Members of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity brought students together and elaborated what it takes to make it through college in the “Welcome Back” forum Wednesday at Coleman Auditorium.
Kendall Fields, the organization’s historian, opened the forum to audience members asking a series of personal questions.
Tiyaji Williams, a junior communications major, answered the question of why she was in college.
“I’m in college so that I’m not a statistic,” Williams said.
Williams also said students have the responsibility of accepting the people around them. She said an important thing is to know everyone is different and students should accept themselves as individuals.
“Accepting everyone is different is huge, and we need to socialize more because we are the future,” Williams said.
Another topic the forum touched on was how students should present themselves while on campus.
Farrah Dean, a junior pre-med major, said the company you keep could make a difference in how outsiders perceive you.
“You want people to see you for who you are and not for who you hang around,” Dean said.
Dejah Dade, a sophomore theater major, said she had to learn how to separate herself from different things upon coming to college.
“I had to block people out and I had to start making my own decisions,” Dade said.
Dade said she came to college to pursue a career in theater arts and take care of her loved ones. Dade said she is one of the first in her family to attend college.
Ellis Dudley, a senior accounting major, said open dialogues are important to teach students balance and helps set them up to succeed in college. He said the ultimate goal is to take the edge off students.
“Learning to delay pleasure will teach you discipline and wisdom,” Dudley said. “ Get out of your comfort zone, and don’t do what you would do at home, because there is a difference.”
Dudley said students are often invested in social networks and are missing the physical networking portion of college.
“A lot of people miss the interaction part of college, because it’s not just books and work, it’s an experience,” Dudley said.
Fields also lead a trivia game, asking students a series of questions. In the games, the audience found one in three students return to college after their freshman year.
Fields said he remains focused on the reasons why he came to college, and started joining registered student organizations to become well rounded. He said students should join different RSO’s on campus, but should not bombard themselves with too many leadership roles.
“It’s important to have these talk with students, from freshmen to upperclassmen,” Fields said. “ It’s good to remind them of the reason they’re in college, and how to maneuver through college and persevere.”
T’Nerra Butler can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]