My journey from SBI to SJGC

Public relations student Jaela Davis. Photo courtesy Davis

Coming to college was the beginning of my self-discovery.

Spending two and a half years in Florida A&M’s School of Business & Industry, confused about who I was or what I should be doing and questioning where I belong at FAMU and in the world, led me to j-school.

As a young freshman on the Hill, I felt as though SBI was most suitable for me at the time. It was the first real decision I made as a young adult, and naturally, I stuck with it. Being in this program for as long as I was provided me with lifetime skills, mannerisms and friends. The curriculum in this program was more analytical, but I was seeking to be challenged creatively and visually.

I felt stagnant and not challenged in the right ways. Not being involved and simply losing sight of why I even came to college to begin with, became a rampant cycle of thinking for me.  It was in this very place I was able to recognize my strengths and weaknesses. I felt like an outcast among my peers who had an immaculate drive for success and a game plan to follow.

I had the same drive and even a game plan. I just began to be honest with myself and realized that it wasn’t something I wanted to do or felt like benefitted me and the goals I had in mind, so it was a different experience from my peers.

I decided to change my major to public relations in summer 2020.

I remember being extremely nervous about being behind my peers, but I also had a greater feeling of knowing I finally belonged somewhere at FAMU.

The first person I spoke with was Professor Bettye Grable, expressing to her my concerns and expectations as a new student. Her warm, welcoming and kind words stuck with me. I hit the ground running with involvement, starting off on the graphics team with Journey magazine, my first hands-on creative outlet.

In the beginning, grasping the understanding of capstone, and realizing I had responsibilities that determined my graduation aside from typical classwork, made me anxious. However, the coursework has all been more digestible and I am more engaged as a student. Thanks to my peers and Professor Doug Blackburn, I am more confident in the work I produce as a student.

My comfort within this school improved my entire life view. No longer do I feel the need to be on a timeline to success or worry about what success looks like.

I’ve broken out of my shell, and I am 10 months into being an on-air personality for WANM 90.5, The Flava Station. “The Vibe with J” is a hip-hop and R&B specialty show that also discusses art. This outlet feels like home, and I am so thankful to be in a space to create and to be surrounded by like-minded and outstanding creatives.

Four semesters and many accomplishments later, I’m almost to the finish line and see such a bright future ahead of me. I’m grateful for the entire experience that led me here.