Tristan Shird, a senior education studies major, was recently crowned the first Mr. FMU in the school’s history.
According to Shird, entering a competition to do something unique is a daunting task. A lot of preparation goes into it—and not just what to wear. Shird said it is vital to work on the mental side, as well.
“I worked on having the mindset to win this competition,” Shird said. “I sent out several methods of communication asking the student body for support. I watched a lot of James Bond movies. I had great ideas on what suit to wear and a James Bond-themed outfit. I had everything prepared, and I was ready to win. However, a while later, as I signed up to run for the Mr. FMU pageant, the other contestants backed out and decided not to compete. It was decided by a group of individuals to crown me as Mr. FMU 2022.”
In addition to his status as Mr. FMU, Shird is a part of six other organizations on campus. He is an Orientation Leader, Patriot Mentor, Swimming Club member, Education Club member, SGA Senator, Mr. FMU and a Diplomat treasurer.
Being active in as many organizations as Shird does makes it difficult to manage school, work and social obligations. However, he said he is adamant about staying up to the task with his assignments.
“I set a calendar to log all the events and organizations I need to keep track of,” Shird said. “I can balance and not forget my schedule. I do my best to make the right decisions and choose events to attend so that it does not interfere with my studying. I study a few days before the exam or quiz day. My time management and organization skills always keep me balanced with my school work and organizations that I am involved in.”
As Shird has many interests, he found a variety of appealing career paths offered by FMU. Having family who attended FMU before he did, Shird felt most at home at FMU.
“I decided to attend FMU because of how friendly and loving the staff and students are here,” Shird said. “When I first came here, I was shy and did not know how to meet and make new friends because I never knew how to fit in when I attended high school.”
With some encouragement from his cousin, he became a Diplomat and Orientation Leader, where he met friends that became his FMU family.
By becoming the first Mr. FMU in school history, Shird set an example for students to come. He has many heroes in his life, and he hopes he can be an example for others someday too.
“I have a lot of role models,” Shird said. “One of my role models is my father because he is a teacher that is willing to help all of his students when it comes to getting their education and becoming hard-workers. The way he teaches his students is inspiring because, as a child, I was diagnosed with CAPD (Central Auditory Processing Disorder), and he knows that every student learns differently. He teaches ways to help his students understand. My father makes learning fun.”
Family is not Shird’s only source of inspiration.
“My other role model is Frederick Douglas,” Shird said. “Frederick Douglas was an African American abolitionist and writer that taught himself how to read and write. He proved to me whatever goal you have in life, if you stay focused and stay firm on what you believe in, is possible. These role models taught me to be a strong leader.”
Shird has not always had the easiest time at school, but he hopes to help other students find their true selves.
“My other advice is to be yourself and not let anyone change you for who you truly are,” Shird said. “Being a young man that has been bullied and treated unfairly is what made me stronger, and I thank God for what I have been through. I have learned to be humble, open and express myself very positively since I’ve been introduced and welcomed into the FMU family. I am so proud that I am an FMU Patriot.”