Hi, I am Charles—Chuck—Avent and I’m one, one of Tennessee’s Best.
I grew up here in Murfreesboro. I graduated from Siegel High School in 2005. I didn’t really want to stay in Murfreesboro for college. I’ll be honest; I thought attending Middle Tennessee State University was going to be boring because I’m from here. But it is a totally different place. MTSU is its own little town inside Murfreesboro. Murfreesboro itself is so big that if you stay on this side of town, you’ll never run into anyone from the other side of town unless you want to!
It’s a family tradition to go to Middle Tennessee and once I was here, I loved it! I haven’t regretted for one minute my decision to attend my hometown school. My mom and dad have three degrees each from MTSU; my aunt and uncle graduated from here, and my sister just graduated last year. And I guess MTSU sticks with my family because my mom even works on campus!
I wanted to study engineering here, but I started looking around to see which major actually “fit” me. We have all different types of programs here—engineering, education, pre-pharmacy—literally, something for everyone. But that didn’t make my decision any easier. After figuring out what I like to do and what I could do, I switched my major to Business Administration with an Economics and Finance minor. It fits me better and creates opportunities without limitations.
While my education comes first, I also thought it was important to get involved on campus. So I have been the fundraising chair for Up ’til Dawn, a campus group that raises money for the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. When I was chair, we raised more than $70,000! I’ve also been president of the African-American Student Association and served on a few committees for the Student Government Association. My service to that organization has been on its Judicial Disciplinary Board, the Parking Appeals Committee, and the Student Activity Fee Committee.
One of the reasons I have been so active on campus is because of the financial aid I receive from the University. The generous package has allowed me to almost go to school for free. I am really blessed not to have to worry about money while at school. And being given the money really makes me focus. It helps me remember why I’m really here—to get a degree. Because of the aid, I really don’t have to work to pay for my education. I do work because it is another way for me to be involved and to get to meet more people. Right now, I work for the Blue Raider Athletic Association. It is an awesome job! I work whenever they need me. One day I can be working with donors and the next, I am helping out in the Athletics Department. It is a fun job.
But then again, this is a fun campus. When you get here, it can be intimidating. You think you’re just going to be another number in a school of 23,000 students. But you really aren’t. You might also think that you are just going to be going to school with a bunch of folks from middle Tennessee, but then you start meeting people from Africa, Australia, England. They are from all these crazy, different places and they make our campus so diverse. You get to go to class with different types of people, not just one type.
The best thing about MTSU is that you can make it whatever you want it to be. I thought I wasn’t going to get that traditional college experience, but I was wrong. Once I got involved—and that is key—I figured out I could do whatever I wanted to here. There are more than 300 student organizations from which to choose. You can get involved in intramural sports. In student government. Really, anything you are interested in. And if we don’t have the group you are interested it, you can start it yourself.
MTSU is a very tight-knit, close community. The physical size of campus and the size of the student body do not accurately represent how close-knit the community is in reality. On a daily basis, I almost never see anyone from my high school, but I see friends on campus all day, every day. It is a large university in sheer size, but it seems small once you’re here. This is a major university with a small school feel.
So come join me here; be a part of my community. Become one of Tennessee’s best at Middle Tennessee State University.