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Here are 7 ways to make the most of your HBCU college experience

I had no idea, what I getting myself into, as I stepped on the campus of Alabama State University in 1994. I’m not even sure if anyone could have properly prepared me for college life, but in this post, I’m going to give you a few ways to make the most of your HBCU college experience.

I’ve said many times, to many people, that attending an HBCU was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Also, it was one of the best time periods of my life for many reasons. It’s something about attending a school with people that look like you but are as diverse as can be. Furthermore, I realized when I attended college that diversity took on a whole new meaning.

The excitement I felt when my mom took me to Alabama State University was at an all-time high. However, if I had someone share some tips, nuggets, and secrets on what to expect, from what I had just signed up for – OH Boy! I would have been a tad bit more prepared.

Here are 7 ways to make the most of your HBCU college experience:

Your drive to succeed will be on a new level. You may have thought that you were going to school to just get a degree. However, when you see so many like-minded students striving for academic success with gusto and enthusiasm, it gives you a bigger push to go the next level.

Meet new people and learn how to network. Yes, you will have your core circle of friends. However, get to know as many people as you can and where they come from. Friends you meet at your HBCU become like family and we’re forever connected. Getting to know people outside of your core group expands your circle of influence.

Stay involved with your HBCU after you graduate – become an active alumni. When you graduate from college, your experience doesn’t have to end. You can always give back to your school in the form of donations, time, and information. It’s a blessing to be able to pass the torch to new HBCU attendees coming in behind you. It’s great for your school and keeps traditions alive.

Black History is everywhere – you don’t need to actually take a class specifically for black history to learn how we as a culture and people contributed to society. Everywhere you go, you’ll learn pieces of our history which makes you appreciate our culture more. #HBCUSMatter

It’s all about the band! I promise I didn’t know what I was in for! My high school had a band, but seeing them perform was such an afterthought. When I went to ASU and saw that band perform, I knew I had to be at every game. Half-time at an HBCU football game is the main event! You will grow to love it with your crew and/or you might even join in.

You will grow! I walked in as a 17-year-old college freshman and finished as a 22-year-old confident, professional young woman. If you leave college 4 years later as the exact same person you walked in, there’s a problem. During my time in college, I grew into MYSELF. I was challenged in so many ways by my professors, deans, and peers intellectually, culturally and politically. I even voted in my first election (Bill Clinton) while in college.

School Pride Forever! I’m not sure what it is, but something about your school with seep into your bones and you will always be ready to show your school pride! Your school becomes apart of who you are and will always feel like an extended family.

Going away to an HBCU is like leaving one family and meeting your new one. However, this new family will challenge you, grow you, and change you in ways you must experience hands-on. You will never be the same, but that’s a great thing.

Retool Your School with Home Depot

It has been a wonderful experience being an ambassador with The Home Depot Retool Your School. For the past 10 years, The Home Depot has invested more than $2 million dollars to update, upgrade, and uplift HBCU campuses.

For their 10-year anniversary, they are committed to awarding the highest amount in the program’s history, $500,000 total in campus improvement grants to 10 winning schools. That’s ten schools each receiving $50,000. For the 2018-2019 Program, nine grants will be awarded based on consumer voting.

The tenth grant, the “Campaign of the Year Award,” was awarded to the school whose campaign was the most original, innovative, and particularly effective.

Did you graduate from an HBCU? Or do you want to support your favorite HBCU? Voting has ended, but you can always support your school. I’m crossing my fingers that your school was in the top ten.


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