For many students, switching from high school to college life can be a difficult time. although for Paine College’s Freshmen Class President says his adjustment seems easy and he is excited about his new life adventure.
“Paine means family to me. It means an actual home environment. It means that we all have someone to talk to here,” said Freshmen Class President James Mason.
Mason dreams of becoming a psychologist. That’s why out of the handful of colleges he was accepted into, he chose Paine.
“Coming here these first 4 years will give me insight of if I want to take that chance of being a psychologist. They had an emphasis in counseling in their program. A lot of other schools did but it was the intimate setting here,” said Mason.
As Freshmen Class President, Mason wants better networking within his class so they can be unified. He also wants to help his class transition from high school to college better.
“A lot of times in high school people have a lack of communication. College mentality didn’t really hit me until I came on campus a little over a month ago and I always envisioned myself having my grades and having my assignments tucked away and everything I need to do. Putting everything in order but campus life really didn’t hit me until I actually came here,” explained Mason.
Paine College has had its problems in the past but Mason sees the college in a different light.
“School is awesome. I really love my professors for challenging me,” said Mason.
Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) like Paine have seen better times. According to the Pew Research Center in 2015 only around 9% of African American college students attended an HBCU and this has been declining since the 90s.
“They can survive by their courageousness. they can survive by their integrity, their truth and the services they provide for their communities. I believe that HBCUs build leaders. They build people who can serve their communities,” said Mason.
Mason added a way to fix HBCU problems, “If they keep progressing and they keep implementing people in their schools that actually make a change and a difference such as Paine, we could see all sorts of things happen.”