This fall marked three years since the freshman class of 2020 began their journey through the secondary education system. Many are looking forward to graduation in December or during spring of 2024.
With all of the hard work they’ve put into their college careers, it isn’t uncommon that many of these fourth-year students at Florida A&M University are feeling the ramifications of senioritis.
For a lot of students, leaving home and going to college is the first time they’ve been granted true freedom. Freshman and sophomore years welcomed students wholeheartedly and greeted them with a whirlwind of new experiences and opportunities. These are the times where you meet new people and you start to figure out what you like and what you don’t like.
By junior year, you have a pretty good understanding of yourself and the direction you’re heading in life. Just like in high school you truly have to lock in, especially if your social and extracurricular life in previous years took priority over your academics. But it’s time to clean all of the mistakes from our lowerclassmen years to prepare for senior year and life beyond college, and that looks different for everybody.
The end of fall semester quickly approaches with Thanksgiving coming up next week and only three weeks until the last day of class. Mariah Ware is a graduating senior, a health science major who is looking forward to a December graduation. Through her time in undergrad, Ware displayed a strong commitment for service and involvement taking active roles in organizations like Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and Big Sister Little Sister. Like many of her peers, she balances school, extracurricular activities and a part-time job.
“This semester since I do have quite a bit on my plate, I try to prioritize more,” Ware said. “I don’t really go out as much and I’m not really on campus since my classes are online and then I have my job, so I’m a little bit more removed.”
Keeping up with her Apple calendar, writing things down and keeping an agenda are a few of the ways Ware has continued to stay on top of her busy schedule. While her plan is to continue her education, Ware is set to pursue her master’s at Emory University in Atlanta, which creates excitement for the next chapter in her life.
Other fourth-year students, like George Hunt II, who just recently received his white coat and will remain on the hill to continue his academic pursuits. Hunt is a doctor of pharmacy candidate with two more years in his program before completion. In his time at FAMU, he’s been involved on campus as a peer mentor, a member of Big Brother Little Brother, and he previously served as Mr. BSLS.
As many of his friends are preparing for graduation, moving forward and entering the workplace, Hunt has found himself feeling the effects of senioritis as well. But, Hunt says that he does see himself going out a lot less than he did in his younger years.
Now is the time to prioritize school more than ever, he said. But having a solid group of people to help hold each other accountable, has been the best way for Hunt to keep focused.
“Whether it be this fall, this spring or next fall, these are the semesters that a lot of our class will be graduating,” Hunt said. “Just seeing that is like, well everybody else is graduating and trying to live their best lives, but I have to keep in mind I have a lot more schooling left. So I have to put on for this final stretch.”
Devin Nobles, who serves as the 24th Mr. FAMU, has seen a lot of growth in his commitment to academic success since his freshman year. When he first came to college, it felt almost too easy, like many others from his class can attest to. Classes were online and you didn’t really have too much to worry about outside of the confinement of your dorm room.
Admittedly, Nobles saw himself not living up to his fullest potential academically. But through the last few years, he’s finally come back to being the stellar scholar he had always been growing up.
Once COVID-related restrictions were lifted during sophomore year, Nobles began getting involved more on campus. In time, he began making connections through different organizations, like Progressive Black Men and serving as Mr. 1913 for Delta Sigma Theta sorority. It wasn’t until he made connections with former Mr. FAMU, Armani Jones, and learned about the importance the Royal Court has on recruitment that he had his eyes set on the throne. Now, Nobles says he no longer has the time to slack off because of how hectic his schedule has become.
“It made me manage my time, because I didn’t have any time,” Nobles said. “In high school, I was a scholar. A bright scholar, I was a nerd. It was easy, but now it’s not easy because I have less time and a harder curriculum. It made me be more intentional with the time I spend on my academics.”
Like Ware and other busy fourth-year students, Nobles keeps a planner to stay on track of all of his tasks daily. While many are in a rush to see what the next chapter of life holds, students at Florida A&M University continue to show a dedication to their success.