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Campus Current

The award-winning newspaper of Anne Arundel Community College.

Campus Current

The award-winning newspaper of Anne Arundel Community College.

Campus Current

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  • At Soapbox Sisters, one of the events for this year's Women's History Month, students will perform speeches and poems by women.
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  • At Soapbox Sisters, one of the events for this year's Women's History Month, students will perform speeches and poems by women.
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Be ready to pivot at any time

Bryant+Pepe%2C+a+third-year+earth+science+student+and+president+of+the+Super+Science+Club%2C+says+his+life+experiences+made+him+different%2C+but+more+flexible.
Bryant Pepe
Bryant Pepe, a third-year earth science student and president of the Super Science Club, says his life experiences made him different, but more flexible.

The ability to pivot is an invaluable skill that develops with time. Often, we have little warning before we have to pivot, but when the need arises, we should be ready.

Somewhere between complacency and the pivot, change occurs, and the pivot represents our ability to meet new situations and new challenges. The biggest changes yield the most unexpected results. Most people don’t know how capable they truly are until presented with the opportunity to meet a challenge.

I’ve lived a hundred lives before today and will likely live many hundreds more before I’m finished. I had a career and identity wiped clean by a pandemic-stricken world, left obsolete in a quiet haze in the weeks that followed March 15, 2020. My life hadn’t been unfulfilled, but not healthy or whole, either. Years of restaurant experience showed me patience but introduced fatigue.

Years of playing and facilitating music showed me confidence and hospitality. Decades of travel gave me perspective and humility. I knew my identity but didn’t know how to grow.

​Given the gift of opportunity amid the solitude of isolation, I was able to reflect and reconnect with myself. I tapped into childhood dreams that no longer seemed so distant and found I was no longer too busy or fatigued to pursue them. I enrolled in college and flight school on my birthday in 2020 and never looked back.

​It was years later that the results became more apparent. I found myself presenting research at a science conference, perfectly qualified to do so.

Standing by my poster in my fancy suit ready and waiting to speak my piece, my peers and mentors stood proudly alongside me, but a notion remained in the back of my mind. A voice repeated that I don’t belong, that the person presenting this thorough study was not the same person who had been slinging drinks and touring years prior.

Having no other choice in that moment, I drew from my bank of experience, from any time I ever stood upon an unfamiliar stage or stepped behind a bar, prepared to perform. I put on my best face, my happiest demeanor, and spoke exactly as prepared. Before I knew it, my session was over, and I could move forward and reflect.

After making such momentous changes in the face of upheaval, it has become easier to accept how fundamentally different my environment has become compared with all I had ever known.

Nothing is quite the same, but that’s OK: I am exactly where I’m meant to be today because I am the same person who got me here, even if that person is a little different.

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