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Overcoming uncertainty during this difficult time

  • Sunday, May 10, 2020
    Sarah Adewumi

    Editor's note: The transition to all online classes prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented adjustment in the journey to realize the goal of earning a college degree.  Here is the reigning Miss UMES' perspective.

    By Sarah Adewumi  

    Uncertainty … is definitely the term I would use to describe this pandemic and the period of time that surrounds it.

    The abruptness of campus closures around the country was a shocking blow for students like myself -- especially student leaders with their positions and on- campus responsibilities being cut short, but with so much left to do.  

    This spring semester saw me traveling consistently, from attending the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's 2020 Policy Conference in Washington with other HBCU student leaders, to trips to Annapolis to lobby state lawmakers to support UMES with more money, to even traveling to Howard University's child care center for 'Read Across America' day.

    Shortly after the news in March of our transition into remote learning was announced, there were still so many things I wanted to do that got cut short.  I think the most stunning part was coming to grips my athletic season (on the UMES tennis team) was going to be over just as soon as it started.  

    Looking back, I do wish I was able to be on campus more this semester, but I am certainly proud of what did get accomplished on and off campus.  

    Like everyone else, I am still looking to see what the next months may hold.  Fortunately, my summer internship with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was actually transformed to operate virtually.  

    I am still very hopeful for the future, however, and am praying for everyone's safety.  

    My heart right now is really with the classes of 2023 & 2020 - from an unpredictable freshman year to graduating seniors, I sympathize wholeheartedly.  First-generation graduates, students who did it on their own, for their loved ones ... a college graduate, period.  I can only imagine.  

    In the midst of so much uncertainty, my biggest wish is for everyone to stay uplifted and encouraged during this time.  Utilizing quarantine to pick up new skills or even simply focusing on what makes you happy can go a long way.  I can definitely say that maintaining a routine has helped me hold on to something 'familiar' throughout this time.  

    From uncertainty to understanding and acceptance, we will get through this together.  

    I am praying for everyone's safety and mental strength to keep on pushing no matter what life may bring.  

    Always remember, self-care matters.  I take inspiration from Michelle Obama, who said, “We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own 'to do' list."

    Sarah Adewumi is a junior aviation science major from Phoenix, Ariz.  She served the 2019-20 academic year as the 51st Miss UMES.