Senior Profile: Emem Akpan

What is your major and minor? What other academic programs were you a part of?
Double major in Political Science and Philosophy. Minor in Sociology. 

What are some of the jobs you held while at McDaniel?

I worked as a tutor and notetaker for the Philosophy Department. These jobs were really fun because I love Philosophy! I never worked outside of school while in attendance. My parents had told me to think of school as my full-time job. I did have a few internships through McDaniel which were great because I had the opportunity to work with people from different backgrounds which I thoroughly enjoyed. 

What organizations were you a part of at McDaniel? What positions did you hold?

I remember as a freshman, I went to every club meeting on campus. As time went on, I became committed to certain organizations like Best Buddies, SGA, and McDaniel’s Philosophy club. I am currently the President for the McDaniel chapter of Phi Sigma Tau, the National Honor Society of Philosophy.

Have you enjoyed your time at McDaniel? If so, what did you enjoy the most?

Yes, most definitely. During the first three years at McDaniel what I enjoyed the most was the time, assistance, and resources that were allotted to me in order to succeed. I truly appreciate the fact that at McDaniel there is always a helping hand. Senior year, my favorite aspect of attending McDaniel is getting to see my little sister all time. She’s a freshman.

Who do you think was/is your best mentor?

I regard every person I have encountered on this path as a sort of mentor. We can all learn something from somebody. 

Describe your favorite memory at McDaniel.

My favorite memory on the hill will have to be meeting the 2018-2019 cohort of exchange students. I became close friends with those amazing ladies. In 2020, I had the chance to visit most of them in their respective countries, and there we made even more memories! I miss them!!!

What are some of the challenges you encountered and how did you overcome them?

One major challenge that I was determined to overcome was lack of motivation. I’m sure we’ve all been there, but I had it bad. There were nights where I would just look at an assignment and cry (so embarrassing, but true). I can laugh about it now, but I just didn’t feel like doing anything. There was only one solution to this problem; I had to get back to reality. I stopped using my phone, I started taking cold showers, I started reading everyday, lifting weights, going to bed early. This sounds crazy, but it worked! I became more disciplined which made it easier to do the work I needed to get done.

What are your plans for after graduation?

Your guess is as good as mine. Don’t worry though, there are a couple of things in the works. 

What would you tell yourself as a first-year student at McDaniel?

Stop ordering stuff off Amazon!

Where do you see the world in 10 years?

Well, the world is more interconnected than ever before. It seems as though innovation has propelled at the speed of light within the last 40 years. With that being stated, I envision a major functioning universal system of communication that specifically serves to assist world leaders and lay citizens in alleviating global issues. I assume social media will play a large part in this, but this line will consist of more protected and proven information. I believe the world will become much more efficient at mitigating and even reversing dilemmas such as climate change, hunger, and war violence. I also foresee the eradication of deadly viruses that have plagued our societies and ecosystems for much too long.

How do you reflect on your senior year during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic?

This has been a year with devastation and heartache. While we all handle crisis differently, I for one can say that the loss and suffering around the world has really affected me and of course led me into deep reflection. Senior year is when we all like to reflect, I’m sure. However, under the current circumstance I have no doubt we are all reflecting a bit differently now that the pandemic is the backdrop. Let me just state that senior year (with or without the pandemic in mind) will never be as trying as the difficulties faced when losing a loved one, dealing with an illness, navigating mental health in isolation, etc. So for those of you who have been going through this, please hang in there, talk to someone, spend time with your loved ones, get outside if you can, watch your favorite movies, try to relax and take a moment for some self-care. We will get through this.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the McDaniel community?

McDaniel College truly does change lives!