Diamond Clay was ahead of the game before she even walked on campus. The biology major from Oglethorpe, GA was admitted to FVSU as a dual enrollment student, having already earned dozens of credit hours while in high school. Though she stood out as a scholar in high school, she admits that she had to adjust her study habits once at FVSU in order to excel academically and allow her to be active in organizations like the American
Chemical Society, National Council of Negro Women, and Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation. She is on track to earn her bachelor’s degree after only two and a half years as a full-time student, and through her participation in FVSU’s Cooperative Developmental Energy Program, will go on to earn another bachelor’s degree in health physics.
After her first year at FVSU, she went to the University of Nevada Las Vegas to intern for the summer. In a relatively short time, she has already developed a close bond with her faculty advisors, whom she said have helped her mature.
“Fort Valley State University has prepared me, not only intellectually, but socially, for the outside world,” Clay said. “I now know how to handle things not only as a professional, but as an adult.”
She’s had to adjust her study habits, but believes that the most important part of her success may actually be her acceptance of failure. Achieving a goal, she believes, is based in large part on the lessons a person learns along the way, even if they don’t succeed at first. She encourages younger students not to give up on their dreams, even in the face of tough challenges.
“The biggest challenge I had to face was adjusting my study habits,” she said. “Every class takes different study methods, I had to get over the fear of changing my methods. Having to alter my methods every semester was a true challenge.”
“It takes failure to be successful,” she added. “You don’t always have to be perfect. Just be the best you can be. At times you have to fail to know how bad you want it.”