OPINION: Take the challenge

Sophomore+and+Columnist+Kamilah+Gumbs+recieves+her+crown+after+winning+the+Miss+Black+and+Gold+Pageant+on+Friday%2C+Nov.+8+in+the+CAC+Theatre.
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OPINION: Take the challenge

Sophomore and Columnist Kamilah Gumbs recieves her crown after winning the Miss Black and Gold Pageant on Friday, Nov. 8 in the CAC Theatre.

Sophomore and Columnist Kamilah Gumbs recieves her crown after winning the Miss Black and Gold Pageant on Friday, Nov. 8 in the CAC Theatre.

Morgan Anderson

Sophomore and Columnist Kamilah Gumbs recieves her crown after winning the Miss Black and Gold Pageant on Friday, Nov. 8 in the CAC Theatre.

Morgan Anderson

Morgan Anderson

Sophomore and Columnist Kamilah Gumbs recieves her crown after winning the Miss Black and Gold Pageant on Friday, Nov. 8 in the CAC Theatre.

One of the craziest periods of my life started this August.

I finally convinced myself to attend the Miss Black and Gold informational that the Delta Mu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha hosted. I entered the room nervous, sitting in a reserved seat in the back of the room.

As someone who battles with social anxiety, I honestly didn’t want to be seen — quite ironic for someone who went to a pageant informational. During the session, I convinced myself that this was something I wanted to do, even though I had no idea about pageants. I took the challenge, signed up, and was chosen to be part of the court.

This challenge was extremely trying. During Miss Black and Gold preparations, I was struggling with a lot of personal issues. These issues clogged my brain and blurred my efforts to be a good student, friend, employee, and member of the court. Some days, I didn’t even know what was happening around me.

I wanted to quit.

However, through the convincing words of my mother, the motivating factor of my bank account, and how much I already invested into the process, I told myself that I was going to push through.

At the end of it, I ended up being crowned your 2019 Miss Black and Old Gold. It’s a title that I still haven’t gotten used to as of yet, but I’m proud that I am able to represent the great fraternity of Alpha Phi Alpha.

If I didn’t force myself to be a part of this pageant and undertake this challenge, I wouldn’t be able to inform members of the international community at the 11th UNESCO Youth Forum about the values of the fraternity and connect with others on the notion of being pageant girls. I would not have befriended the other eight wonderful women who I had the honor of sharing the stage with. I would’ve not have developed a deep support system from the Delta Mu Chapter.

My advice to you is to take the challenge — whatever that may be. If you know that you are capable of doing something, do it. Even when you question your own capability, you should lean into discomfort and try anyways.

Our time on this earth is limited. We should be pushing to create and grow our authentic selves by accepting these daily, monthly, and yearly challenges that can elevate us to the next level.