As a transfer student, I’m frequently asked what factors influenced me to leave the State University of New York in Albany, N.Y., and come to Florida A&M. I don’t have many reasons. I mainly decided to come to FAMU for the college experience I felt I deserved.
As a high school senior, I wanted to attend a university that was similar to my high school in respect to academics and co-curricular activities.
FAMU was one of my choices, but I decided on SUNY Albany in the end for financial reasons.
The university compared greatly to FAMU in every field, except for it being a predominantly white institution.
Despite this, I went on to pursue my education 22 hours away from my home in Fort Lauderdale, hoping to make the best of my college years.
Unfortunately, the cultural shock, the academics, and social activities were not for me.
The residents of the north are completely different from the south when it comes to interactions. I was looked at as the “friendly, country girl” because everyone around me was rude, standoffish, and didn’t encourage getting to know anyone that you didn’t know personally or by association.
In addition, the classes were not what I was used to and not conducive to my learning capabilities.
I had classes with about 300 students where the professors would lecture for an hour with little to no discussion about the information presented.
To add to the negatives, the clubs and organizations did not welcome freshmen with open arms. We were often shunned and looked down upon by the upperclassmen.
These three things together were ruining my college experience, and I knew there was something better for me.
However, within my first day on FAMU, I knew that I had finally made the right choice. I missed what we refer to as “southern hospitality,” and FAMU students provided me with that immediately.
They were excited to have another Rattler among them. They made me feel as if they had been waiting on my arrival all along. I was pleased with the class sizes, and how personal the professors are with the students. I appreciated being called by a name instead of being referred to by a student number.
Last but certainly not least, the upperclassmen make it their job to get freshmen to join clubs and organizations, and so many are willing to be mentors.
Overall, my transition from SUNY Albany to FAMU has been nothing but a success. I made my decision to change for the “college experience” that I can share with future generations to come.
SUNY Albany proved a nightmare in my opinion, and FAMU has been my sweet dream that has finally come true. Although I once wore purple and gold, I am glad that I now bleed orange and green.