Layomi Adeojo

Why did you choose to attend the University of Miami?

Layomi AdeojoThere were a plethora of reasons. I’m from Pennsylvania, I come from a really small, homogenous town, so I knew I wanted to be far away from home, just to experience something new. I knew I wanted to be in a place that was diverse, and the city of Miami is very diverse compared to where I grew up. The programs are really strong academically. I love the variety of organizations and clubs, it’s been really easy for me to find a place here. I think it was a combination of all of those factors that is why I decided to come here.

Why did you choose your major? What is your favorite thing about it?

I’m a double major in English literature and psychology. I initially just came in with the English major, and I chose English because I’ve always loved reading and writing. All of the English professors I’ve had are so great here. They are so passionate about what they do, and they are all very well-versed in their craft. I’m taking very niche classes in the English department and my English classes are always my favorite, every single semester. Their classes I always look forward to going to, just because it’s never boring. I felt like there was more I wanted to explore, so I was thinking back to what I loved in high school, and I really loved AP psych, loved everything about that class. I’ve always been very passionate about mental health, specifically breaking down stigma around seeking mental health care, and just educating communities overall. So, I decided to pick up the psychology major as a double major. I’ve taken Child and Adolescent Development and Abnormal Psychology, which you get to look at all the diagnoses and pick them apart. I’m always very fascinated in my psych classes.

What is your favorite class you have taken at UM?

My favorite classes are my English classes. I took English 292 with Jaswinder Bolina, who is one of the graduate faculty; it was a beginner poetry workshop but, because it was a DaVinci course, it was fusing arts and humanities with science. We looked at poets who include some kind of element of science, the natural world, into their writing. That class was so much fun! Prof. Bolina is very skilled and he has a lot of knowledge. I have a Creative Writing minor and it was that class that inspired me to pick up that minor.

What professor has had the biggest impact during your time at UM?

Dr. Hammons. She really knows how to create an environment that is conducive to learning and collaboration, and also one where I feel totally comfortable to express myself and my opinions. She is very soft-spoken but has a lot of power behind her speech. She is a phenomenal woman. I’ve taken two classes with her and I hope that I can take more. She actually nominated me to a scholarship through the English department and I ended up winning that scholarship.

What are your plans after graduation?

I’m still kind of figuring it out. I know I want to fuse English and Psychology in some way. They already go pretty well together because knowing how to write well and speak well is helpful in Psychology, and knowing how to properly research and formulate questions is helpful for English, so they support each other pretty well. After graduation, I plan right now to go into the mental health field. I would love to work as a mental health counselor or psychologist, I’m still figuring out exactly what I want to do. But who knows? There is also a part of me that kind of wants to be an English teacher, and just do that, so we’ll see! If anything, I know I will definitely continue writing and being an author, whether or not I publish or not.

What are you involved in on campus? / What is your favorite extracurricular on campus?

I am a Dean’s Ambassador for the College of Arts & Sciences. I am a mentor for a program called Inspire U Academy, a mentorship program between high school students and college students, and the students in high school are first-generation, typically from underrepresented backgrounds, and I’m a mentor for a current high school senior. I am the Arts & Entertainment editor for the Miami Hurricane newspaper, a general member for the African Students Union, and a First Year Fellow. I think my favorite is the Hurricane. Being an editor is so fun. That is not my field, journalism and communications, but I did newspaper in high school and loved that and I wanted to continue it here. And it’s a lot of fun! As editor, now I’m the one assigning articles and holding section meetings, and it’s just been cool to form a staff. We have a pretty close bond which has grown this year, and that has made me really happy. I love everything about the Hurricane.

What is your favorite place on campus?

My favorite place on campus is the Arboretum. I love the Arboretum, I’m there all the time! It’s just beautiful, the scenery there is beautiful, it’s quiet, it’s peaceful, not a lot of people are there often. I’m a person who loves my solitude and my alone time and I feel very inspired when I’m out in nature. I think my best writing work has come from when I’ve been outside for a while, just soaked in the sun and the elements and then decided to sit down and pencil.

What advice would you give to a future student?

I think my biggest piece of advice would be: do the thing that scares you. I think often our fears can hold us back from pursuing an opportunity, turning in an application, going after the things we really want, because of the chance that it might not happen. But there’s also a chance that it could happen. There are things that I didn’t apply for that now I wish I did, and there are also things I did apply for and I’m so happy I did, whether or not I was rejected or accepted for it because it allowed me to learn a lot about who I am. And when you have those wins, it just feels good.

What is your favorite resource available to students on campus? 

The Counseling Center. I think it’s great that it’s included in our fees, because what often holds people back from going to therapy is the cost. So I would encourage everyone to utilize the Counseling Center.

Have you had an internship? If so, how was your experience?

I’ve done two summer programs so far. One was through the Psych department, a summer research program with the Social Cognition Lab for around two months, where I worked as a research assistant, got to be involved in different parts of the process of helping with editing papers, sourcing, I got to formulate a research question and actually give an entire presentation with a few of my lab mates. This past summer, I worked with the First Star program here, which is a joint program with the Law School. I was a youth coach for teens who have been affected by foster care. That was kind of similar to a camp counselor, but I lived here over the summer, I was working full time, being kind of a little bit of everything, being a teacher, a mentor, a caregiver, an unofficial therapist.

What is your favorite thing about being a student at UM?

The school pride. I’ve never been into such an environment where everyone loves the school so much. It’s very infectious. At homecoming and it was so beautiful to see campus so lively and everyone supporting the community as a whole, supporting our sports teams. I love all the little traditions and stuff that goes with it.

What has been your greatest challenge at UM?

I started in 2020, and that was the Covid year. I did my entire freshman year online at home, which was no fun. Coming into my sophomore year I felt disconnected from campus, I didn’t really have any friends, and so I was coming into this space where people had already formed groups and I felt behind. I think my biggest challenge was working through that fear of not fitting in anywhere and still putting myself out there, still going for opportunities that I couldn’t utilize my freshman year, but now was the time to go after them. And I think I’ve done a pretty good job at that.

What do you like to do when you’re not in class?

A lot of things. I love writing poetry, reading fiction, and watching movies, I binge- watched a whole Netflix series this weekend. I’m really involved in my local church, I serve in the worship team and the broadcast team. I like exploring Miami, I have a car now, so I can actually go places.

What is your favorite spot in Miami? / Favorite thing to do in Miami?

This summer I went to Books & Books for the first time, in Coconut Grove. It was so beautiful! It was a dream, the second I walked in I felt so at peace, it felt like where I needed to be, all the time. And Coconut Grove is so cute and it’s a nice place to walk.