Pictured Columbia, S.C., resident Kaya Coleman is a freshman at South Carolina State University.
ORANGEBURG, S.C. – Starting the first semester away from campus was not the experience South Carolina State University freshman Kaya Coleman expected from college life.
“The first semester, it was hard, but I think it was just being at home and missing the experience of college,” Coleman said. “But now that I’m on campus, even though I’m not on in-person classes, it doesn’t feel as hard. The teachers work with you if you don’t understand something.
“My professors have been great. I can call and say, ‘Hey I’m not understanding this,’ and they will say, ‘Let’s get a session in to try to work this out.’”
As a biology major, most of Coleman’s classes are in the sciences, so she’s glad to have that personal attention.
“It can be overwhelming, but you have some great teachers who are always checking up on you to make sure you’re all good,” she said. “Your advisor is always checking on you to make sure grades are good.
“If you need anything, they’re here for you.”
Coleman plans to ultimately use her biology degree toward dental school with hopes of becoming an orthodontist.
“Growing up I had crooked teeth, but we couldn’t afford braces, so I want to become an orthodontist to help kids who can’t afford braces be able to,” she said. “I want to start an organization where braces would be free, because not everybody can afford it.”
Coleman set her sights on SC State early in high school in Columbia.
“I came here my sophomore year for Band Day and I just fell in love with the environment,” she said, “so ever since then I already knew I was coming to South Carolina State.
“Everyone was so polite. Even now on campus, everybody speaks every time I walk in. It’s not like you’re here alone. Especially as a freshman when you’re still getting used to the campus and with COVID, things can be kind of hard, so having people just say hello, it makes your day.”
Because SC State continued to conduct classes remotely as a precaution during the COVID-19 pandemic this spring semester, Coleman is among a select number of students residing on campus. She’s been able to attend some social functions and has made new friends while residing in Truth Hall.
It’s been a taste of good things to come at SC State.
“I’m not mad about it, because I know that with COVID, we are talking baby steps to open back up,” Coleman said, “but I know next semester I will have so much more to look forward to.”
It’s not too late to join Kaya and other students at SC State next fall. To apply for admission and/or schedule a campus tour, visit the university’s website at www.scsu.edu/admissions/.