Pinar Matles

Pinar Matles

President's ScholarSecond time honoree
College of Social Sciences

I am a person who is not afraid to do the things in her mind.

As a kid living in a small city, I always dreamt of living in Istanbul and attending the most prestigious university in the country. However, my modest high school was not famous for raising potential Bogazici University students. Therefore, I studied hard.  My hard work brought me great results, and I ranked 67th in about 2 million high school graduates on the standardized university entrance exam, and I won admission to BU.

When I was a student at BU, I dreamt of being a host on national TV.  And one day, I received an offer from the most prestigious TV channel, and I worked as a TV host for 9 years.

When I was working on TV, I dreamt of leaving Istanbul and opening up my own restaurant on the Mediterranean. I did it.

When I had my restaurant, I dreamt of experiencing a new life, starting from scratch in a different country.  I chose America.

I came here leaving my TV personality, restaurant, family and friends back home.  I did not know anybody. I had no job, health insurance, or enough money to last more than a year. Eight years later, I now have a loving husband and 2 amazing children.  I am attending an excellent university filled with great teachers who taught me more than the classes themselves. They helped me to become a whole person, shaped my beliefs, personality and goals. So, I want to be a teacher, now. And I know, it is not just a dream.

I chose psychology as my major because when I took a general psychology course, I became fascinated with it. Studying psychology made me understand the others around me and myself better. This award confirms my hard work and motivates me to continue studying hard to achieve my goals.

Overall, my teachers have been the most influential people in my life. I have encountered many great teachers both in Turkey and in the United States. I admired them so much that I wanted to know as much as they do. So, my motivation came not from a desire to obtain good grades, but from a desire to emulate those great people.

One should aim to be a knowledgeable person rather than trying to pass the class. If you do so, regardless of how hectic your life is, you can find a time to study since you truly enjoy it.

Nominated by Professor Van Selst