Elizabeth City State University students will always tell you, life on campus from students to faculty, to staff is one big family. For senior Tatiana Keo, that experience is no different from her fellow Vikings.
“My decision to attend ECSU was based on a hunch,” says the Lexington, North Carolina native. “Being a first-generation student, it was all up to me to figure it out and I needed somewhere small to figure it out. I didn’t know anyone here and it was four hours away from home. I chose ECSU because it was affordable and the family-like experience that it gave me when I came for my orientation was unmatched.”
The birth-to-kindergarten education student says her experience at ECSU has been “an eye opener.” Life on campus “has been a family affair in many ways.”
“My experience at ECSU has been a dream,” she says.
Ms. Keo says that her university experience is one that she could not have imagined for herself.
“I came to ECSU with no plan and my goal was to create one,” she said. “I’ve created a plan and my final goal is to graduate and that is in the process.”
Ms. Keo is currently working as a teaching assistant while she completes her final year at ECSU. Her goal is to one day own and operate a child care facility.
While on campus, she has been involved with student life. She recommends that students find an area that interests them and get involved. ECSU, she says, “has so much talent and different organizations and clubs that anyone can choose from.”
For her part, Ms. Keo currently serves as the vice president of internal affairs for the ECSU Student Government Association. She enjoys student body meetings, Homecoming, Viking Fest and Consent Week.
“I enjoyed the informal portion of college which are the events and seeing different artists,” said Ms. Keo. “As for Consent Week, I am super supportive of everyone and their choices. I believe in the ideals of Consent Week and every year there are always different events that help students learn about consent without it being too formal.”
As she reflects on the past three years, Ms. Keo says to freshmen, that “being yourself” is important.
“Be who you are and over time you will find enjoyment in new things,” she said. “Don’t let what one does affect you. You are in charge of your life and only you can get yourself from point A to point Z.”
For Ms. Keo, point Z will be graduation in spring 2021 when she moves on and begins the next phase of her life, pursuing her dreams and goals.
Learning new things. I am always willing to learn a new task or hobby.
My dream job is to own my own childcare facility.
Campus events you have enjoyed:
Student body meetings, Homecoming, Viking Fest, and Consent Week.
Your words to live by:
I don’t have a particular quote but something I always say is “if you’re going to do something then do it to the fullest”. I am not someone who enjoys things being half done. If you know you can’t commit to something, then don’t add it on top of what you have going on. The last task you do might be the last task you ever do, so make sure it is show worthy because it has your name tied to it. That piece may be small, but it is yours and it is your brand; your portfolio. Make everything you do memorable!
Favorite place on campus:
My favorite place to be on campus is the Ridley Student Center because you can do anything in there. You can grab something to eat, do your homework in the PACE Center, play the piano and just relax.
Professors who have influenced you and why:
The one person who has made an impact throughout my college career and still to this day is Dr. Crystal Keyes. She has always been so positive and interactive with students on campus. When she walks in a room you know that she is there because she is going to work the room and not only give her knowledge on whatever the topic may be, but she also allows others to pour into her. Dr. Keyes is a continuous learner and a great listener and an even better leader.
Advice for younger students:
My advice for younger students is to never feed into what others are doing. College is a time for you to find out who you are and what you like. It is okay to take your time and not swim with the rest of the crowd. College is a different experience for everyone. You are not going to have the same experience as the next person. This is a time for you to grow as an individual.
What would you recommend that underclassmen pursue to better enhance their experience as students here? (ex: clubs, service work, etc.)
My best advice for an underclassman would be to join Campus Activities Board as a general member. You get to see the behind the scenes work that CAB does and you get to add input on events you might like to see. If you don’t see a club that is on campus you can create one.
What are some of the highlights of your time here?
I have so many great highlights, creating lifelong friendships, networking with the administration, joining different organizations and clubs.
Where will you be going next? What are your career goals?
I am currently a teacher assistant here in Elizabeth City which is step one of reaching my goal. My final goal is to own my own childcare facility.