Written by Journey Staff: Nathan Vinson & Brianna Hicks
Beginning college as freshmen or transfer student can be unsettling and scary at first, but when it’s all said and done, it’s worth every moment. College teaches hard life lessons, forcing you to take full responsibility for your actions, words, and yourself. It can be a twisted road to graduation, so to help you get started on the right path, Journey has decided to put together a short survival guide to the ins and outs of FAMU life as a new student. Here are some tips to help you survive your first year on The Hill:
Step Outside Your Comfort Zone – One of FAMU’s best attributes is its diversity within the black spectrum. Whether you’re into anime, the latest fashion or fitness, there is truly a community for everyone. With students’ wide range of interest comes a wide range of activities to participate in on campus. The best part about being a freshman or transfer student is the clean slate you get when you begin your matriculation; it’s the perfect time to try new things! It can be something as extensive as a pageant, as spur of the moment as an open mic night, or as casual as joining an intramural sports team. This is the perfect time to explore beyond what you know and expand your social horizons!
Study Habits – Studying is essential for the success of any college student. Here at FAMU, Coleman Library is the place to be if you want to knock out endless hours of studying. With a Starbucks restaurant, a host of computers, and four floors of space, it has everything one needs to stay focused an ace their impending test or project. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find “Club Coleman” to be the spot for you; everyone’s study habits are different and if studying in the comfort of your own room works for you, why fix a system that isn’t broken?
Professors – It is extremely important to form relationships with your professors. Oftentimes, there are students who do not get the two points they need to get the next letter grade in the class. Professors are more inclined to help a student they know, rather than one who doesn’t participate or shows up late to class. Help from professors isn’t just limited to grades; Relationships to your professors could also lead to other opportunities. Professors are some of the most well-connected people, and if they know you have a specific interest, they could put in a good word for you since they know you on a more personal level. Just remember to put your best foot forward!
Documentation – Infamously enough, HBCU students and alumni share the common struggle of one of the most needed offices on campus: financial aid. Between being on hold for up to two hours, countless oversights, and late aid distribution, sometimes it can feel impossible to get what you need and move forward. The key to cutting down on some of this is the power of documentation, which can come in various forms: jotting down the name of the representative you spoke to, avoiding the lunch time rush, and making copies of everything. When in doubt, take a picture of the form you’re turning in and save it!
Focus – As you’ve probably already heard, FAMU always has a function set up whether it’s rain, snow, hurricane, or shine! And while it’s fun to turn up from time to time, deadlines are real and some professors are sticklers when it comes to punctuality. The difference between an “A” or a “B” can be the choice between completing an assignment or attending the Perry St. social. Whatever you do while at FAMU, choose the responsible and respectable thing. It’s a sign of maturity, becoming an adult, and a right step in the direction of your future.
Counseling Services – As a student, you will experience varying bouts of struggle and doubt, some of which you will need extra support to overcome. FAMU offers counseling services to students through their matriculation, free of charge! There are eight physicians with different backgrounds and certifications, so whatever issues you need to work through, there should be someone there to cater to your specific needs. The Office of Counseling Services is located on 636 Gamble Street and their number is (850) 599-3145.