Alumni Reflections on 2020: Mo Earley (’13)

What has been most difficult for you throughout this past year?

Mo Earley head shot photo

Mo Earley (’13)

Community is very important to me, and our response to the pandemic – cancelled in-person classes, postponed graduation celebrations, the inability to be with friends – initially really stifled community as I knew it. Fortunately, humans are quick to adapt where we can, especially with the doors opened by technology, and I’m grateful for that, but I am still grieving the losses of the communities I knew and the community I was unable to build as I thought I would this year.

What has been the most positive aspect of this past year for you, personally and/or professionally?

I learned to trust my own instincts, and that while I deeply value and need input from trusted mentors and friends, I realized that in any conversation about how to invest my time and what my next steps should be, the loudest voice should be my own.

How have you grown, changed, and developed throughout 2020?

Out of necessity, I’ve learned to be more patient and become comfortable with “deciding to not decide.” In previous years of my life, I have felt a lot of frustration about not being able to quickly complete all of the tasks ahead of me, and sitting in uncertainty for extended periods of time led to a lot of stress. In adapting to the ups and downs brought by 2020, I’ve become more comfortable with not knowing all of the answers at once, more adept at knowing what I can and can’t do at any given moment, and more accepting of the times when the only appropriate action is waiting.

What lessons from 2020 will you take with you into the year(s) ahead?

Nothing in life – whether we are in a pandemic or not – will go entirely (or at all!) as planned, and that’s okay. This year, I learned to trust that I am heading in the right direction even if the steps along the way look different than I imagined they would.