Alycia Selby is a 24-year-old graduate from Temple University. She’s taking on the challenges of adulthood head-on and adjusting to life after college. Although having an art degree, she is an educator to preschool children in the Howard County area of Maryland. Miss. Selby gave us a peak at her life and current opinions on the United States in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Hornet: Can we meet the person behind the face? Where were you born and what was your upbringing like?
Alycia: I was born in Woodlawn or Gwynn Oak, Maryland. It’s about fifteen to twenty minutes outside Baltimore city, so I grew up in the suburbs I guess you would say. I am the middle child of three girls, but also the oldest of my mother’s kids. That was an interesting experience from being the youngest at one point to being the oldest all of a sudden. It was just really interesting, really creative, really loving kind of house.
Hornet: Who would you say was your greatest influence that impacted the woman you are today?
Alycia: My Nanny instilled a lot of empathy and a lot of just being sweet because you can, or kind because you can. I try to do that every day and just try to be nice and kind to whoever. I think that is important.
Hornet: What about your family?
Alycia: I’ll say this about my family, we have a really strong matriarchal system going on. That will be interesting to investigate once I’ve had my own kids, and I become a part of the matriarch.
Hornet: Where did you go to school, and what were ambitions/ goals when you were a student?
Alycia: I was really lucky to go to great schools all the way through primary and secondary education. I went to a blue-ribbon elementary school. I went to a magnet middle school for Japanese. I went to a performing art and technical high school for drawing and painting. It was just so much fun. There are some years, particularly middle school, and you’re like oh my god they were the worst, but I wouldn’t change anything because it was all in all pretty great.
Hornet: Can you tell us of your job/education experience prior to attending college? What was the most memorable moment while you were in school?
Alycia: It was all camp counselor positions and in particular for the art camp that I went to as a kid. I think the first time I was at my first teaching job and my student told me they love me within the first couple of days, and it made me realize how much the little things you do for them will stick with them. I thought that was really cool that it came about kind of fast.
Hornet: Is this where you thought you’d be five or so years ago? What informed your decision on doing what you’re doing now?
Alycia: Absolutely not, I had convinced myself that I really didn’t want to work with kids because they got on my nerves. I’ve educated myself a lot since then on development and now I understand them on another level that I never that I would even care to know. I find them interesting, fun, and so loving, I didn’t think I’d be here, but I am satisfied. Personal experience, I remember the teachers that really nurtured my talents and taught me to be empathetic and try see thing from different perspective and try new things.
Hornet: What are your future plans?
Alycia: I’m going to go back to school. If I can get someone to pay for my masters, I want to go back for graphic design. Through the Maryland credentialing system, I could also go back and get an education degree to go along with my BFA in drawing and painting.
Hornet: What kind of advice would you offer a student, who is undecided on his or her career path?
Alycia: It going to be alright. Do what comes naturally to you. Your calling will always be your calling whether you figure it out at eighteen or fifty-six. Keep an open mind and pushing forward, because you’ll never find if you stay stagnant.
Hornet: How would you describe higher education in America?
Alycia: It’s a wreck. People should not be paying as much as they are to get a degree most people would like you to have. There’s constantly the talk that there’s money out there, but a lot of people can’t find it because maybe they’re a first-generation college student.
Hornet: Have you ever travelled outside of the United States? Where, and how does life outside compare to that in the US?
Alycia: I have never been out of the states, but I hear it is quite lovely in other places. Of course, every place has its negatives. I want to go to Japan, Fiji, San Torino, and an island.
Hornet: What does the future hold for America?
Alycia: I don’t know what’s going to happen at this point. I feel like we are living in a state of perpetual fear, like constant worry about things that are out of our control. Things are just a mess and I have no idea where they are going.
Hornet: Are you interested in politics? If no, why not? What is your take on the state of politics and the future of the American democracy?
Alycia: I have to be at this point. It seems so unreal. To see the Cuomo’s arguing about who’s their mothers favorite over national television, shouldn’t be important during a pandemic.
Hornet: How are you responding to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus?
Alycia: I had been kind of a germaphobe. I was very particular about keeping my hands clean especially working with kids. Now I put hand sanitizer every ten minutes, if I’m out and if I’m home I wash my hands consistently. I disinfect myself before I come into the house and wipe down my steering wheel, just being vigilant.
Hornet: How are you handling this stay-at-home order?
Alycia: I am not. My center is still open, so I am still working. My job is considered essential during the pandemic.
Hornet: What keeps you going during these trying times?
Alycia: My bills that I have to pay. I cannot be afraid of something that I cannot control or not knowing I’m going to catch. People are following the rule by not meeting in crowds that are more than ten people and still getting it. There are just a bunch of variables that I cannot let control what I’m doing right now.
Hornet: How can the government better handle the situation?
Alycia: To stop pretending that everything is under control because it obviously is not.
Hornet: What are your hobbies?
Alycia: I like to draw and go to the gym. I’ve drawn all my life, and always wanted to be an artist. It is a passion of mine.
Hornet: How would you describe your philosophy of life? That is, how do you see this life and what principles get you grounded and moving forward?
Alycia: Don’t stop. It is okay to take rest and listen to your body. Making sure that you take of yourself and keep taking step forward in whatever is important at that moment. Mind your business and be kind.
Hornet: Let us end this interview with a memorable quote from you. How would you describe yourself to the world? Complete the sentence: I am…
Alycia: I am an air sign.
Post-Graduation life is hard. Some of us come out of college without a clear career path. Our passions follow us through any occupation and that’s what keeps us moving forward. The condition of the United States is questionable, but with educators like Alycia still working and practicing safe habits, we will prevail through the pandemic.