New students at Augusta State University received encouragement and advice during a Multicultural Network for Success event Saturday.
The event, sponsored by the university's Black Student Union and Talented Tenth organizations, gave students information to help them make the most of their college experience.
"Our goal was to make them comfortable on the campus," said Andre Goodman, the president of Talented Tenth. "We wanted to show them that they can excel in and out of the classroom."
A major part of that success is networking, said Karen Mobley, an adviser for Talented Tenth and the university's student development minority advising program.
"One thing about networking is that sometimes you have to get out of your comfort zone," she told the incoming students.
Following a networking exercise, a panel of Augusta State students, alumni, faculty members and staffers offered advice on how the new students could make the adjustment to college easier.
"One thing I learned (was) to network with professors," said alumnus Andre Rho Dess. "Don't give up. Seek out the faculty and staff here at ASU."
Fellow panelist Artemas Jones agreed.
"Don't get discouraged; and surround yourself with people who will encourage you," he said.
The panel also advised the incoming students to study, attend class, keep up with their syllabus, use the resources on campus, seek out internships and ask for help.
Yasmin Thomas-Goodman said the event was as helpful for her as it was for her son Akeem, a new ASU student: "I learned how important it is for him to be focused on what he's doing and to be involved so he can enjoy the college experience."
Support from the parents is also important, she said.
"We will be encouraging him," she said. "I think it's important for us to come to orientation with him. We want to support him and let him know that we are interested in what he's doing."
The event and having older siblings who have shared their experiences will help in the adjustment to college, Mr. Thomas-Goodman said.
"I'm going to have to be more disciplined. It's going to be more of a serious workload than in high school," he said. "Usually, in high school, they contacted your parents to let them know when you're failing. In college, its up to you - pass or fail."