New counselor Raolat Agbedina shares the story of her upbringing and inspirations
"I always tell people, be yourself. Anything else is uncivilized."
New Blair counselor Raolat Agbedina has transformed herself into a bubbly, loving, positive person after struggling with her cultural identity and self-expression as a high schooler. Growing up, she didn't appreciate her Nigerian background or traditions and looked to her friends to make decisions. She admits that many of her peers didn't know where she was from.
Reflecting on her past has changed Agbedina's perspective on her culture, and she now emphasizes the importance of accepting yourself. She remarks that high school would have been much more enjoyable had she been herself. Today, she is not only appreciative of her cultural aspects, but is proud of them. In particular, she acknowledges that Nigerians can appear very loud, but that there's a loving reason behind this truth."It's not loud, it's passion! We're really passionate about everything we talk about, and just passionate people," she corrects, laughing.
Her passion extends to her work as a counselor, where she's inspired by students. She expresses that there's so much that students are learning and seeing, as students observe the world with distinct perspectives when compared to adults. She would choose passion over money every time, and loves coming in to work everyday. "If you are fulfilling your passion [and] your purpose, there's nothing that money can fulfill that your feeling of purpose can't," she states.
Agbedina's passion is not only present in her roots and mannerisms, but also in her perspective of the world. Her philosophy on life is to love everyone, regardless of who they are or what they’ve done in their past. She feels that acceptance and appreciation can be easily practiced, such as by complimenting someone in the hallway. Agbedina's positive outlook comes from her belief that people are constantly bombarded with negative images of others in society, and that acceptance can help people feel gratified."You have to be positive because it helps you be fulfilled. It makes life worth living," she concludes.
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