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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

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Ellyonna Glenn

Contributed by Ellyonna Glenn.

Ellyonna Glenn `22 characterized her time in Grinnell, IA with a series of late-night shenanigans and good times spent with close friends. When the weather was nice, Glenn and her friends would take walks and sit on the soccer fields, talking about anything and everything.

As a political science major and East Asian studies and global development studies double concentrator, Glenn has spent time taking classes through Sophia University in Tokyo (virtually) during the pandemic and working on an independent study with Professor Shigeta Schimmell about Japanese environmental literature, which blended her interests in literature and the environment through a new lens.

“I hadn’t really studied it before but it was something new and familiar at the same time,” Glenn said.

Glenn is currently 14 hours ahead of Central Standard Time where she is living in South Korea, taking classes and “just vibing.” Next year, she hopes to have a job teaching English, which is something Glenn says she kind of stumbled into.

“An opportunity literally just fell into my lap, like through a friend of a friend of a friend,” Glenn said.

However, she originally planned to take a gap year or two before applying to law schools. Glenn went to a STEM magnet high school, which was known for rigorous academics. After years of academia, she is ready for a bit of a break.

“I feel like I’ve been a fulltime student since I was 15 … and I just feel like I really need a break from doing that, and experiencing more dynamics to my being.”

A mainstay of her time at Grinnell — both pre- and post-pandemic — has been Glenn’s tight-knit friend group. 2 a.m. soccer field meetings don’t happen with just one person, after all, and Glenn remembers meeting one of her closest friends during their Dining Hall student worker orientation.

I feel like I’ve been a fulltime student since I was 15 … and I just feel like I really need a break from doing that, and experiencing more dynamics to my being. -Ellyonna Glenn `22

“I just remember looking over at her and I was like ‘do you know what we’re supposed to be doing right now?’ and she was like, ‘Nah’ and we just became friends since then,” Glenn said.

Glenn participated in Koreaography, a dance club with her friends, and also performed at the spring Drag Show her first year. Having so many friends to rely on and keep in touch with across the world helped her through the pandemic.

“Honestly the only reason I kept going online is because I wanted to graduate with my friends,” Glenn said. “I didn’t want to have to do time away from them after they’d already finished up their time at Grinnell … to be concise, it was difficult.”

In Glenn’s future is the simultaneous excitement and dread of having a plan to not have a plan.

“I’m really excited to just not have so many deadlines anymore and not be a student,” Glenn said. “But I’m also feeling kind of overwhelmed with post-grad. What am I going to do? I just have always been that person with a plan and so when people ask me now, ‘What’s your plan? What are you going to do next?’ and I have to say, ‘I don’t know.’ I’m literally figuring it out as we speak.”

Because she is abroad, Glenn won’t be graduating at commencement with the rest of the class of 2022, but that’s something she’s okay with. She said her goodbyes to her friends before she left for Korea, early in the morning before getting on the plane, and since then has come to terms with the end of her undergraduate status and time at Grinnell.

“I’ve gotten to a point where it’s like, I’m just de jure finishing,. Not to be a poli sci major, but I de facto finished my time at Grinnell weeks and weeks ago. It’s been a lot of emotions.”


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About the Contributor
Ellianna Cierpiot
Ellianna Cierpiot, News Editor
Ellianna Cierpiot is a second-year English major & Film and Media Studies concentrator hailing from Kansas City, KS. Their interests include poetry, horror movies, and, recently, giraffes, but their journalistic interests lie in investigative explorations of how policy affects lives. They probably want to watch a movie together sometime.
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