It was morning now. She got up from her bed. She washed her hands and face. She carefully combed her hair. She returned to her room to get dressed. Hearing the noise, her mother also woke up and started to prepare breakfast. For a final check, she checked her clothes in a small mirror in her room. After having breakfast, she left home to take the most important test of her life.
Two girls among 350 boys succeeded in winning the "engineering exam", which was entered by thousands of citizens from all over the country. One was Sabiha Rıfat Ecebilge and the other was Melek Erbul. Thus, Sabiha Rıfat met her lifelong friend, her dear companion. During her school and professional life, her closest friend would be Melek Erbul.
Her life and outlook on life began to change after she started school. Although it was a bit difficult at the beginning, over time she started to get used to the school, its teachers and schoolmates. They could do sports with their boy friends and benefit from the opportunities provided by the faculty together. In her first year of school, she was selected to the school volleyball team.
One year later, Fenerbahçe Sports Club announced that they would establish a women's volleyball team. Sabiha Rıfat Hanım applied to be selected for the team. The sound of heels echoing in the hallway with high ceilings during her first entrance into the school building to apply to the engineering faculty, now echoed in the corridors of Fenerbahçe Sports Facilities. After a few tries, she was immediately accepted into the team. There was only one small problem. Volleyball was a team sport and as there were no female athletes that applied other than herself, a team could not be formed.
Just like she did at school, she started training with male athletes. Her school had contributed a lot to her. One of them was volleyball. She was impressive with her determination and success on the field. Fenerbahçe Club, which wholeheartedly defended the Republic and its values, was not indifferent to the talent of this dazzling athlete and took Sabiha Rıfat Hanım to the men's volleyball team. She would soon prove to them that this decision was not wrong. She became the team captain one year after she was selected for the team. They were taking the field as five men and one woman. Fenerbahçe Men's Volleyball Team, captained by Sabiha Rıfat Ecebilge, became the champion in 1929. This was a success like no other in the world.
On one hand she was playing with her beloved team, on the other hand she was passing her lessons one by one. The principles of the Republic of Turkey were leading in qualification in education, sports, culture, and industrial areas, being an example to the world. The level of modern civilization pointed out by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk could only be achieved this way. It was aimed to raise qualified, contemporary and competent individuals in every field of profession, and much effort was made for this purpose. Here, our first female civil engineers, Sabiha Rıfat and Melek Hanım, graduated from such an understanding of education. The day they graduated, Melek Hanım asked Sabiha Rıfat what they would do now. Sabiha Rıfat answered without hesitation:
"We'll do what everybody else is doing."