By Matt Walker ’04
MW: “Thanks again for meeting with me. I just have some basic questions. If you could just state your name, where you’re from, which class year you are and why you chose to attend to Antioch College?
RM: “Okay. Hello, my name is Robin McCoy. I am a second-year and I am in the class of 2024. What was the other question? I’m so sorry…
MW: “That’s okay. Why did you choose to attend Antioch?
RM: “I chose to attend Antioch because it’s very close to home. I live in Springfield, so I’m close by. And I’ve gone to schools in Yellow Springs since my sophomore year of high school. And also, education is really important to my family. So, I decided to come here.
MW: “Thanks for making that choice. My next question is, what’s your major and what Co-Ops have you done?”
RM: “I’m majoring in Creative Writing.”
MW: “Why did you choose Creative Writing as your major and how has it been?
RM: “When I first applied to come to Antioch, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do and it was like that my first year. Over the summer of 2021, I started writing just for fun and over time, I started to find an actual joy for it. I like the process of creating something based on my own imagination and that definitely made me want to go for creative writing. I’m definitely excited to take more writing classes.”
“For my spring Co-Op last year I was the Black Women at Antioch IG coordinator. And for my second Co-Op, which is this winter, I’m coordinating at the CSKC (Coretta Scott King Center).”
MW: “How have those co-ops been? How was it coordinating the Black Women’s group and what’s going on at the CSKC? How are you liking it?
RM: “The first Co-Op was good. I stayed at home for the spring and I just Co-Op’ed from there. And, also I worked at the nursing home that’s close by to the campus. The first Co-Op was really good. We did a lot of events. It made me realize I wanted to continue working at CSKC and also try to coordinate the group. I did that for working on campus during the fall.”
“This Co-Op is a bit different because I am living on campus. And that means I’m working thirty hours and so far, it’s really good. It’s just, I do a lot more than what I’m used to, which is fine. I like it.”
MW: “So you’re very busy there?”
MW: “And who are you working with? You’re working with Shadia (Alvarez ’96)?”
RM: “Yeah. I’m working with Shadia. I work with Clarence and Aniya, Rayna, Gael… It’s really nice.”
MW: “I’m curious about your first Co-Op. Were there any events or notable things that happened that you either enjoyed or did not enjoy?”
RM: “I really enjoyed my first Co-Op. My favorite event that I did for that Co-Op was probably the self-care day that we did. We went out to get hibachi which is really fun. And we talked about self-care, and it was really lovely.”
MW: “Nice. Do you feel like people had a good self-care routine going or was it a pretty big, new experience for them? What’s self-care like with the students that were involved?”
RM: “We talked about ways we could take care of ourselves especially being at school, and also on Co-Op, which is really important even though sometimes people don’t take care of themselves. I think those conversations on what we can do and what self-care is, really gave some people insight. It gave me insight, which is really nice.”
MW: “Do you feel like there was any self-care that was already popular amongst the group?”
RM: “Probably just taking a day of rest to really energize yourself and regroup. That was really common.”
MW: “And did you find that folks had the availability to take a day of rest?”
RM: “Yeah, I hope that’s what happened.
MW: “Yeah, it’s hard. I was trying to yesterday but I only got a few hours in. I guess you’ve got to get it when you can?”
MW: “And now, on your current Co-Op, you’re at CSKC, and it’s Black History Month. What event or aspect of Black History Month are you most excited about or looking forward to?”
RM: “What I’m looking forward to for this Co-Op is probably the ‘Getting to the Root’ training that we’re supposed to do, because it’s heavily important to discuss issues and problems we face as people of color, specifically in ways we can dig deep and figure out what it is and how we can possibly fix it.”
MW: “Right on That’s awesome. I took the training in January. I know they just had one in February. So, you must be looking forward to the next one, the March training?”
RM: “Unfortunately, we didn’t have it because of the weather. We had to postpone it. But I’m really excited for when it is time for us to officially do it. I’m ready to sit in on it and talk.
MW: “Yeah, Have you participated in that training yet?”
RM: “No, I haven’t yet.”
MW: “I’m sure you will find it inspiring or intellectually stimulating. What about the letter that you wrote about Black History Month? That must have been a part of your Co-Op? Anything you care to comment on that?”
RM: “I was kind of nervous to write it at first because I didn’t really know what to say. But then I really had to think and I’m glad I wrote it. And I think that’s probably one of the best things I’ve ever written so far.”
MW: “Yeah, yeah. You’ll have to keep track of it. It could be useful in the future, for sure. What about Antioch? What are your impressions of it? What is it like to be a student here in 2022?
RM: “I really like it here. At first, when I was a first-year, it was really hard because I didn’t really know anyone and I sometimes start to doubt my own abilities, intellectually. But I just kept my focus and continued to work hard. And that’s what’s gotten me to this point, I guess. When you set your mind to something, you feel like you can do it. And you can do it better. That’s how I think so that’s how I feel.
MW: “Is that something you feel like you brought with you to Antioch or is that something you learned here?”
RM: “I think that’s something I learned here. For sure.”
MW: “Really? How’d you learn that? Was it through a class or mentor or another student?”
RM: “It was probably just going home and talking to my mom about it. Because I’d go home and tell her what I was worried about, that I don’t think I’m doing good. I’m essentially afraid to fail. And she’d always tell me that I would do good. And that I got this. She would tell me to always put my mind to it and if I can do that I will always do well. So I think that’s what really helped me.”
MW: “What’s your mom like? She sounds pretty amazing. Any words you have to describe her would be great!”
RM: “My mom is amazing. She’s very encouraging and she pushes me a lot so I can do my best. She’s also very supportive of what I want to do and I’ll forever be grateful, not only because she’s my mother, but because she keeps me going and makes me want to do my best and make her proud.”
MW: “Yeah, having a good relationship with someone in your family can be so helpful, especially in college, guiding your choices and helping support you. So yeah, with that in mind, I’m curious, what are your hopes? What are your dreams? What do you think you want to set your mind to?”
RM: “Well, what I think about, what I want to do in life, and how can I push myself to do it when I leave… I want to get a master’s in education. I want to teach younger children and teach English as a second language. I also want to go teach English in a foreign country. I’ve just been focusing on that so I can get there.”
MW: “That’s great – getting everything in place to make those dreams a reality!”
“Do you have any thoughts on how to find a balance of self-care on one hand, but on the other hand, dreaming big and working hard and trying to make your dreams come true? How do you ever find a balance there?”
RM: “I set time aside for myself so I can really take care of myself. Like Sundays – those are days where I don’t do anything. I just lay in bed or go home to see my mom and dad and the cats. That’s mainly what I do. I take a day of the week, which is normally Sunday, so I can recharge. And then, for the rest of the week, all the way until Friday, I work. I do what I need to do and after I do that I take time and focus on learning Korean. I’m doing that right now because I want to teach English there. I find it interesting. So I do that. I set times for myself. I feel like just putting some time aside is important. Especially in college when you’re overwhelmed with everything, it’s okay to take a step back and just relax and recharge.”
MW: “It made me think of a lot of things but I have to ask what got you interested in Korea?
RM: “I started listening to K Pop and watching Korean dramas which led to me wanting to learn more about Korean culture. And I started to do that. And then I wanted to start learning the language. So, I’ve just been doing that. It’s kind of a diagonal type of thing – you start with the pop culture. Then you want to learn about the broader culture. Then you want to learn the language. And it’s really fun. It’s really cool.”
MW: “I hope you find success there. Do you have any other comments on Antioch or CSKC? Is there anything you’d like to add or advice you’d like to give to other students?”
RM: “I’d probably tell people that it’s okay to worry about how you’re doing. But don’t put too much stress on yourself. Because when you put too much stress on yourself, that’s when you burn out and you feel like quitting. So just always take a step back when you feel like you need to take a step back.”