Tuesday, December 2, 2008

school dayz

"College is not dream...it's a destination."

My mom told me that when I was about 8 yrs old. And it stuck with me. My parents instilled in me that I was going to college. In fact, they made it sound like that was something that EVERYBODY did. So, I never gave it a second thought. By the time that I got to high school, the only question in my mind was which school I would attend.

Maybe the school would be like my favorite show...A Different World? Maybe...

My mom's mind was made up...I was going to South Carolina State University. There were several reasons why she knew I'd be going there...1) The school was only a 90 minute drive from our home. 2) My cousin, Mike, was already in school there. 3) My uncle had gone to school there in the 70s. 4) It was one of the best HBCUs (historically black colleges/universities) in the country.
In my mind, there were other things to consider. When I was in high school, I had good grades and I was doing well on the football field. I was getting interests from other schools for an athletic scholarship. I also knew that I could probably land an academic scholarship if i didn't get a football scholarship. I had looked at some HBCUs...but I also had looked at North Carolina, Syracuse, and University of Houston. I really had my eyes on Houston and I knew that if I got an academic scholarship...I could make the football team as a walk-on. South Carolina State was on my list but it wasn't the only HBCU on my list. I was also looking at Hampton and Howard. I had to make a choice...was I going to attend a big white school or an HBCU?

Well, I made the decision to attend South Carolina State University...and the rest is history. Do I have any regrets? Nope! Would things have been different in my life if I had gone to North Carolina, Clemson, or South Carolina? Of course. That doesn't mean that it would have been better or worse in my opinion. I had gone to a predominately black elementary school, middle school, and high school. I didn't need to spend any more time with black folks. LMAO!! I had already had my crew for life so I didn't need any more friends. I didn't need to be near home.

However, when I visited South Carolina State I felt like I was at home. I had been on that campus plenty of times prior to my senior year in high school. But when I visited the school, I just had a "feeling". I can't really explain it. If I went to a white school, I would have never met my wife. Never would have won a Black College National Championship in football. Never would have met my teammates. Never would have added cats like Moe (#27), Russ(#3) (aka 3rddeadline), Q, Naylon, Bobby and Mel to my life crew. Never would have grown up and matured the way that I did.
One of my best friends, Jimmell, graduated from Duke. She is Deion's godmother and I'm the godfather of her son, LaKell. I often jokingly tell her that although she earned her medical degree from Duke...she went to the wrong school. I tell her that I'm gonna make sure that LaKell goes to SC State or any other HBCU. We laugh. She will admit that attending Duke wasn't what she expected socially. But she has no regrets. Neither do I!

What about you? Where did you go to school? Did you attend an HBCU? If you didn't...would you attend if you had to make the choice again? Would you attend the same white school?



The Jaded NYer said...

I went to Lily White Alfred University... being Latina and a first-gen. American a HBCU was not a priority- staying within the state of NY was. So that's what I did, I looked a schools in NY like St. John's, the various CUNY and SUNY schools, and the various private schools upstate and downstate.

I did try and look at schools in Massachusetts, which was OK because I had family up there, but that's it.

Do I regret Alfred? Nope; I met my best friends Celia and Cathi there; I had some pretty cool professors and the place was just what I needed at that point in time in my life.

If I had attended St. John's and stayed in the City, who knows what variety of hot mess I'd be today lol!!

The Jaded NYer said...

PS- who's no. 44 in the pic?? Is he single? What he lookin' like these days?? lol

(you know I had to come back and act a fool!)

clnmike said...

I went to Lincoln University in Pa for my freshman year before transfering down south.

The Dreamy One said...

i am not gonna lie I attended an HBCU school. Southern University.

would I have gone there by choice. no, I really wanted to go to LSU because it had my major and vet school.

but I did enjoy my time at Southern University. those were some of my best times.

Anonymous said...

I see mama knows best

12kyle said...

@ Jaded Santana
If you had gone to St. John's...you would have been in trouble! LoL

You are soooo silly. #44 is Lamond. Good dude. Not sure if he's married...but I'll find out for ya!

@ clnmike
That's a good school. I think Charece went to school there, too

@ dreamy
Southern is a great school. Do you think you'd be better off if you had gone to LSU?

@ Kin'shar
Yes! She really does

Keisha "Kitten" Isaacs said...

Hey Brother!

I love that quote your mom instilled in you.....I gotta borrow that for the teens I work with!...Thanks Mama 12Kyle...

I went to Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, IL....My school was most definitely not a HBCU!

I ended up at NIU following the crowd and came out of there as a leader....I'm glad about being led to NIU because that is where I pledged Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc....where I developed some life long friendships....where I discovered my passion for working with children....where I learned how to have positive relationships with a diverse group of people...where I was shown favor by a teacher/mentor that landed me in Grad school on their dollar.... and with a Master's Degree....long story short...it is the place where I grew into the woman I am today....

It was by the grace of God that I ended up at NIU because college wasn't instilled in me and I never really put much thought into it...until that one day in High school when I heard my friends talking about going to NIU and I said..."Hey I'll apply too since yall going!"....funny thing is I went and most of them didn't...There's one thing I know for sure and that is...it was nothing but a mighty move of God that blew me the corn fields of Dekalb, IL to attend Northern Illinois University! And I thank God for it today...tomorrow...and always!

B said...

I grew in Tallahassee so naturally people thought I should have attended FAMU....but I didn't and I'm glad. LMAO! I felt like I got the HBCU experience living on campus and taking summer classes there. My main motivation for not going was not wanting to stay in Tallahassee longer than I had to but if I lived in a bigger city like say....Atlanta, I probably would have worked a little harder to go to Clark or Spelman. I ended up going to Univ of South Florida in Tampa and have ZERO regrets. I met a ton of people and my net check always came on time. ;)

Eb the Celeb said...









i wouldnt change the fact that I went there for the world!

You already know its the best HBCU ever period... Where you at Smarty Jones!

Mizrepresent said...

I attended Indiana University in Bloomington...Go HOOSIERS! I attended because:

1. my parents didn't want me to go to NYC (which is where i wanted to go...to Julliard).

2. didn't want to leave my boyfriend...too far

3. only 4 hours from home

4. my friends were going

All in all, it was a great experience, never seen so many white people in my life...see i grew up in Chocolate City, and my school was predom Black as well.

Would i go again? Yes, most definitely, because the small number of AA students and professors were more like a family...the credibility of graduating from a big 10 school was well worth it. I had a stupendous time.

Would i ever attend a HBCU? yes, i could now, but i'm kind of glad i didn't back in the day...i would have partied WAAAAAAAY too much!

R. Fitzgerald said...

I was like you, I had choices. I considered Syracuse (the only out of state school on my list), University of Miami, and University of Florida. I ended up being a GATOR! I considered FAMU for a minute until I visited the school while I was in the Upward Bound program at my High School. Their campus housing sucked. I also wasn't impressed with the academic programs as compared to the predominantly white schools. So, I picked UF, and guess what? It felt like an HBCU. There were approximately 35K students enrolled at the time and about 5K of them were black and we hung strong up in that joint. If I had to do it all over again I just wouldn't party as much my first year. Also, if I had to choose an HBCU to attend now, it would be Hampton, hands down. They have their stuff together, especially for the business students.

Keith said...

My Moms was like yours..She told my brother and I that we were going to college when we were in the first grade, so there was never any question about it. I sure wanted to go to an HBCU...I had my mind set on going to Hampton, but money and distance played a factor in why I didn't go then.. I wound up attending two predominately white colleges..Shippensburg and Penn State (Go Nittany Lions)If I had the chance to do it all over,would I have gone to an HBCU? I sure would...but like Miz, I know I would have partied my you know what off...but I think I still would have been alright. My brother
went to Carneigie-Mellon and Drexel
and said the same thing, that if he had it to do over he'd of went to a HBCU...You are very fortunate,
for your experience.

Charece said...

Preach Brotha, aint nothing like a HBCU...I could go on forever about how going to Lincoln University in Pa changed my life for the better. L.U. Lincoln Pride!

dessex said...

Going to HBCU was the best thing that ever happen to me. I went Wilberforce University and I had a great time there.

I was a poor a student until I went to college. I stayed on the dean's list all 4 years, I met great friends, and most importantly I did something that no other male in my family did and that was graduate college.

Smarty Jones said...

@ Eb the Celeb

OK, now that I've repped my school, of course, I, like Eb the Celeb and so many other smart people chose to attend the best HBCU on the planet.
Freak HBCU, it is the best university on the planet. I will love N.C. A&T until I draw my last breath and I may not be able to articulate it for you. But you know I'm going to try.
I am the first person on my mother's side of the family to graduate from college. My mother grew up with nine brothers and sisters and all but one of them have at least two kids. I am one of the youngest in our generation so it was kind of scary for me to not have anyone to call on for advice.
A&T became my home full of professors, instructors and upperclassmen who became like parents, aunts, uncles and older cousins who were always there to offer an encouraging word and sometimes that kick in the ass that I needed.
I learned so much about life at that school that I can honestly say I showed up as a timid baby and left an intelligent, confident young woman.
While in high school, I always thought I would join the military. After my Army and Air Force recruiter told me I'd have to drop at least 20 pounds, I started applying for college.
I got into N.C. Central, Fayetteville State, Shaw University, Johnson C. Smith and Winston Salem State and of course my beloved alma mater.
It just so happened that two of my cousins on my father's side had attended A&T, one a year older than I and her older brother. I went for University Day my senior year and it was a wrap!
I love that school so much that any child I have will be forced to go there. I won't actually make them, but that is the only school I'm paying for! ;-)
"I love my A&T, I love it, I love it, I love it!!!"

Beautifully.Conjured.Up said...

"Spelman Thy Name We Praise...Standards And Honors Raised..."

You should know by now that I'm elated I went to Spelman.

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

look at u folk - u should have picked morehouse though

The F$%K it List said...

Must be something about SC momma's because my mother told us we were going to go to college at very young ages.
I looked at HBCU's when I went on a tour my freshman and Junior year. Tuskegee was number one on my list, then I went to a program for women in Science and knew that was the school I was going to. I figures I could just visit my friends at the HBCU's (and I did a WHOLE LOT).

I went to Hollins College (now University) in Roanoke, VA. It was the whitest school ever, but I'd never change a thing. I had one of the best educations in this country, best friends that no woman should have to be without!

And then I had the bonus of visiting my friends elsewhere because all my friends drove hahah

nikki said...




'nuff said.

Charles said...

I went to the University of Virginia. I thought about going to a HBCU, but in all honesty, I think the diversity helped me out alot. I know I missed out on alot of social things, but going to a 'white' public school definitely helped to broaden my horizons and see things from viewpoints I never thought of.

Kay C, The Quiet Storm said...

Went to the one of the largest commuter schools (at the time) in GA, Georgia State University. Spent a lot of time in the AUC, and would not change my choice. Oh yeah, we also got the Olympic Village which gave me the best of both worlds (on-campus and off-campus living)

I loved hanging out at the AUC, but I thought it was funny how all the students eventually transferred to GSU for various reasons, and my education cost 1/3 to 1/4 of what AUC students paid. BTW - We had most of the same professors in my major...and I agree with Charles.

MzInspiredMind81 said...

Ever since I was 8 yrs old, I said I was going to go to Howard University. I went to many Homecomings w/ my cousins who had went before me and I knew that I was greatness and that those who walked HU's(THE REAL HU) halls were greatness.

When it came time to apply to college, I applied to Howard, Clark, Univ of Kentucky<--my mom's alma mater and The Ohio State Univ<--safety net.

My parents were at odds about my attending a HBCU. My mother thought it would be good for me to go where I would see folks 'just like me' w/ the same educational goals as myself. My father thought that I needed to be at a 'white school' b/c the world wasn't all black and I needed to learn how to deal w/ ALL people in the career world.

I had gotten all of my acceptance letters except Howard's. I was heartbroken. I had worked so hard and had an excellent GPA, was heavily involved in extracurricular activities...how could they not even send me a yay or nay letter.
Fourth of July 1999(ya'll know how HBCU's are!) I received my acceptance letter to Howard Univ. I was a part of the Class of 2003.

I embarked on an experience that I will NEVER forget. Unfortunately, due to family situations, I moved back home my Junior year. I received my B.A. from Wright State Univ. and am now working on my MA there.

I've had the best of both worlds and going both to Howard and Wright State U. have taught me many many lessons that I will never forget.

*sorry for the post in your comments! LOL*

ShellyShell said...

My parents were against me going to a HBCU since I only graduated from High School with four black people!
My brother and my sister went to University of Buffalo it has a great nursing school and science. My other brother went to Cornell end up transferring after his freshman yr(too many of the others) and he went to USC in Cali.
My first choice was UNC(Chapel Hill)I didn't get in. I was crushed. My fall back school was Cuse and The Ohio State University, parents didn't want me to go there because of the size. So, I ended up going to The State University of New York at StonyBrook in Long Island. It's an excellent science and math school and Bio was my major so I went for it.It has a great med and nursing program. It was also 8 hrs from my parents(and that's what I wanted). I had a great five years there and wouldn't trade it for the world! Now that I'm in financial services. I do wish a little that I would have looked in to going to NYU(my mom's alma mater)! My dad went to the Univerisity of Minnesota(hell to the Naw)!

Trish said...

SHAW UNUVERSITY !!!!!!! Raleigh, NC
Go Bears !!!!!!!
Shaw University: The First Historically Black University in the South
On December 1st, 2007,
Shaw University, the South's oldest historically black university, turned 142.
In 1885, it became the first school in the South to train black doctors and pharmacists, and more recently, it conducted a study of why black World War II veterans had been overlooked for the Medal of Honor. This study culminated with President Bill Clinton awarding the Medal of Honor to seven of the ten veterans whom Shaw had recommended for the award.

I loved my Historic HBCU at the time, Im sure that Shaw is way better now.
I was pushed Shaw's way by my parents and Big Sister who was the only one in my family at the time that had even gone to College.
She was a Delta on campus back when and of course I was expected to pledge the same, after all I was a legend. Well, I didnt pledge Delta, the closest I came to frat was being a Kappa Diamond. lol.

I dont think I'd change a thing, it was truly an experience, one I had never had before.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'm late on posting. Been taking my finals this week. Law school, ya dig?

I started at Michigan State University. I applied there and University of Michigan and got in to both schools. U of M was on some other sh!t and this admissions counselor rubbed me COMPLETELY the wrong way so I went to MSU.

Too large, not personal enough. Too many departments on academic probation. Yes, you heard me right. The departments were on academic probation.

I transferred to Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan.

Division II school. The BEST in football.

A SUPERB education. I got to teach in a prison. Couldn't have done that anywhere else.

I still keep in touch with a few professors.

And hell, I'm in law school now so I gotta be doing SOMETHING right.

An HBCU was never on the list like that for me cuz I was always surrounded by diverse people and I knew the world wasn't all black anyway so no need to go to a place where I was the majority.

Looking back, I wish I would have looked into them further cuz I am addicted to upwardly mobile, intelligent Black people.