I decided that to kick off the new year with a bang! We are going to celebrate women and their amazing accomplishments for the entire month of January! Our first feature of the month is Brianna Harris. Brianna is a senior, a softball player, and a Homeland Security and Emergency major. Brianna is a sweet, funny, and extremely smart young woman and we are honored that she took a minute to talk to us. Read our first and maybe our best profile to date!
Otissia: What made you want to attend Savannah State University?
Brianna: I decided to attend Savannah State University because before committing to a college for a softball scholarship, I had a few things in mind about what my perfect college would include. I wanted to attend a college that was not too large in terms of numbers and how big the campus is. I also wanted a university that was close to home and since I’m originally from Jacksonville, FL, Savannah is only about two hours from me. Lastly, it was important to me that I received a true college experience, and with Savannah State being an HBCU, it was clear that Savannah State would be a great match for me.
Otissia: What attracted you to become a part of the HBCU culture?
Brianna: Each school that I had attended from elementary school through high school was very diverse. It was imperative to me that I continued that as I attended college. As I was looking through my list of possible colleges, I came across the term HBCU and the more I researched the term, the more I was drawn to it.
Otissia: So far how would you describe your college career?
Brianna: My college career has been interesting to say the least. Initially, I attended Savannah State University as a computer science major but eventually I changed it to Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Enduring classes as well as focusing on my sport was difficult at first, but the more I learned all the resources around campus that can help me succeed, it became easier as time went on.
Otissia: What advice would you give to incoming freshmen especially girl athletes?
Brianna: I would say that as with any college campus, its somewhat easy to get distracted. My advice would be to remind yourself every day why you are at college and who you are doing it for. As for female athletes, it’s important to create a positive self-image of yourself not only for yourself or your fellow athletes but for those who may look up to you, such as non-athletes on campus or younger people who come to the games to watch and cheer you on.
Otissia: What is your favorite thing about Softball? What attracted you to the sport?
Brianna: I have played softball since I was around four years old. Almost everyone in my family has either participated in baseball or softball so it’s almost as if softball was in my blood. What attracted the most to softball was the life lessons you learn and the relationships you build with the people you play with. Some of the bonds that I’ve created from playing softball will last me a lifetime.
Otissia: What’s your favorite thing about your team and teammates?
Brianna: My favorite thing about my team and my teammates is that we truly have a team mentality. If one of us needs something, whether its in softball or outside of softball, I know that we can count on one another to help. We have fun together and always push each other to new heights because I truly feel that no one believes in us more than we believe in each other.
Otissia: Are you apart of any other organizations on campus?
Brianna: I am a part of SAAC on campus which stands for the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. We as a group come through and work through various problems that any student athlete may face as well as plan for community service events such as community car washes or “pie-a-player” so that we may interact with our community on a different level.
Otissia: Is there any other sport you would you like to play?
Brianna: I think if I had the chance, I would love to play basketball. I played a lot in high school, but softball was always my main sport and therefore my main priority.
Otissia: What are your post college plans and how do you plan on using your degree?
Brianna: As for now, my post college plans after I get my Bachelors degree is to continue and get my Masters degree in Homeland Security and Emergency Management. What I hope to do eventually is to be an advocate for immigrants. Diversity is a very important viewpoint for me and I want to help spread positivity on the idea of immigration.
Otissia: Who is your inspiration and what motivates you to be as successful as you are?
Brianna: My family is without a doubt my biggest inspiration. As not only the oldest sister, but the oldest cousin and grandchild, I inspire to set standards for my younger siblings and cousins. I hope to set the standard so that they not only meet them but exceed them. I hope to be the best influence on them and that’s what motivates me to be the best I can at whatever task I choose to take on. Also, my teammates are some of my biggest inspiration. As a senior this year, I want to be the kind of teammate that my other teammates feel they can look up to and if they ever need any help, they can come to me.
Otissia: Do you have a quote you live by or that really motivates you?
Brianna: A quote that has stuck with me since I was in high school was a simple saying that my uncle said to me. He told me “it is better to prepare than to repair”. As a high schooler, I would often wait until it was too late to try and fix things, but after embedding that quote into my mind, I always try to handle what I need to get done as soon as I can in hopes that I won’t be scrambling to fix them in the end.
Otissia: What are three things that you have learned about yourself while in college?
Brianna: The first thing I would say that I’ve learned is that only I can set my limitations. I have achieved things I never thought I could while I’ve been in college, not only academically, but athletically as well. Another thing that I’ve learned is that you don’t necessarily decide your role in things. As a younger athlete, I was afraid to be a leader on my softball team, but to help my team succeed, they needed me to be a leader and so at that point, I learned that it may not always be what I want, but I can be what is needed. Lastly, I learned that it’s okay to ask for help. Being someone who never had to ask for help, it was difficult when I began struggling and didn’t know how to ask for help. But the more I reached out, the more I understood that is it okay to struggle, but it’s not okay to struggle and not get help.
Otissia: What do you have planned for your Senior semester at Savannah State?
Brianna: For my senior semester, I’m hoping to help lead my team to our first MEAC championship in school history. I know that we have the talent and the hard-work ethic, we just need to believe in ourselves as much as those around us believe in us. I also hope to finish out my academics on a strong note to continue into my road towards my Master’s degree.
Otissia: What are your social media handles (Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat) so our readers can follow you?