It has been a tough autumn for Florida A&M students from Texas. From natural disasters like the recent tornado in Dallas, to the mass shooting on the campus of Texas A&M University Commerce, the Texas natives who attend FAMU have been deeply impacted.
Being miles and miles away from home can be scary on its own. Add serious problems in your hometown to that, and you have the ultimate worry.
Elliot Ford, an engineering student from Dallas, received a text from his family notifying him about a destructive tornado hitting the city. He stayed in contact with them throughout the storm to make sure that they were not directly affected by it.
His family turned out fine. However, the high school he graduated from suffered mass destruction.
“Seeing the pictures of my old school like that made me even more concerned,” said Ford. “But I will say that my fellow Texans on campus made my situation better because they could relate.”
Like Ford, there are many students from the Texas area who are concerned with their family’s safety on a daily basis.
Anjonai Bruno, a biology major from Houston, read up on the campus shooting at TAMUC and instantly contacted her friends who attend the school.
Her initial instincts were to check on the safety and well-being of her friends from back home, but the emotional stress of the event caused her to confide in those who were in reach of her as well.
“Seeing the video of the people laid out in that warehouse made me so nervous and cringe,” said Bruno. “All I thought to do was check on my friends.”
Out of state students typically have the biggest financial burdens, but people rarely think about their mental well-being —especially those from states where so much has happened within the last two months.
Every student from Texas who has spoken on being away from home has pointed out that the biggest contribution to helping through tough moments like these has been the community of FAMU.
FAMU has a big pool of out-of-state students, and Texas is a growing contributor to the student body.
Erika Johnson, a music industries major from Dallas, has made herself available to talk to any student from Texas in regard to any situation that they are going through.
“I know we’re far from home, and it seems as though stuff happens every other day,” said Johnson. “So I do my best to keep us close, and my door open to let them know I understand.”