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After Wesleyan: A 2020 graduate explores her options during a worldwide pandemic

D’Maya Kirkland ’20 was looking forward to entering a prestigious fellowship program in Norway after graduation. Unfortunately, due to the worldwide pandemic, the program was canceled and D’Maya, like so many others, had to change her plans.

But it’s not all bad news. In October, D’Maya will be moving to Catalonia, Spain, for one year to teach English to children and teens. She will also take some time to contemplate her goals for the future which include working for a non-profit organization for the arts and/or humanities before continuing her studies in graduate school. “I think studying at a women’s college has made my postgraduate plans a little more uncertain…but in a good way. I’ve learned that I have more options than I originally thought. Wesleyan has helped me realize my strengths and discover new passions, showing me many more avenues I could explore after graduation. The help I’ve received along the way has made the future much more exciting. I have ideas, but I haven’t figured it all out yet.”

This English and theatre double major from Tallapoosa, Georgia, is a Lane Scholar who served as an admission ambassador, an orientation leader, a tutor in the Writing Center, and was a member of the sustainability committee. She says her proudest accomplishment as a Wesleyan student was being selected to attend Summer Leadership Institute last summer. Her proudest moment was being crowned Homecoming Queen, “because it felt surreal. It proved to me that I am a part of some people’s (the people that voted for me) positive experiences.”

D’Maya said Wesleyan was the first women’s college she toured, and after visiting she knew she wanted to go to a women’s college. “None of the others that I considered had the same excited atmosphere for friendship and learning. Nor could the faculty compare to Wesleyan’s. After experiencing the co-ed learning environment in both public high school and dual-enrollment, stumbling upon an opportunity to study at a women’s college felt like finding the learning experience I wanted but didn’t know was possible. I can be my nerdy self here. I love that about my women’s college.”

She went on to say that Wesleyan showed her that empowered people empower each other. “My professors and friends have faith in me, which pushes me to make their investments worthwhile. I’m sure I wouldn’t have the security and sense of self that I have now if I had gone to another institution.”



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