Sitting at home watching The Quad on BET thinking, "Damn, I wish I would've went to an HBCU to pursue my degree". When I was in high school I had dreams to pursue my business degree at Clark Atlanta University. At the time my aunt lived in Atlanta, Georgia. I had never visted there before but just by the way she talked about her new home, I was sure I would love it.
Senior year came so quickly. I guess adults weren't lying when they said high school will go by fast. Figuring out your future is so stressful. You just want to make the best decision for yourself in the long run. All of the "dreams" didn't feel like reality anymore. High school was already an emotional struggle for me. I wasn't quite ready to take on college and it's challenges. At least that's what I told myself.
My mom was on my back about attending college so I knew I had to pursue some type of schooling. I attended all of these college advisor sessions and talked with a few mentors and counselors. At the time I was in a program called Genesys Works, an excellent IT training program that offers you an internship in the corporate world as well as guidance when applying to colleges. I was conflicted between applying to community colleges or universities. I talked to my program mentor about it, told her I was interested in Clark. We weighed out my options. She advised me that I should choose what is best for me, but she also did tell me about a student who was apart of the program the year before me. I can't remember her name, so lets just say her name is Alexis.
Alexis went to Clark Atlanta University her freshmen year of college. She couldn't afford tuition her sophomore year so she had to take a year off and save for tuition. I kid you not, it was a super coincidence that she went to the same school I wanted attend. I even got to meet her. She said she absolutely loved the school. The way she described it, sounded like everything I imagined it to be. After weighing my options I decided to just go to community college. My mom thought that was the smarter decision since it would save a lot of money.
Now looking back, I do regret my decision for one main reason...
I didn't even try. Even though they were just trying to help and gave me their honest opinions, I let other people talk me out of my dream college. I didn't apply to any scholarships. I didn't apply to the school. Hell, I didn't even take a trip to Georgia to visit the school. I just ... settled.
Don't get me wrong, everything happens for a reason. I managed to get my two year associates degree with minimal student loans. But I missed out on the college experience that I was looking for. I never got to live in a dorm, make a bunch of college friends, go to college parties and study groups. I never got to study abroad, which was something that was at the very top of my "college experiences" list. I've never even been to a college homecoming game, lol. Now I am returning to college to finish out my Bachelor's degree and all of those student loans I was worried about taking before, I have to take now.
Anyways, moral of the story is ... never let self doubt, fear, excuses, or opinions stop you from trying to pursue your dreams. Whether it be your dream college or dream career. You will never know what you are capable of unless you try.
You CAN do anything you put your mind to!
[Photo Credit: Kendall Holt]