I hoped to gain confidence and self esteem.
Q: Would you say that you had a personal experience with each of these chapters (male dominance, rape, discrimination, drug abuse, etc.) or are you just aware that they are issues in society?
Personally, I have dealt with a lot of those issues, but thankfully not all of them. For example, I’ve seen how excess money often times leads to destruction within families and self respect. At one point, my family was really rich and so it broke apart when I was a toddler. Also, I’ve seen how people hate young girls because they model or try to become public figures. As a very traditional and cultural girl, I’ve always had to do stuff my family would want me to rather than what I would want to do. I feel like this idea leads to downfall because there’s people out there who can be successful in certain things, but don’t take chances because they don’t have the resources available or they aren’t allowed to. The initial goal is to make people read this so they realize that they can do anything and be whoever they want to. I also want to show how we deal with segregation/racism and inequality on a daily basis, but we don’t even realize it because we’ve gotten so used to it. I’m aware of a lot of public issues throughout the world. I’m not only talking about America, but also other countries. It’s extremely disappointing how lives are harmed for absolutely no reason. I feel like it’s necessary to cleanse minds and we need to stop these problems in our society. We have the potential, but we just don’t take action because nothing is happening to us directly. We need to be more empathetic and put ourselves in the place of these other innocent lives. In addition, in my culture and specifically my country, male dominance is a big issue and it really irritates me how females have no say as if they are nonexistent. I strive to create equality for all genders in all areas of the world. Females need to be treated the same way as males and we need to accept that anyone can do anything they desire.
Q: Could you give a little background into where you are from and how certain ideals shaped your mindset compared to what you think of yourself now and where you want to go?
Well, I used to live in a big family with my aunts and uncles and cousins in a huge house. Then, my family split apart because my grandparents separated. That really affected me and I’ve learned a lot through them actually. Also, I’m from Pakistan and India and that really affects the mindset of my parents. They have certain things they believe in and certain expectations from girls and certain expectations from boys. That difference really bothers me because I’ve lived in America my whole life and I feel like they both need to be thought of as equal. We should think that boys and girls can do and should do anything they want to (as long as it’s in the limits). I feel like we need to strive to change the mentality of some people and show them that your gender shouldn’t affect your future. Also, in my country, girls don’t have certain privileges like education and hanging out with friends. However, we have these things here and even though it’s good, we often misuse them. I feel like we take these things for granted and we should appreciate them rather than abuse them.
Q: What are your personal goals for the future?
First and foremost, I want to try to become a better person. Character comes before everything else. Secondly, I strive to become a doctor and save lives. I’ve always dreamed of becoming an anesthesiologist or a surgeon.
Q: What are some ways that you are willing to support other students on campus and possibly from other places as well?
I just want to say that I’ll always be there for anyone who needs me. I want to be someone people can go to for help and also someone who they can be rest assured with. I won’t share their personal matters with others and my only goal is to solve their problems even if it requires a lot of work. I welcome anyone to talk with me and I will surely try my best to assist!
Q: Would you judge someone if they said something totally absurd or out of this world?
I definitely would not! Everyone makes mistakes and I’ve done a lot of dumb things myself. No matter what a person does or thinks of doing, there’s a reasoning behind it and I definitely understand that!
Q: Where do you get your ideas from?
I try to talk about things I actually know because I don’t want to misguide anyone. My content is purely knowledge that is accessible to all or personal experiences. I want to be someone who correctly informs others.
Q: Who is the target audience for this book?
Honestly speaking, it’s a book for all ages. However, more towards people who are open to accept new perspectives and ideas. The book is short and sweet so it shouldn’t be a problem for busy people. Also, I think it’s perfect for all ages since it isn’t a story book, but rather a passageway to a more sociological approach on common issues in society today.
As you can see, Adina Shahzad has big plans for the future and is willing to put in the work to make her dreams come true.
You can buy her book, “Realities of the 21st Century: Save The Soul”, on Amazon by using this link: