Mission To Graduate: A Reflection On the HBCU Experience

Last Updated on October 14, 2014

 College Diploma With Cap And Tassel   Save Download Preview College Diploma With Cap And TasselSometimes graduation is so close it feels far away—it can even feel like mission impossible. That’s the moment when you have to fight the hardest.

Being a graduating senior is harder than I thought it would be. My family keeps asking what’s next, while I’m just trying to make sure I walk across the stage. I find myself torn between finishing strong and preparing for the future.

My mom says graduation is about saying thank you to God and to yourself. Despite the long nights preparing for exams, scrambling to put together my senior portfolio and dodging letters from federal loan companies, I am very thankful for my undergraduate experience.

I arrived at Florida A&M University in August of 2010. My father helped me move into my Paddyfoote dorm room, said a prayer and left. I sat in my small room wondering what was to come, and whether I was ready for it. Back then, I had no clue about all I could accomplish and obtain.

During my time on The Hill, I have been President of Voices Poetry Group, a public relations specialist for the Office of Counseling Services and Women’s Center and a student representative during the Florida Board of Governors meeting. I have attended several conferences and participated in many marches and events for student rights and clean energy. I have studied abroad for five months in Manaus, the capital of Amazonas, Brazil, where I worked closely with their 2014 FIFA World Cup management unit. Oh, and let’s not forget all the homecoming parties, concerts and random road trips I have been on with my friends.

I am proud to say I did it all because FAMU cracked open the door and I was determined to walk through it.

My experiences did more than give me exposure: they allowed me to identify my likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses. Being an involved student, whether in a student organization or in community work, will help you discover your passion and purpose. I have a passion for traveling and meeting new people while creating change and beneficial impact in the world and on the environment.

Therefore, I’m considering a few options after college:

    1. Study abroad fellowships like Boren and Fulbright that will allow me to conduct a research project in a foreign country, interact with the community and learn their language.


    1. Work. I am a public relations student, and experience means a lot in this field. Obtaining a job at an advertising agency, PR firm or communications department will allow me to apply what I learned in the real world and then learn some more. To achieve this goal, I have been attending career fairs and staying in contact with human resource reps to find out about openings.


  1. My mom also says I can’t stop my educational journey with just a bachelor’s degree, so graduate school is definitely an option. I have been attending graduate school fairs and speaking with anyone I can so I pick the right program and school. I’m honestly not rushing into grad school, but I will make sure I take the GRE exam before I graduate just to have test scores on file.

I always have great ideas, but when will I actually execute them? Lately I have been feeling like I can’t reach any of these goals until I finish step one: graduation. Though I feel like I’m up the creek without a paddle—or better yet, like I’m trying to conquer The Hill with a sprained ankle—I am determined to succeed.

For all those who see graduation as an impossibility, I’m writing to say all things are possible through faith. Faith is like a dimly lit candle in the middle of a tunnel: it shines bright in the midst of darkness. I have decided to claim victory over my final exams, senior portfolio and job opportunities.

The mission to graduate is not impossible, as long as you keep your faith and claim your victory.

When you’re so close to the end, giving up seems like the easiest thing to do.
I have always considered myself determined and aggressive, but at this point giving up seems so easy. What is the point of celebrating when the war has not yet been won?

I guess the point is that you have to celebrate each battle you have already claimed victory over. Be proud of your accomplishment, no matter the size.

I am truly satisfied with my HBCU college experience.

I met members of the Voices Poetry Group who became my family and support system.

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