An Interview On
Davidson College

Background

Interview Date:May 2018

Gender Identity: Male
Race/Ethnicity: African-American
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2021
High School Experience: I went to a public school outside of Atlanta with about 500 students in my graduating class. I think the demographics broke down to be around 60% African-American, 30% Hispanic, and then like 10% White. Our principals pushed doing something with yourself after high school. College was pushed, but along with that, they pushed for trade schools, joining the military, and things like that.
Major: Undeclared
Minor: None
Extracurricular Activities: I play club soccer, I’m in the Black Student Coalition, I’m in Textures Healthy Living Club, and I’m a Questbridge scholar. Outside of Davidson, I’m part of the Charlotte Collegiate Institute.

Did any of your extracurricular activities have a particularly big impact on your experience?
The Charlotte Collegiate Institute is sort of like the child organization of the Institute of Responsible Citizenship. It’s for African-American males and it’s an enrichment, community service, and leadership program where every other week on Saturday we go over enrichment, personal branding, and goals. We have leaders from all over Charlotte come speak to us from various sectors. It was impactful because with the personal branding it helped me define what I want to do early on. Even if I’m not sure of what specific job field I want to go in to, I know what I want to work with and what purpose I want to do it with. It helped me find purpose with

Academic Experience

What was your favorite class last year?
General Physics with Calculus II. There was a big focus on electricity and magnetism, but it was still an intro class. It was very challenging actually. The concepts we touched on were very interesting for me because I want to have an engineering background. I like applying concepts to practical issues.

What was your least favorite class last year?
Calculus 2. It’s a pretty difficult class and it’s a class you have to commit your time to. It’s hard to balance both calculus and physics. The professor also wasn’t really for me.

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
It’s very collaborative. There is competition, but it’s healthy competition. People want to do their best. If you’re serious and working hard, both other students and professors will try to help you out.

On and Around Campus

Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Belk Hall with one roommate.
Sophomore: New Dorm in a double with the same roommate as my freshman year.

Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
The campus is very safe. I find Davidson overall to be very safe, but the campus is the safest place in the town. I never have any fears of being in danger.

What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
Thai House

What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
My friend and I go bike riding sometimes. We often bike at Lake Campus, but we also go to various other locations.

Pros and Cons of being in Davidson, NC?
Pros: (1) It’s a beautiful campus. A lot of work is put into taking care of it.
(2) It’s quiet around. It’s a place where you can find peace.

Cons: (1) Distance from a city. [Charlotte is the closest city and is about a 30-minute drive away.]
(2) It is difficult to get transportation to different areas outside of Davidson.

Campus Culture

How did you meet your closest friends?
Most of my friends I met through STRIDE, which is a pre-orientation program for students of color. My other friends I met just by saying hi and spending time with people.

How was transitioning from a school with lots of African-American students to a predominantly White institution?
I took the transition very well. I came into Davidson knowing exactly what I was going to get. There are times where I have one of two main feelings. There is a feeling of missing home and the culture where you’re from. I was born in African, so I’ve been away from the African culture and also the African-American culture. Another response is that students of color will band together and form groups of friends in that way. There are times where you find yourself doing things that aren’t native to your culture at home but are native to the overarching Black culture. You kind of form an HBCU inside the school with your social circles. [In the Class of 2022, 67% of students are White and 8% are Black.]

To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
I feel like they mix fairly well. If you read into things too much and think, “Oh, that’s a White person thing to do,” or “Oh, that’s Black, that’s ghetto,” you might cut yourself off and think it’s because another group won’t be accepting of you. I find you can go anywhere and do anything and if you’re pretty open and cool, most of the time it works out. If not, I don’t find people are rude or disrespectful to you.

How would you describe the social scene?
It’s not the best ever, especially with the academic rigor. People try but you can’t put in that much effort while still focusing on your schoolwork. Sometimes I find people want to get blackout drunk instead of just having a good time.

How would you describe the student body?
The student body is very active. With all the clubs and organizations, it’s very easy to become engaged and be a part of something. I would guess that the average student is a part of at least one organization.

Do you think people are happy with their choice of Davidson by senior year?
I think most are, especially if you know your reason for coming to Davidson. I don’t think many people are here for a year and then want to leave.

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

What is something you wish you knew about Davidson College before entering as a freshman?
I didn’t know the importance of office hours and really engaging with your professors. You have to go out of your way and use your teachers as resources because they are there for you.

What is something that a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
See Baker [Sports Complex], I feel like that’s the only part of campus people don’t see that would be nice to see because it’s kind of out of the way.

What is something a prospective African-American student should know that we haven’t touched on?
Come in with an open mind. Don’t lose who you are, but also don’t let yourself cancel your opportunities. Take opportunities and take risks.

Reasons to attend Davidson:
1) It’s a small school with a high level of engagement. It’s truly an academic environment.
2) It’s a beautiful campus.
3) It’s close to a city while not being in a city.

Reasons to not attend Davidson:
1) Small, limited social life.
2) It is difficult to access a large urban area.
3) If you’re really not prepared to step out of your comfort zone and be in a different demographic with both the student body and the surrounding area.

Notice: Davidson College is a trademark. Induck uses it for descriptive purposes, not to imply affiliation with, endorsement from, or sponsorship by Davidson College.

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