She speaks “5ish” languages and has taken up the cello. Yeah, Shaista is the epitome of over-achievement, but she describes it as simple curiosity. And she says she couldn’t be in a better, more motivating environment. “Every day I go to Pitt I know I’m going to learn something I’ve always wanted to learn.”
Shaista and her immediate family immigrated to the U.S. from Afghanistan in 2019. Despite the transition, she successfully completed her last year of high school early (graduating at the age of 16), and got accepted into Pitt after just one year at a community college.
She still vividly remembers receiving her acceptance email. “I cannot explain how happy I was at that moment. I was in shock, to be honest,” exclaims Shaista.
The 18-year-old admits the transfer process can be stressful, “it was kind of hard explaining to everyone the report cards we brought from Afghanistan,” but Shaista says the people at Pitt have helped her see the seemingly impossible is actually doable.