The freshman experience

New student orientation
Photo courtesy: FAMU website

The spring equinox just passed and the freshmen at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) are finishing up their first year in college. With the end of the Spring 2024 semester nearing, the freshman class embarked on a rollercoaster of emotions and uncertainties that defined their first HBCU experience.

Arriving at FAMU, they were greeted with a mix of excitement and apprehension. The campus buzzed with energy as they navigated orientation, eager to immerse themselves in the vibrant culture and rich traditions that define the Rattler experience.

In those initial weeks, everything felt new and unfamiliar. From finding their way around campus to adjusting to dorm life, each day presented a fresh challenge.

Jacob Muse, a first-year business administration scholar, said he enjoyed his experience because of the welcoming atmosphere of the campus. He also said that he wants to become more involved with student life next year.

“I would describe my first year at FAMU as a so far good experience I like the culture of HBCUs and the welcoming feel to being here,” Muse said. “I’m looking forward to having better grades and being involved in campus more. Also, I am looking forward to what events and opportunities the school has to offer.”

Beyond academics, the FAMU community embraced them with open arms. From attending football games to participating in campus events, the freshman class felt a sense of belonging and pride in being part of the FAMUly. 

However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing as homesickness, academic pressure, and the occasional setback can test one’s resolve. Not only that, but some students have also outlined the issues they experience with the financial aid office and other departments.

Durund Elzey II, a first-year business administration major, said that despite having fun, FAMU could use improvement in the financial aid department. He also recommends that incoming freshmen should maintain their academics and their authenticity.

“My first year at FAMU has been fun… The only thing that could’ve been better is the efficiency of FAMU’s financial aid services because they were very inconsistent,” Elzey said. “I would recommend for those incoming students to stay on top of their classes and schoolwork and to be their authentic selves.”

According to the U.S. News Report, FAMU has a 33 percent acceptance rate. They also reported that health and business majors are the most popular amongst the university’s catalogs.

As the semester ends, they reflected on their journey – the highs, lows, and everything in between. Despite the challenges, the first-year experience at FAMU is transformative and filled with growth, learning, and unforgettable memories.