Students offer advice on starting semester strong

Roderick Harris, junior computer information systems student, starting off the new semester strong. Photo by Darylin Smith

Despite having to endure chilly 8 a.m. classes, a hectic one-stop shop and pressures from new professors, Florida A&M University students are discovering creative ways to regain motivation for the spring semester.

The closing of the fall semester can be a bittersweet time for students. Between winter break swiftly approaching, to having to withstand stress from final exams, the end of the semester can take a toll on students.

Roderick Harris, a junior computer information systems student, describes his fall semester overall.

“A little long and dragging but, for the most part very beneficial as I passed all my classes and saw a rise in my GPA,” Harris said.

Returning to FAMU for the spring Harris had an optimistic mindset on how he would approach the new semester. But like many other students, he quickly encountered frustrations as one-stop shop became a hassle.

One-Stop Shop is FAMU’s attempt at a convenient, fast and friendly way to assist students with academic advising, financial aid, and student accounts during the first week of classes each semester.

“Repetitive. It’s usually just being bounced around from person to person which can cause you to spend a lot of time there for some very simple issues like doing an insurance waiver,” Harris said.

Many first-year college students at FAMU are back on campus motivated and rejuvenated after completing their first fall semester.

Chanel Dowers, a freshman pre-occupational therapy student, elaborated on creating better habits as she continues her college matriculation.

“This semester I plan to become involved more around campus whether it’s joining an organization or just volunteering my time around campus with my fellow rattlers,” she said.

Dowers explained her philosophy of how she plans on maintaining momentum mentally and physically for the spring semester.

“Once I realized everything isn’t going to go according to the plan I’ve set for my day to day life, I remind myself that there’s always a major comeback to every minor setback whether it affects me physically or mentally,” Dowers said.

Students are not alone when it comes to obtaining motivation for the new semester.

Student organizations such as the FAMU Chapter of Big Sister Little Sister Mentoring Program have created the social media challenge #MotivaionSZN to interact with the student body and help encourage and motivate students to finish out the academic year strong.

The creator of the challenge, Breanna Lloyd, a senior social work student, said she was inspired to initiate the challenge.

“A few freshmen students I know were questioning whether to continue school at FAMU or not,” Lloyd said. “This reminded me of earlier years here and how my peers would share their experiences and reasons for attending college. Them sharing their motivations and goals helped me to focus on my purpose for being here and I was encouraged to continue.”

Lloyd’s advice to students is to always remember college is just another step toward a successful future. Act by writing down your goals and read them constantly, Lloyd said, and keep track of the progress you’re making and have a support system.