Ayana Clayton

S1 E3 Living the Ram Life

5 min video | 4 min read

Being involved can truly change one's college experience so much.

Ayana Clayton, Chemistry Major, Class of 2017

I appreciate how VCU lives up to its mission of promoting diversity and how there is something for absolutely everyone.

All the connections one can make and establish, not only from a professional standpoint but that these connections may also turn into friendships.

As a transfer student where I was only involved in a club sport, my involvement at VCU has changed my entire perspective on college. Of course I was excited to get away from home but I dreaded school, it was just homework and Netflix for me a lot. I didn't reach out or go for anything, I was extremely close-minded. So when I transferred to VCU, I was determined to become involved.

Giving back and establishing new connections is what I do best and I wanted to exercise those aspects of my life. I researched involvement at VCU and the next thing I know I had a short information session with Rebecca Halligan. Soon enough I was signed up for I-Lead Connect and it changed my life drastically. I learned so much from the retreat and I came back to VCU with a new attitude -- positive, of course. As soon as we were back from school I found myself as a volunteer for APB and homecoming and a member of various organizations.

I have developed so many friendships through my involvement and established many connections with faculty and staff amongst the VCU offices, I could not be any happier. I have also learned a lot about myself. From how I deal with a lot on my plate and the stress that comes with it all to how sociable I actually can be. I am more of a people-person than I thought I was. I've learned that I absolutely adore the feelings of excitement, celebration and unity during certain events and even meetings for future events. Being involved can truly change one's college experience so much.

I aspire to be working in the clinical laboratory field but for graduate school I have now considered studying student affairs. I have come to grow and love what has made me fall in love with VCU and want to be able to assist others on their journeys as well to hopefully loving their school as much as I do.