From Jamaica to West Virginia, One Student’s CU Experience

Stephon, a Jamaican American student, attended Concord University in the fall of 2020. Growing up, he always traveled back and forth from Jamaica to Pittsburg because his father lived there. Stephon was able to attend Concord with a football scholarship, so he decided to take the opportunity to live on his own and start his life.

“Coming to America is great, but eventually you’ll get tired of just going back and forth. The coach saw me ball and then all of a sudden I’m on my way to West Virginia.” He was excited to start his life on his own without the “back and forth.” So, when that moment came, he took advantage of it.


Stephon managed to only be there for a semester due to his mother’s concern during the pandemic. The coronavirus pandemic is new to a lot of people, but Stephon managed to make it work. The time spent with him was more of a relaxing and calming type of vibe. He likes music so on the days he wasn’t busy, he spent his time playing video games or dozing off to music in his beanbag chair.

“I am a people-person, I like to hang and chill outside with my friends, usually when there is no one around and nothing to do you’ll go to sleep and that’s all I did, that’s what impacted me the most.”


He was able to make friends before coming to the university and he mentioned the little time he did spend with his friends in West Virginia he enjoyed it.

“The coronavirus made that difficult for a lot of people. At a point in time, I will just catch myself watching TikTok videos and trying to do the dances I see people doing on the app or even going on Instagram or Facebook and see others living their best life jet skiing in Miami or throwing these really huge parties.”


Stephon struggled at times with depression. He said:

“I became a bit depressed because I see all the fun others are having and I am just here in school staying quarantined, hoping to play football because cases keep increasing, and watching others enjoy themselves.”


Stephon was liked by many because he was nice and caring to others. In his spare time now, he tries to give them all a call “every so often.” During his time here in fall, he knew how to turn something into nothing.

“My mom said that a lot of TV is not healthy, so when I didn’t watch TV, I tried other things like; yoga, writing music/poetry, working out, and reading,” he said.

“But when I did use the media, I looked at NFL highlights, I like comedy movies, find different music I can listen to, facetime my family and friends, and play video games.” He mentioned that he still does it but it’s not the same as being in America.

“Jamaica and America are two different places”


And he’s right. Jamaica and America are two different places. The US right now is more diverse than connected at the moment and even more separated due to the pandemic. Stephon says, “Jamaica is together like a family but really tight and close. While others think that we hurt people, if we do, I have not been around it.”

Stephon had gotten a little homesick and being separated from others was not something he was used to. Throughout this pandemic he still wanted to stay but as cases started going up and airports started getting closed, his mother pulled him away from Concord and brought him back home two weeks before the semester was over.

Stephon wasn’t able to make it back in the spring for graduation, but he is attending a school back in Jamaica. I asked Stephon, “If you were able to stay, what would be your reasons to stay or go?”

“I made great friends before even getting to the college, so I know this was going to be a great time,” he said. “The chance of getting a great job after graduating and the nice houses is what I looked forward to the most though.” His mom is allowing him to come back in the fall semester of this year.

“Jamaica and the U.S are two beautiful places to go and visit but the culture is totally different,” says Stephon. Jamaica is an island of adventure, sophistication, and elegance. Along with the Caribbean’s best sun, sand and sea, this destination has an intriguing chain of history like the United States.

The U.S is one of the top famous countries in the world. It’s famous for its attractions, such as the Grand Canyon, tech innovation, sports, and it has a large imprint on the global culture thanks to famous movies, television shows, and music.

Stephon took what he knew about the country and traveled to see it on his own. Unfortunately, he wasn’t here for very long to adapt to the lifestyle but from the time he was here he mentions that he had a great time.

“I will be coming back in the fall and I honestly can’t wait.”


by Davion Green

Leave a Reply