"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?