Students often try to project a picture-perfect persona.
But for one Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University student, Onyx Franklin, keeping up with those appearances nearly ended her college career.
Franklin, who is a graduating as a pre-occupational therapy major, came to FAMU diving in headfirst without thinking about the repercussions.
“Freshman year I came, and I decided I wanted to run for a position I didn’t give myself adequate time for adjusting to true time management. My first semester I overworked myself and I had terrible time management and because of that my grades were not poor but I suffered.”
The first semester was a warning sign for Franklin to improve but she continued to struggle. “The next semester it was better but my time management was still poor, that fall I just won the position but you don’t really start doing anything until spring semester and that’s when life really hit me. All of the courses I was taking were mainly science and I came here with credits so I didn’t get to do the freshman classes that wean you in slowly to see what life was like being a college student so I just jumped right in. They expected me to perform at the same level as my peers were but it wasn’t that easy for me,” Franklin added.
Franklin’s insecurities got the best of her and she became skeptical of the persona she created. “I was so unmotivated, but I self-mandated myself to uphold an image that I was tired of doing or I really didn’t think I came here for this.”
Franklin eventually realized she was suffering from depression. “I literally had a breakdown in my room and I was like, ‘I’m done.’ I’ve never been here, through high school, dual enrollment and excel. This is foreign to me. You’re failing."
She was eventually able to see the bigger picture of being in college and continuing her education. She said: “Being a part of something that is greater than me gave me a new perspective, it taught me time management skills, made me work harder.”
Brianna Culler, a senior nursing major, described Franklin. “She is faithful and persistent. Whatever she said she was going to do, she did it. She did it humbly, gracefully and smiling.”
Franklin admits she is grateful to be crossing the finish line next week. “I’m grateful to say that now I’m graduating early with honors and on time which a lot of people don’t get the chance to say that.”
Senior English major JaKela ‘Hollywood’ London, said watching Franklin evolve has been thrilling. “It has been my greatest pleasure to watch her evolve from freshman year to graduation because she has become so mature, well-rounded and ready to take on the world.”
Franklin is in brighter spirits as she is applying to FAMU’s graduate program. Her goal, at least for now, is to open a sports clinic.