Part Three of an ongoing series.
As the semester comes to a close, “The Temple News” tracked down three of four freshmen we’ve profiled during the past school year as they recap their experiences from their first year of college as Temple Owls.
After “hibernating” for much of the winter, Neteria Augcomfar said she is eagerly awaiting next semester.
Having no regrets about her Temple experience thus far, the African American Studies major said that living in Hardwick Hall was worthwhile.
“I don’t want to say it was fun, but it’s been an enjoyable experience,” she said. “Being the only child, having more people around you gives the illusion of a family feel.”
Augcomfar, a Brooklyn native, has adjusted well to Philadelphia life. She became involved in the city’s poetry scene and has networked with various artists from both here and New York City.
“I’ve gone to many venues,” she explained. “My favorite is Juss Words located at Broad and Master [streets]. I’ve had my first feature there.”
As for the college life, Augcomfar said she hasn’t had many problems with the new experience. After taking some African American Studies courses, she changed her major from psychology and is considering a French major or minor.
Her future goals are to work in urban education or community outreach, possibly pursuing her master’s degree in education.
Augcomfar said she has stayed away from the party scene this semester, only attending one so far. But her Hardwick friends are “making me go to one on Saturday,” she said.
“I’ve never been a fan of a whole bunch of people in a tight space,” she said. “And then once liquor gets in someone’s system, first impressions aren’t good. So I just try to stay away from that as much as possible.”
As for her goals in the coming semester, Augcomfar is keeping it simple.
“I just want to be as successful as possible,” she said.
This semester, Brandon Wilkins, a communications major, wanted to get his time management skills under control. After getting “a little bit” better, he had to re-adjust his schedule for his new girlfriend.
“I started managing my time, and then she came along [in December], and it’s like she just altered the process,” Wilkins said.
While managing to spend time with his girlfriend, Wilkins has also devoted his attention to hanging out with brothers from Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Following in his father’s footsteps, he said he hopes to become a Kappa next semester.
“Once they tell me I can pledge, I will pledge,” he said. “I’ve been going to their events. I’ve shown them I’m interested.”
Reflecting on his first year, Wilkins said he does not regret coming to Temple, adding that the campus atmosphere is similar to that of his alma mater, Cardinal Dougherty High School in Philadelphia.
“Temple is really good, but it’s also really similar to my high school,” he said. “I know a historically black college would have been a different experience than what I already experienced. But I don’t have any intentions of transferring.”
Temple has been academically challenging, he added, and the workload in the past year surprised him.
“I’ve never had to read that much in my life,” he said. “When I found out we had to read 60 pages . . . in two days, I looked at the professor and was like, ‘What? Are you serious?'”
He recently joined Temple’s chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists and may pick up an African American Studies minor.
One of his goals for this semester was making the dean’s list, something he said is not likely to happen. But he still has hope for the fall, he said.
“I’m going to make dean’s list next semester,” he said. “That’s a promise.”
“An experience to remember.”
That is the phrase that summarizes Linda Yepez’s first year. The admittedly-shy accounting major said she made the most of her freshman year by trying things she typically would not.
Yepez said she has been focusing on her accounting courses. She even ran as the youngest candidate for a position on the Accounting Professional Society cabinet. Though she didn’t receive the position, Yepez said she is happy she ran.
“They said it was good that I really tried to get in early,” she said, adding that she plans to continue her membership with APS next year.
Of her choice to come Temple, Yepez said she has “no regrets at all” and hopes to become more involved next year to meet more people. Her experience living in Hardwick Hall allowed her to come out of her shell, she said.
“I feel like sometimes I hold back because I wouldn’t go up to someone and talk to them unless they started talking to me. So I feel like I need to start being more social and talk to more people,” she said.
Her time has been equally divided between her academics and her social life, she said. She is still with her boyfriend of one year and seven months, an accounting and finance major at Temple.
Spring Fling inspired her to get more involved next year, possibly even as part of the cheerleading team, she said. But as for this past year, she is pleased with her accomplishments.
“Since [freshman year is] the first year, it’s something you have to experience so you’ll never forget,” she said. “And I feel that I have no regrets. Everything I did was for a reason, and I’m just going to go from there.”
Chris Stover can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.