Freshmen soaking up FAMUly experience

First-year student Malaysia Ashantè. Photo courtesy Ashantè

Almost two months ago Florida A&M University officially re-opened. The university welcomed back any students who wished to return to campus, including freshmen.

While COVID-19 continues to ravage the globe, the majority of freshmen at FAMU didn’t let it stop them from going to college. They came to FAMU looking forward to beginning the “best years of life” regardless of the pandemic.

With FAMU being ranked the No. 1 public HBCU in the nation, it’s no wonder freshmen couldn’t resist heading to Tallahassee. Students like Yukwon Toney believed coming to campus could be used to his advantage.

“I decided to come to campus because I felt like precautions would be taken and that there would be less students. I also felt that it would be a great opportunity to get that one-on-one time with my in-person teachers, considering that the student count in classes was decreased,”  Toney said.

Most freshmen didn’t think twice about staying home. They were ready to spread their adult wings and show the Rattlers what they were made of. Freshmen Sidney Berry said that staying home was never an option for her.

“I really wanted to see new surroundings and new people, especially the ones that I’ve been talking to in group chats for months. I was just so excited to be on campus, so if there was an opportunity, I was going to take it regardless,” Berry said.

Despite Berry’s excitement her mother, along with many other parents, was concerned. Sending their children to a campus filled with other students in the midst of a pandemic had to be nerve-wracking.

“My mom was very concerned for my safety,” Berry said. “We made sure that I was stocked on cleaning supplies, masks, gloves and sanitizer.”

FAMU is fully aware of the concerns of students and parents. The school has taken several steps to ensure the safety of all students. For instance, the bookstore is selling masks and sanitizers. Students are to sit six feet apart while attending class. Dorm rooms were downsized to one person per room. Masks are to be worn around campus and food service hours have been adjusted.

 Students are also taking matters into their own hands and using their own method of preparation. Freshmen Malaysia Ashanté said she stays safe while on campus.

“So far I have been continuing to wear my mask, careful about heavy exposure to others, and constantly washing my hands,” said Ashanté.

As the end of October slowly approaches the freshmen continue to experience college life. Although the pandemic is still among us that doesn’t limit freshmen from enjoying the FAMUly experience.