International student Tarilabo Koripamo ’17 graduated from Guilford with plans to explore her talents on the stage and in the studio.
"Guilford was honestly the perfect fit for me. My experience there has impacted my life all around. I loved my friends and loved my professors. Everything there made me more confident. Everyone always did root for one another, and I loved that the most.”
Written by Natalie Whitmeyer '20
Originally from Nigeria, Tarilabo, a double major in Theatre Studies and Art, came to Guilford as an international student. She recalls choosing Guilford due to its intimacy.
“I suspected I would have to go through culture shock once I moved to America,” she explains. “But Guilford was honestly the perfect fit for me. My experience there has impacted my life all around. I loved my friends and loved my professors. Everything there made me more confident. Everyone always did root for one another, and I loved that the most.”
Tarilabo credits professors Robin Vest and David Hammond as her mentors. “These wonderful professors taught me so much and made an impact on the person I am today,” she says.
Talent Brews Artistry
Currently involved with a couple of art residencies, Tarilabo is using her Guilford degree to her advantage. Her most recent project was at the Creative Greensboro Cultural Center, exploring nature and femininity. She’s currently working on an exhibit with the 50 mm Collective NFT exhibition, focusing on Black history.
“Life outside Guilford has been the most amazing yet challenging journey,” she shares. “I truly believe I have set out to do everything I envisioned for myself. I never wanted to be someone limited to a 9 to 5 – not that it’s bad – but I always knew it was not for me. I wanted to explore my talents and use my degree, and I believe I am doing just that.”
Currently living in Abuja, Nigeria, Tarilabo says she believes that opportunities can be found everywhere. “It’s moreso the tools you have to find the opportunities you need to succeed,” she says.
Acting is still on the table for Tarilabo, too, but for right now she’s content with being a visual artist. “I will give my 100 to acting when the time is right,” she says.
Tarilabo’s time at Guilford was monumental for her, as it is for so many students.
Tarilabo recounts volunteering with Bonner programs, as well as enjoying her invaluable, rigorous theater schedule. She credits Theater classes, as well as her Art classes, with making the biggest impressions on her. The many friends she made along the way were wonderful, too, she says.
“I definitely feel more confident. Confidence in my work, especially, because often at times, as artists, we tend to feel as though our work is not worth any value,” she says. “I think my younger self would not be as patient with my present self. I think she would be too hard on me! However, I think I’m happy at the pace I have decided to move with my life and career.”
For now, Tarilabo is using what she learned from her major to find more opportunities within her career. She says she’s “focused on being present.”
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